Alaa Abd el-Fattah is arguably the most high-profile political prisoner in Egypt, if not the Arab world, rising to international prominence during the revolution of 2011. A fiercely independent thinker who fuses politics and technology in powerful prose, an activist whose ideas represent a global generation which has only known struggle against a failing system, a public intellectual with the rare courage to offer personal, painful honesty, Alaa’s written voice came to symbolize much of what was fresh, inspiring and revolutionary about the uprisings that have defined the last decade.
Collected here for the first time in English are a selection of his essays, social media posts and interviews from 2011 until the present. From theories on technology and history to profound reflections on the meaning of prison, You Have Not Yet Been Defeated is a book about the importance of ideas, whatever their cost.
‘The text you are holding is living history.’
— Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything
- Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
- Translated by a collective
- With a foreword by Naomi Klein
- Published 20 October 2021, French paperback with flaps, 448 pages
"The text you are holding is living history."
— Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything
‘Don’t read this book to be comforted. Read it to be challenged, terrified, enlightened, moved, and amazed.’
— Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire
'“Fix your own democracy,” Abd el-Fattah encourages us, from his cell; Egypt’s rulers attempt to isolate, fragment and conceal resistance because it needs a global ecosystem to flourish. What can any one person do with a legacy of pain, struggle and courage? There are no easy solutions here, but You Have Not Yet Been Defeated is a heartbreaking, hopeful answer.’
— The Guardian
‘Alaa is a philosopher of everyday life and lifelong struggle; he doesn’t merely find meaning in that which we go through, especially in dark political moments, but creates meaning and gives it form in writing. And he does so from a highly entrenched and implicated place in the present. His thoughts know no frontiers; they pierce through local contexts to inspire new modes of thinking about the chaotic substance of politics.’ — Lina Attalah, editor in chief of Mada Masr
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Alaa Abd el-Fattah is an Egyptian writer, technologist and political activist. He has been prosecuted or arrested by every Egyptian regime to rule in his lifetime and has been held in prison for all but a few months since the coup d’état of 2013. Collected here by his family and friends, for the first time in English, are a selection of his speeches, interviews, social media posts and essays since the outbreak of revolution in January 2011 – many written from inside prison.
"Alaa is a philosopher of everyday life and lifelong struggle; he doesn’t merely find meaning in that which we go through, especially in dark political moments, but creates meaning and gives it form in writing." - Lina Attalah, editor in chief of Mada Masr