Blogging in print
Angy Essam spotted a fresh publishing experience
In 2010, five young friends established the Dawen (Blog) publishing house. Dawen is meant to give young writers and poets the opportunity to publish their work in various intellectual and creative fields. Since its founding, Dawen has aimed to break the barrier of fear erected in front of so many youths who find it difficult to publish their work in big publishing houses which focus more on the famous.
Mohamed Moufid, the managing director of Dawen and one of its founders, said the idea was the outcome of the cooperation of five young people. Their love for culture, writing and blogging, which is derived from the name of the house, was their main motive. "Profit was not their target," Moufid said. "They aimed to break barriers and destroy existing restrictions suffered by youths who have the talent and the desire to publish their work, often their first experience."
The people behind Dawen are Moufid, 29 years old, an accountant; Ahmed El-Bohei, also 29, also an accountant; Ahmed Salama, 25, a physician; Mustafa El-Husseini, 25, a broadcaster; and Ahmed Mehana, also 25, an owner of a documentary films company.
"We want to pull down all the traditional taboos and barriers that hamper young talents and create an independent personality to Dawen to make it different from any other publishing house," Moufid said.
Moufid explained that Dawen is not confined to youth but also deals with well known writers. "We published five books written by Nabil Farouk, Amr Salama and Ihab Fekri and a collection of poems by Khaled El-Sawi, as well as many other well known names."
Moufid added that more attention was naturally given to youth since they are Dawen's main target.
Moufid said they receive all work from youths on Dawen's e-mail "which is well known" as well as through its phone numbers on its official page on Facebook.
"In general, any work submitted to us should be sent first to the study committee to be read and to give us their opinion. The committee consists of two university professors, a journalist and two writers. Their role is to provide a detailed report identifying whether to accept work as well as the reasons for the acceptance or refusal."
"All what concerns them is that a book which has been given the green light should add value to the readers," Moufid said.
"One of the most important matters we are keen about is the language of the book. It should be easy and simple enough -- but of course not trivial -- in order to be understood by all people," Moufid said.
Among the books published is Shab Koshk (Kiosk boy) by young director Amr Salama, Ultras by Jimmy Hood and Ashab Al-Charisma (Charisma owners) by Ihab Fekri.
Moufid added that Dawen succeeded in providing a new type of writing: what he called confession literature. "It is a new form of literature introduced for the first time in the publishing world in Egypt. It intersects with biography literature from different angles. It is simply a biography but has a reflection on reality."
Dawen always tries to associate its work with reality, the street and public interest. "Our work focuses on affiliation, rejection of intolerance and issues related to the reality experienced by people," Moufid said.
One problem Dawen faces, according to Moufid, is that sometimes there is no specific system to deal with public libraries and theatres. "It is a common problem faced by many publishing houses." Another problem is that early on it encountered a bit of non-acceptance by some people because it is based on youth. The oldest is only 29.
"We are trying to create a new style in the world of writing and publishing in a society accustomed to a particular method and a pattern, that a book can only be published in a well known publishing house. But this way of thinking began to lessen after the house achieved great success and the work it released has recorded high sales. We raised topics of great value."
Said Moufid: "Good work presents itself and people accept it, whoever its publisher or author."