(Arabic: الأسواني علاء )
Alaa al-Aswany is a well-known Egyptian author, most widely known for his novel The Yacoubian Building.
Originally studying to be a dentist, Aswany resided in Chicago for 17 years where he contributed numerous articles to various Egyptian newspapers on literature, politics and social issues.
The Yacoubian Building, his second novel, was widely controversial with its ironic depictions of modern Egyptian society. It was translated into over eight languages, adapted into film in 2006 and a television series later in 2007.
The book is well known across Egypt and the Middle East, earning Aswany a spot on the list of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World.
Published in February 2011, Aswany’s latest book is titled On the State of Egypt: A Novelist’s Provocative Reflections. More controversial than ever, the book is composed of previously published essays and articles reflecting Egypt’s contemporary political history, including notes on Egypt’s January 25 Revolution.
Aswany was briefly put forward by admirers as a potential candidate for Egypt’s first post-Revolution presidential election, but he never submitted his candidacy or contended for the position.