01 Nov '17

An Egyptian
on the other side of the sea

1507
door Nathalie Dirix
‘My determination and the power of curiosity are what brought me to Europe. Or as an Egyptian expression so aptly describes it: I wanted to see the other side of the sea.’ Nabil Hasaballa was 19 when he made up his mind to leave Egypt.

He wants to believe that his country can look forward to a brighter future. ‘The revolution in 2011 was a turning point. Not a lot has yet been achieved but the country has undergone a fundamental change. The wall of fear has collapsed. An ever-increasing number of people are finding the courage to speak freely.’

Hasaballa has now earned the right to call himself a writer. His first novel The Nile flows southwards came out in April. ‘Set shortly after the Egyptian revolution, the story introduces four main characters who are each trying to cope with the impact of this momentous event.’