First Language(s): Arabic
Second Language(s): English, Dutch
Hader Morsy is a writer, coder, scuba diver, and saxophone player originally from Alexandria, Egypt. He's been calling Amsterdam home for quite some time now. His work revolves around identity, immigration, and social justice issues.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. When I was 10, my school held a fair where an older kid sold some of his used books. I had just heard the name "Jules Verne" from Back to the Future 3 and decided to buy that book. I was consumed by it for days and could not put it down until I finished it. That book was probably my gateway to reading.
What was the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
Historically, oral storytelling is an art that was passed through generations in Egypt, mostly folk tales. I had done some training back in Egypt in this centuries-old tradition. After moving to Europe, I tried to use the same techniques to translate and tell the same Egyptian folk tales, ones not well known outside of Egypt. I found myself writing new stories inspired by my identity, maybe to cope with the changes I was going through.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
Scuba diving is a sort of meditative activity. You have to focus on your breathing, and everything is silent around you. Despite that, it's obviously a thrilling activity. I can specifically mention two instances: swimming through a 20 m deep Barracuda twister in Sipadan Island (Malaysia) and exploring a sunken German minesweeper in Malta.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
I don't really listen to music while writing. I think some background noise works better for me. This could vary wildly, from my parakeets vocalising loudly to the noise of backgammon players in a bustling coffee shop in my hometown.
Issue Fall '23