Basma Abdel Aziz



“It seems hugely significant to me that it’s a woman who has written this book, dared to point her finger in the eyes of authority in spite of what I fear are very genuine threats to her own well-being.”
— Counterpunch

Basma is an Egyptian writer, psychiatrist, and visual artist. Early on, she earned the nickname ‘the rebel’ for her indefatigable struggle against injustice, torture, and corruption. A weekly columnist for Egypt’s al-Shorouk newspaper, she represents a fresh and necessary female voice in Arabic journalism and fiction. She is the winner of the Sawiris Cultural Award, the General Organisation for Cultural Palaces award, and the Ahmed Bahaa-Eddin Award.

Basma graduated from Medical school in 2000, specialising in Psychiatry, before gaining a Masters of Neuropsychiatry in 2005, and a Diploma of sociology from The Institute of Arab Research and Studies in 2010.

Basma works for Al Abbasseya mental health hospital, is a columnist at Al Shorouk newspaper, writing weekly in the opinion page under the title impressions, a fiction and non-fiction writer and visual artist.

Previously she worked for El Nadeem centre in psychological management and rehabilitation of victims of torture and violence on refutal basis from 2002 till 2012.

Basma has written a number of fiction and non-fiction books, most recent is Power of text: The Discourse of Al Azhar and The Crisis of Ruling published by Sefsafa in 2016. Also Memoire of oppression: studying the system of torture published By Dar Al Tanweer in 2014. Temptation of absolute power published by Sefsafa in 2011 in 4 successive editions; it is a sociological and historical study, documenting and analysing the violence course between citizens and the security institutes.

Basma’s debut novel Al Tabour has been translated by Melville house into English under the tittle The Queue and was released in May 2016. The book has attracted the attention of many literary critics and has been featured in the front page of New York Times, and compared to Orwell’s and Kafka’s work.

She also wrote two collections of short stories, the first one Ashan Rabena Yesahel or May God Make It Easy was published by Merit, 2007. Her second one Al Walad Allazy Ekhtafa or The Boy Who Disappeared was published by the cultural palaces administration (a governmental association) in 2009.

  • Awards
    Her debut novel The Queue was nominated for the long list of BTBA (Best Translated Book Award) in 2017.
  • She was named in Foreign Policy Magazine’s list as one of The 100 leading global thinkers for the year 2016.
  • The winner of Ahmad Bahaa El Dine association Award for young researchers in 2009.
  • The winner of Sawiris Foundation Award for Egyptian literature in 2008.
  • The winner of the Award of General Administration of Cultural palaces in 2008.

Sculpture and Paintings
Basma has held a number of individual exhibitions in public and private halls, both paintings and sculpture. Starting from the year 2002 she exhibited her work in Cairo Atelier, The International Center for Cultural Development, Nagui Hall for fine arts, Heliopolis Annual Salon, most recent in Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum.

She has shown work in many group exhibitions starting from 1997, like Small Art Works Salon in Mahmoud Mokhtar museum in 2010, Port Saiid Biennale (sculpture) 2009, The General exhibition (painting) 2008, Contemporary Sculpture exhibition in Saad Zaghloul Museum 2008.

Basma in the media

Foreign Policy Global Thinkers 2016 – Basma Abdel Aziz – For telling an Orwellian tale

Counterpunch – Review: Basma Abdel Aziz’s “The Queue”



Integrity 20’17 Appearances


Activism, resistance and propaganda


A call to action for a just, peaceful and prosperous world