If you know Doaa Farouk, you probably already know she is one of the very few people, let alone public figures, who don’t wear masks. Whether on her TV show or in her books, she talks directly to the people. She talks, in the most spontaneous way, about things each and every Egyptian experiences. As a result, people easily open up their minds to her until, as she mentions in the introduction of her new book, her head became on the verge of exploding with the amount of stories inside it. Which is where came the urge of writing her new book – Wesh Kosoof. From the very first pages of the book, the reader will discover that the title, which could roughly be translated as ‘Really Coy Girls’, is highly ironic. It is not Doaa the Egyptian woman and housewife who speaks this time, but Doaa whose job, as a TV presenter, is to listen to real-life problems in the Egyptian society on a daily basis.
Wesh Kosoof is a collection of Egyptian short stories which probe into the relationship between boys and girls, and men and women, and which happens to be a bit of a sensitive subject in the Egyptian society. The subject derives its sensitivity from the way it is dealt with in our conservative society. The problem with the Egyptian society is that it turned this subject from being sensitive to being a taboo. The purpose of religion is to discipline the desires of people only. The problem occurs when such desires are viewed as a shameful thing which, of course, is against human nature.
The author, on her turn, feels a duty towards the girls and the women of her society. They have every right to know about what is going on around them, though not in the blunt way which most writers and artists resort to now under the cover of realism. Though the book does have some strong words which the author uses to intensify the influence of the stories on the reader, the book still manages to, let us say, warn its readers of the dangers found in their society without contradicting itself by using explicit language. The book concludes with a story which answers some of the questions which may have occurred to the reader, especially regarding the fact that the book does not polish the stories before presenting them to the reader.
Hopefully, Wesh Kosoof would encourage other writers to transfer their experiences to others through a moral frame, regardless of the subject matter. This should not be restricted to books but to arts, as well. In the end, the main purpose of the written word or the picture is to mimic reality with a particular message for the sake of elevating the human soul. Isn’t it?