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Naguib Mahfouz quotes

I've never worked in politics, never been a member of an official committee or a political party.

Hosni Mubarak... his constitution is not democratic, but he is democratic. We can voice our opinions now. The press is free.

God did not intend religion to be an exercise club.

If you want to move people, you look for a point of sensitivity, and in Egypt nothing moves people as much as religion.

In Egypt today most people are concerned with getting bread to eat. Only some of the educated understand how democracy works.

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

I love Sufism as I love beautiful poetry, but it is not the answer. Sufism is like a mirage in the desert. It says to you, come and sit, relax and enjoy yourself for a while.

According to Islamic principles, when a man is accused of heresy, he is given the choice between repentance and punishment.

I started writing while I was a little boy. Maybe it's because I was reading a lot of books I admired, and thought that I would like to write something like that someday. Also, my love for good writing pushed me.

Events at home, at work, in the street - these are the bases for a story.

I defend both the freedom of expression and society's right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things.

It's clearly more important to treat one's fellow man well than to be always praying and fasting and touching one's head to a prayer mat.

We are like a woman with a difficult pregnancy. We have to rebuild the social classes in Egypt, and we must change the way things were.

At my age it is unseemly to be pessimistic.

I believe society has a right to defend itself, just as the individual has the right to attack that with which he disagrees.

As the tension eases, we must look in the direction of agriculture, industry and education as our final goals, and toward democracy under Mr Mubarak.

History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself.

I didn't make any money from my writing until much later. I published about 80 stories for nothing. I spent on literature.

I reject any path which rejects life, but I can't help loving Sufism because it sounds so beautiful. It gives relief in the midst of battle.

I was a government employee in the morning and a writer in the evening.