Revolution is in the air, again. Veterans of the 60s protest movement in the West and the democratic uprisings which fractured the Soviet Union are toasting the amazing scenes in the Middle East, where protests against dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia ignited a fuse which promises to spread through the Arab world.
Reactionary forces – ranging from brutal repression in Gaddafi’s Libya to US-sanctioned Saudi troops in Bahrain – may stamp out dissent for now but, if the groundswell is genuine, for how long?
“It’s not over yet,” says Tariq Ali, the 60s militant-socialist turned writer, historian, film-maker and political commentator.
“The first round has gone to the people but who knows how many other rounds there are to go?”
An interview with Tariq Ali on writing novels, by Maniza Naqvi for 3 Quarks Daily, February 1, 2010
Maniza Naqvi: You have spent a lifetime leading political, anti war and socialist activism through demonstrations, protest marches; political articles, books, lectures, interviews, and speeches . You have spoken out in all sorts of forums ranging from university settings to the streets during anti war demonstrations. You are noted as the leader of the Left in Europe. You’ve been a hero and example for many of us. So, in all of this, where does writing novels fit in? You have now written five novels, two of which I absolutely loved reading: The Book of Saladin and Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree.
Tariq Ali: I started writing fiction in 1990. Why? I don’t know. I felt like it …