Media figure Sherif El Hotabiy is to participate in Cairo International Book Fair’s 52nd round with his first novel in the English language titled “The Merchant”, The novel was initially released in May 2021 by ElSaid Publishing House and reached readers through a number of digital platforms.
Sherif El Hotabiy expressed his gratitude and excitement to be participating in the Cairo International Book Fair, the biggest and most significant book fair in the Middle East.
Sherif El Hotabiy added that the long-awaited novel took around 11 years to finish, five of which were spent in preparation and background studies, while the writing process itself took some good 6 years alone, He struggled to find time to write in the midst of his busy schedule working in the media field, throughout the years, as a tv presenter, news anchor, editor in chief and reporter.
The fiction novel is inspired by many legends, myths, and fairytales and focuses on the most looked up to sea master of all times “Zhen Hu”. The man who owned a fleet made of thousands of ships and a colossal fortune of gold faces a cunning conspiracy plotted against him by underworld crime lords and pirates.
“The Merchant” started to form up in my mind when I was in school and it kept on expanding because of its compatible nature that smoothly merged with other stories, but the real trigger was when I watched a documentary about “Zhen Hu” and found him the perfect fit to the novel’s main character or hero.
The inspirations were so many that I even listed them at the back of the book; Stories like Cinderella, red riding hood, Arthur; music, buildings, characters, everyone or everything that told a story inspired me.”Sherif El Hotabiy
“I think my imagination was developed and trained when I moved from London to Cairo at a young age. I couldn’t understand a single Arabic word, so I had to imagine the story behind everything that was going on around me. Even when I looked at comic books, I had to imagine a story that fitted the pictures.
Later, I started writing in Arabic than when I studied literature in I.G.C.S.E. I started writing poems in the English language and it worked out well that I even won local and international awards.
When I graduated I joined Nile TV international and had the chance of writing and presenting the news with a poetic sense. Yes! It took me years of hard work to finish writing my first novel”.Sherif El Hotabiy