The journalist Mohamed Fahmy discusses his memoir, The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo’s Scorpion Prison to Freedom (Random House, 2016), with Joseph Planta.
|The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo’s Scorpion Prison to Freedom by Mohamed Fahmy, with Carol Shaben (Random House, 2016).
Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: The Marriott Cell
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.
Mohamed Fahmy has just published a remarkable memoir, The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo’s Scorpion Prison to Freedom. It’s a gripping, compelling and insightful book about a very public story, a highly publicised case and imprisonment that takes us behind the headlines into what it was really like for Mr. Fahmy and those around him. On the night of 29 December 2013, Egyptian security forces raid the Marriott Hotel seized Fahmy and two of his colleagues who worked for Al Jazeera. They’re accused for fabricating news as members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They stand trial and a sham court sentences them. Once inside Cairo’s notorious Scorpion Prison, Fahmy finds himself imprisoned with Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Al Qaeda fighters, and ISIS sympathisers. He gets to know some of them, and the reader gets a sense of what’s going in the Middle East. The book chronicles the worldwide effort to free Fahmy, as well he writes about the two women, Fahmy’s wife Marwa Omara, who risked a lot to fight for his release, and Amal Clooney, the celebrated lawyer who championed his battle for freedom. This book is currently being developed for a major motion picture, and there’s a documentary by David Paperny in the works for the CBC. Mohamed Fahmy is a dual Canadian-Egyptian journalist and war correspondent. He entered Iraq on the first day of the war in 2003 with the Los Angeles Times, and was part of the Peabody Award winning team at CNN that covered the Arab Spring. He was appointed Egypt bureau chief for Al Jazeera English in 2013, a network he is now suing. He and his wife Marwa founded the Fahmy Foundation, a non-profit organisation that is advocating for imprisoned journalists and prisoners of conscience worldwide. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia. The Twitter handle is @MFFahmy11, and the website is at www.fahmyfoundation.org. The book is published by Random House, and written with Carol Shaben, and its foreword is by Amal Clooney. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Mohamed Fahmy; Mr. Fahmy, good morning.