A Street Cat Named Bob
All Arab media houses, newspapers and magazines are complaining about lack of readers. We are practically suffering from a phase of ‘reading desertification’ in the Arab world. If the late famous writer Nagueb Mahfouz was born in this period, I am sure he would have chosen a different profession other than writing, which has now turned into an easy task that needs no talent nor knowledge. It has become just like singing in the bathroom without any audiences. Everyone in the Arab world is anxious to express, write, compose and publish regardless of the quality of opinions they express or mastery of writing. There are several printing press publishing thousands of books, novels and articles to the extent that writers have outnumbered readers.
Such writing desertification is mainly happening in Arabic while in other languages, millions of copies are still printed by publishing houses. We all are familiar with the British writer, J K Rowling who became one of Such writing desertification is mainly happening in Arabic while in other languages, millions of copies are still printed the world’s richest women after writing the ‘Harry Potter’ series. A few days ago, a new film named ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ was released which is based on a book about a failed street singer and drug addict who is always accompanied by his cat Bob, which eventually helps the singer quit drugs.
The story is entirely based on the personal life of the writer who is a British guitarist named James Bowen. After a publishing house’s manager noticed how passersby in Covent Garden were attached to him and his cat that usually stands between his feet or on his shoulders while he plays his guitar, he asked the singer to write his own story. When published, the book became a best-seller and later turned into a movie adaptation. Those who keep questioning the credibility of disastrous statistics issued by international organizations about reading in the Arab World, such doubts surrender before tragic facts which are noticed in all book fairs in the Arab countries.
— Translated by Kuwait Times