Moving past the idea that he is Egypt’s best-selling novelist, Ahmed Mourad has always managed to take us on a one way ticket to a world of his creation, landing us in a mind-blowing plot-twist and eventually changing our paths with his thought-provoking ideas.
In your opinion, how would you define manhood?
In our language the word “ رجالاً” signifies standing up on your feet. For me manhood is being able to stand on your feet in different situations and “Regola” can be a characteristic for both men and women.
How do you think society defines manhood?
It has to do with authority and the idea that everything falls in the man’s hands. Anything he says has to go just because “he can.”
Are there any false concepts or notions about manhood that we inherit?
Of course, for example the idea that men always have to stand by their beliefs and refuse to change them even though they might develop with age.So my ideas from age 10 to 40 can’t change, because I simply can’t back down from any wrong.
How do you think these misconceptions affect our society?
Males are raised to know that they are males, and females are raised to acknowledge the manhood of the males. So a mother is likely to always ask her daughter to make her brother the food, and name herself “Om Fathy” although she also has Nehad and Noha for instance.
Is there something you wanted to do as a kid but was afraid of how society would view it?
I would sometimes feel like I can’t cry, can’t withdraw or feel hurt.
What are the misconceptions that you think need to change?
We need to stop thinking of women like they are totally different, that they lack what we have or that they are less competent. This idea stands in the way of equality.
What is the role of men at home?
It is to practice their manhood without the aggressiveness tied to it and to remember that every yell can cause insecurity to the children.
How would you raise a man well?
He has to see me treat his mother the way she deserves to be treated, to see me respect and love her without seeing this love as something shameful or inappropriate.
How did your parents raise you to be a man?
I owe who I am today to all the women in my life. My mother pushed me to read, my wife encouraged me to write and my daughters guide my way.