Muhammad El Hajj

Muhammad El Hajj


محمد الحاج

Muhammad El Hajj was born in 1986 and grew up in Cairo. He writes novels, short films, digital content and screenplays, including the screenplay of Ayten Amin’s award-winning film Villa 61 (2014). He is also a translator and writes articles in the Egyptian media Mada Masr. His first short story collection, Nobody Mourns the City’s Cats (Dar Al Tanweer, 2018) was well-received and won the Sawiris Cultural Award for the short story (Emerging Writers) category in 2019. He released a second book : On Masculinity: Two short stories and a coloring book for adult males [working title], published by Diwan Publishing, Egypt, in 2022. As in his first collection, most of the characters belong to the Egyptian middle class, and are exploring their expectations and mental representations. As its title suggests, the book deals with issues related to the crisis of masculinity and the male gaze as new social norms and visions come into conflict with traditional ones. This last book received the support of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).

His Twitter account (in Arabic):

© Twitter (personal account)
Date of birth : 1986
Country of birth: Egypt
Country of residence: Egypt
Publisher(s): Dar Altanweer

Selected bibliography

  • عن الذكورة: قصتان وكتاب تلوين للذكور البالغين, On Masculinity: Two Short Stories and a Coloring Book for Adult Males*, Diwan Publishing, Egypt, 2022
  • لا أحد يرثي لقطط المدينة, Nobody Mourns the City’s Cats*, Dar Al Tanweer, Egypt, 2018. English translations: texts available on Mada Masr “Two O’Clock on a Tuesday Afternoon” and ArabLit “Nobody Mourns the City’s Cats” and “An Eye for an Eye“, 2020, trans. by Yasmine Zohdi

*Working title


Out of Egypt by BULAQ, May 2021 (podcast)

Special Limited Publication: Stories from Muhammad al-Hajj’s ‘Nobody Mourns the City’s Cats’ by ArabLit, April 2020

In some scenes he takes the reader by the hand, without rushing or stalling, to evoke the effect of a delicately swiveling camera that captures both the material world and the thoughts and emotions of his characters by Mada Masr, February 2019

Two Stories on Panicking Masculinity by AFAC program, 2019

Prizes and awards

  • Nobody Mourns the City’s Cats won the Sawiris Cultural Award for the short story (Emerging Writers) category in 2019

Book(s) featured on this site

Reviewed by Pierre Girard