Alaa al-Aswany protests Hebrew translation of novel

One of Egypt's best-selling novelists has lashed out at an unauthorized Hebrew translation of his best known novel, describing it as intellectual "theft."

Alaa al-Aswany told The Associated Press on Friday that he will sue an Israeli center for translating his hit book, "The Yacoubian Building," because he is opposed to cultural normalization with Israel.

The Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information acknowledged it translated it against Al-Aswany's will on the grounds of "expanding cultural awareness."

The 2002 novel which was reprinted at least eight times and translated to some 29 languages, is a trenchant critique of Egypt's current socio-economic situation colored with nostalgia for a more tolerant past.

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