Egypt: Arab Spring will go on for years, writer Ben Jelloun

Award-winning novelist foresees long winter of bloodshed

28 January, 18:39

(ANSAmed) - JAIPUR (INDIA), JANUARY 28 - ''The Arab Spring is not over yet. It will go on for years, and there will be more slaughter,'' Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun told ANSA on Monday during a literature festival in the city of Jaipur, the capital of the north-western Indian state of Rajasthan.

''It is a struggle for the same principles that sparked the Arab Spring, which are justice and respect for the rule of law,'' the author of 'The Jasmine Revolution' and 'Racism Explained to my Daughter' said of the ongoing violence in Egypt on the second anniversary of its uprising. ''The Islamists now in power have shown they are incapable of ruling without treading on personal dignity, and without the help of corruption.'' ''Democracy has not been assimilated yet in countries like Egypt and Tunisia,'' the writer explained. ''We must wait a few more years before the Arab Spring consolidates. Before that, there is a long winter ahead, one with many massacres, especially in Syria where tragedy strikes daily.'' The UN, says Ben Jelloun, is ''good for nothing, a machine for eating money'' incapable of stopping ''daily slaughters carried out by a barbarian named Bashar al-Assad''. The writer also said he supports French intervention in Mali against ''gangster'' Islamic extremists. ''Fighting these bands of criminals and drug traffickers that are armed and financed by some states and billionaire lobbies is absolutely legitimate,'' said Ben Jelloun. ''They must be stopped before they enter Algiers.

The novelist and Prix Goncourt winner today participated in a round table on Arab literature with Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif, author of 'Cairo, My City, Our Revolution' and British-Palestinian writer Selma Dabbagh. (ANSAmed).

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