Friday, February 15, 2008

Fisk-al Forgery

What would you do if you discovered a book on sale with your name on it, and it was a book that you definitely didn't write?

Independent journalist Robert Fisk discovers a biography of Saddam Hussein with his name on the cover.
It arrived for me in Beirut under plain cover, a brown envelope containing a small, glossy paperback in Arabic, accompanied by a note from an Egyptian friend. "Robert!" it began. "Did you really write this?"

The front cover bore a photograph of Saddam Hussein in the dock in Baghdad, the left side of his head in colour, the right side bleached out, wearing a black sports jacket but with no tie, holding a Koran in his right hand. "Saddam Hussein," the cover said in huge letters. "From Birth to Martyrdom." And then there was the author's name – in beautiful, calligraphic typeface and in gold in the top, right-hand corner. "By Robert Fisk."

So there it was, 272 paperback pages on the life and times of the Hitler of Baghdad and selling very well in the Egyptian capital. "We all suspect a well-known man here," she added. "His name is Magdi Chukri."
And of course being the great investigative journalist he is, Fisk is soon on Magdi Chukri's tale.

A very enjoyable piece which you can read here.


Anonymous said...

It's odd that when he see's a book "by Robert Fisk" he automatically assumes he's the "Robert Fisk" who wrote it, doesn't it ? I mean, "Robert Fisk" must be a fairly common name.

bibliobibuli said...

sure, cairo has pages and pages of them in the phone directory.

Madcap Machinist said...

"Fisk al-forgery" waaaahahahha good one sharon!

bibliobibuli said...

glad my wit is appreciated :-D

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Cairo has unlisted phone numbers :) or even mobile phones :)

Anonymous said...

So it's not impossible that there's a "Robert Fisk" in Cairo with an unlisted number or a cellphone :)