Abdel Rasheed Mahmoudi’s award winning After Coffee was going to be named after an Asmahan song

Abdel Rasheed Mahmoudi, winner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award winner for Literature. Ravindranath K / The National
Powered by automated translation

Abdel Rasheed Mahmoudi revealed he was close to scrapping the title of his novel, After Coffee, which won the literature category of The Sheikh Zayed Book Awards.

Speaking as a part of his session at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair on Friday, the Egyptian writer said he was planning to call his book Night of Good Times after the song by Syrian songstress Asmahan.

“This is because part of the novel occurs in Vienna and Asmahan’s song is inspired by the city.”

Mahmoudi eventually settled on After Coffee due to its link with the plot-ending.

“It occurs in the last scene,” he remarked.

“Where the novel’s hero, Methat, faces the women and must decide whether he should surrender to his passions or stand firm.”

Announced last week by award organisers, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), Mahmoudi received a Dh750,000 cash prize after his novel stood out amongst 344 entries.

The Abu Dhabi Dhabi International Book Fair runs until Monday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. For details go to www.adbookfair.com