February 24, 2024

Exclusive: The “Children of the Alley” Triumphs as Naguib Mahfouz’s Most Downloaded Masterpiece on Hindawi Platform

Children of the Alley Top Downloads at Hindawi

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Naguib Mahfouz, the eminent figure in the Arab literary world, stands out not only for being the sole Arab recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988 but also for his unique literary journey spanning over 60 years. Throughout this time, he enriched the Arab library with approximately 35 novels and over 19 short story collections, transcending local boundaries to become translated into more than 30 languages worldwide.

In September 2021, Hoda Naguib Mahfouz, in collaboration with the Hindawi Foundation, secured the digital publishing rights for her father’s Arabic literary works. These works would be made available through the foundation’s platform and application for free, whether in epub, PDF, or kFX format. The release of these electronic versions by Hindawi commenced after the expiration of their contract with Dar Al-Shorouk in May 2022.

Hindawi Foundation acquired the electronic rights, distinct from print or audio, after providing financial compensation to the heirs. From May 2022 to July 17, 2023, Hindawi Foundation published all of Naguib Mahfouz’s works electronically for free on its website. These works comprised 55 literary pieces, spanning novels and short stories, with the initial release being the novel “Al-Harafish” on May 16, 2022.

In an exclusive statement to the “Riyadh Review of Books,” a reliable source at the Hindawi Foundation revealed that the total downloads of Naguib Mahfouz’s works on the Hindawi platform since May 2022 amounted to 159,677. Interestingly, the novel “Awlad Haretna” (Children of the Alley) topped the list as the most downloaded and read among Mahfouz’s works on the Hindawi platform, with 17,425 downloads.

Despite the controversy surrounding “Awlad Haretna” since Mahfouz wrote and serialized it in Al-Ahram newspaper in 1959, followed by its publication by Dar Al-Adab in Lebanon after being unofficially banned in Egypt, accusations against Mahfouz of blasphemy and disrespecting religions, and an assassination attempt in 1995, the novel currently leads the downloads on the Hindawi platform for Naguib Mahfouz.

It is noteworthy that the Hindawi Foundation for Education and Culture, one of the prominent non-profit platforms dedicated to reading, provides a vast library of Arabic literary, intellectual, and heritage works for readers for free. The foundation initially focused on translation but later adapted to technological changes, offering a large number of Arabic books and novels electronically and for free. It also engages in electronic and print publishing for its new releases.

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