Friday, December 12, 2008

Egyptian Da Vinci Code

We got our own Da Vinci Code and our own Dan Brown whom the Church is currently fighting. Our Da Vinci Code is Azazel and our Dan Brown is Dr. Youssef Ziedan,the historical researcher and the director of Manuscripts Department; as well as Supervisor of Acquisitions at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

I recommend you to visit Dr. Ziedan rich personal website in order to know more about him“ he deserves better website from design.This is very old one.”

Dr. Ziedan published a historical novel called Azazel : The Devil with in.


The novel is about Christianity in Egypt in the fifth century and the fight between the new religion and its believers from one side and azazil_online0 the old pagan religions and its believers from another side. The hero of the novel is “Hiba” , the Egyptian monk whose mother ,the Christian conspired with other Christians to kill his pagan father.”Hiba” had these conservation with his own Azazel inside him.The novel covers historical events that took place like the tragic death of Hypatia of Alexandria by the hands of the Egyptian radical Christians along with other events mostly theological ones based on real manuscripts from early centuries.

This made the church angry and accuse Ziedan of using biased and false resources as I read for instance “The Holy blood and holy grail” and some of the catharses beliefs beside fabrication of manuscripts “The novel starts with acknowledgement that it was based upon real historical manuscripts found in Syria”

Ziedan denied all that. After all he is a renewable historical researcher whose current job gave him the ability to check endless collections of manuscripts.Ziedan also believes that his novel is not the Da Vinci Code of Egypt , in fact it is better than it !! For him Da Vinci Code was originally a scenario of film !!!! I do not know from where he knew this , Da Vinci code was the second novel in book series written by Don Brown.

This is the second novel for Ziedan and currently ,it is a best selling novel in Egypt for several months now. It is from the top 2008 books of the year. This year there were many controversial books mostly political even the novels. Ziedan also was among the six finalist from the Arab novelists named for the second Arabic Booker Prize word. “Last year it was Egyptian Baha Taher"

I understand from all review its Arabic language is fantastic and despite begin a historical novel it is interesting enough. It is not like a Da Vinci Code ,it is not a thriller ,it is more historical philosophical novel.I think based on Ziedan ‘s writing s in the Egyptian newspapers , he refuses all kinds of terrorism especially based on religious terrorism and how religion is misused.

I have not read the novel yet but I am planning insh Allah to do this next year . Still I read its plot in the newspapers and I followed all this noise following it up till now.I could not ignore it despite I have not read because there was some Christian Egyptian blogger who wrote an offensive novel against Islam because of it. Ziedan is Muslim and despite being critic to the official history of Islam in Egypt ,some Christians believe that he is doing that intentionally and that he depends on the Islamic view only regarding Jesus Christ. The so-called Christian novel was very offensive that the Church had to come out deny that it was written by a Priest belongs it. “This shows you how the tension between the Muslims and Christians have reached” In the end the Police arrested that blogger still the Church is working on a book to fire back what it called Ziedan’s historical false accusations.

The Church also wanted this novel to be banned in Egypt , I once read that they wanted the Parliament to discuss its ban just like Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.

Ironically the anger of the Church made many people read this historical novel leading to its huge success ,still all those who read it believe it was fine piece of Art .

Whether he likes it or not , or he believes his novel is better than Da Vinci Code , Azazel became the official Da Vinci Code with its endless debate.

Updates :

  • Here is the book's link from "The Arabic alternative of" if you are interested to read "It is in Arabic"
  • There is very good nice for Ziaden , he made it to become from the finalist 6 authors


  1. Hi Zeinobia,
    Can you find out where and how we can order these books? In Arabic of course..
    Thanks your news on my private e-mail

  2. Looks like a fantastic read! I read Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and truly loved its factual historical context, but didn't like the fact that it seemed like another Hollywood thriller movie. I truly Azazel examines the current situation in a more serious light, but according to your synopsis of the novel, it looks like it will truly be better than the real Da Vinci Code. I'll be looking forward to reading it over this winter break!
    Thanks again for the great post:)

  3. @IMB,
    you welcome dear
    first of all here is link from Dar El Shorouk the publisher including the ISBN
    I could not find it in Amazon , the Arabic books there are rare but I found it

    @Mostafa, the film was not as great as the book but this is a well known rule books and novels are better than films
    Azazel is much more deeper ,it is not a detective story like Da Vinci Code more it seems to a journey of self discovery of Hiba
    Insh Allah you will read it and enjoy it :)

  4. I read Azazeel recently, and I think it is much deeper than Dan Brown's thrillers. The source of controversy here is Zidan's denouncement of religious extremism in general, and 5th century Christian extremism in particular. The novel also covered the fight between Orthodox Churches on the divine/human nature of Jesus (peace be upon him), and probably this is where the association to "The Davinci Code" came from.

    Overall I think the real message of the novel applies to all faiths, not just Christianity. It reminds me of Ossama Fawzi's movie "ba7eb elseema" and how the Egyptian church reacted to it.

  5. Hi all,

    Wow, the enthusiasm I see from the readers comments above to fetch this fictitious novel indicates huge thurst and interest in everything that insults and accuses Coptic Christianity history with lousy and fabricated twist of facts!

    Go ahead, continue your way in increasing your hatered culture and thoughts towards your coptic brothers in the country by encouraging reading and believing these fabrications!

    And continue claiming that the religious conflict in Egypt is coming from Copts themselves...

    Continue topping the world with your false literature which justifies hatered to the "other" rather than reading literature that inspires you to build peace and development to Egypt!
    Now I guess we know who is driving the Egyptians' minds into fanaticism and later on crying on Egypt's unity that was there one day!

    Beware what your real dircetives may lead the people and the country to!

  6. I think this is anti-Coptic propaganda.

    Dioscorus Boles

  7. @minesweeper76, it is for sure deeper than Dan Brown's novels, Dan Brown's success came because the novel was light thrill not a deep philosophical one like Azazeel
    Azazeel just Bahab Al Cinema are universal ideas you can find in every society all around the world , you can find the same conflict in India and in Japan
    Strangely Bahab Al Cinema also created the same controversy do you remember ??

    @Reason, what if this novel was written by a Christian !!?? Did not some of the incidents mentioned in the novel take place in Egypt in ancient times ??? Why do we have to deny it ??The novel did not take Christianity but the rather misunderstanding of religion that can reach to radicalism , not to mention the main theme of the novel is the internal struggle between the person and his devil , I think this is a universal idea

    @Ras Howuss, I do not agree on this, the real anti-Coptic propaganda is the huge attack on this novel and its writer

  8. When we say it is anti-Coptic, we are expressing our opinion. We do not issue fatwas, murder or burn books. It is anti-Coptic propaganda if you really think about it, as the cull of the poor Copts' swine in Manshiat Nassir recently, if one thinks about it, is anti-Coptic.


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