Layla Fee Al Qahera: 20 Aspiring Authors in one book!

Interviewed by: Farah Ahmed

In the light of discovering aspiring authors, The Reading Agency “Quotes Factory” initiated a competition using the hashtag #iRead. Offering twenty young authors the chance to write their short stories in a single body of work –but they all must occur in the same night: the night of the eclipse. We’ve talked with three sensational female writers to discuss their works, Sara Rifaat author of “Sahar”, Nesreen Khalil author of “Armageddon” and Hadeer Gamal author of “Khawya”.  

Nesreen Khalil-Writer of ‘Armageddon’:

“All the female writers have a promising future in Egypt, it’s just a supply and demand game,”-Nesreen Khalil 

Starting with the first footsteps of the talented author, Nesreen Khalil, She amazed us by her story ‘Armageddon’.Her journey started in freshman year, then it evolved in 2017 when she enrolled in the “Asir El Kotob” competition that included lots of prominent authors such as Bahaa Eldin Taher and Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, where she was nominated among the finalists. Then, she challenged herself to participate in “Quotes Factory” competition, for this year. Her story took around two days’ writing, but the preparation of the great author rise, took decades. Speaking of the writing industry, Nesreen states: “All the female writers have a promising future in Egypt, it’s just as a supply and demand game, that’s what makes some authors more prominent than the others.

Hadeer Gamal- Writer of “Khawya”:

“Layla Fee Al Qahera, as a project gathered numerous authors in one artistic work”-Hadeer Gamal

Driven by the craze of the Eclipse, we have our second story “Khawya” by Hadeer Gamal. The young author was inspired by the great authors, ‘Naguib Mahfouz’ and ‘Youssef Zidan’. That’s why she started to write school plays at the age of Sixteen and then wrote broadcast programs, until she finally had her first step being a part of  “Layla Fee Al Qahera”. The story took her around a week of thinking and two days of writing. “Layla Fee Al Qahera as a project gathered numerous authors in one artistic work as a new hope for all the aspiring authors out there,” she says. 

Sarah Rifaat-Writer of “Sahar”:

“The book is very real, it would ring so many bells” – Sara Rifaat

“The book is very real, it would ring so many bells. It is us naked and exposed. It is real,” Sara Rifaat says. Moving forward to our third story “Sahar”, the twenty-one-years-old author was provoked by the society rituals that hid the issue of “women cheating” and only forgave men for their betrayal. “Sahar, is the bold story of a woman that came to life through her cheats,” she says. Sara began her writing passion by keeping a diary since fourth grade. Now she’s a part-time content editor for the Swedish audio-books company “Kitab Sawti”. “It was a dream come true,” Sara continues. “I was rejected many times before, but seeing a sign that I was actually on the right path fueled my tank a bit”.


Our three amazing authors have some tips for all future writers out there. They advise them to read a lot. Respect the readers’ minds enough to create real and memorable stories, rather than commercial ones. And to always work on themselves, and to never give up in the face of rejections. Eventually perseverance and hard work pay off.


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