very cheap and long-known drugs help save the lungs with coronavirus

Cloving hospital on the basis of the Medical Scientific and Educational Center (ISSC) Moscow State University named after M.V.Lomonosov took the first patients on April 21 and completed his work on June 13. It turned out that it was possible to achieve the best treatment results for COVID-19 in Moscow. Over the entire period, 4 patients died, and among severe patients who got mechanical ventilation, the mortality rate was less than 14% (for comparison, the average for the city and the world was up to 70 – 80%). Eighteen doctors out of 220 employees of the hospital were infected with coronavirus, there were no deaths among the medical staff.

What approaches were used at the University Hospital of Moscow State University to achieve such results? We continue the conversation with the head. Department of Therapy, Faculty of Fundamental Medicine, Moscow State University, Head of the Department of Age-Associated Diseases, Medical Scientific and Educational Center, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Cardiologist Yana Orlova.


– Most of those who are ill or are afraid to get sick are worried about fibrotic changes in their lungs. They say that you have developed special therapy that can reduce the risk of developing fibrosis. Is it possible?!

– Yes, we launched an appropriate clinical study. There are no final results yet, but we have developed clinical practice.

“What did you do to save the lungs?”

– We used a combination of bromhexine and spironolactone (both are long-known very cheap drugs. – Ed.). Bromhexine is an expectorant that has been prescribed to patients with pneumonia and cough for many years. At the same time, experimental data showed that this drug can block a specific enzyme and impede the penetration of coronavirus into cells. True, it was on this effect that we counted to a lesser extent in inpatients, since such an effect is important mainly in the early stages of the disease. But the expectorant effect of bromhexine really helps patients with COVID. I heard that our colleagues in Peter launched a study of bromhexine for prophylactic purposes. We will wait for the results.

Coronavirus infected 18 doctors from 220 employees of the hospital, there were no deaths among the medical staffPhoto: Ivan MAKEEV


– The second drug – spironolactone – is traditionally widely used in cardiology for the treatment of heart failure, severe hypertension. It has a small diuretic, magnesium and potassium-preserving effect, continues Yana. Orlova. – It has several mechanisms through which it can be useful in coronavirus infection.

Firstly, a mechanism that prevents the development of fibrosis in general in the body. There are works that, in particular, show that spironolactone reduces fibrosis in the heart. At the same time, it is known that the tendency to fibrosis is not local, but systemic – where there is more inflammation, there will certainly be fibrosis. And we see, of course, fibrotic changes in the “covide” in our patients. Therefore, we prescribed spironolactone as a drug for the prevention of this process.

Secondly, this drug blocks sex hormone receptors, in particular testosterone. Some published studies suggest that “high-testosterone” men suffer from “covid” more often and develop more severe fibrotic changes. Therefore, blocking these receptors for several weeks during COVID treatment may be useful in reducing the severity of complications. We are not talking about a longer intake, since male patients are unlikely to agree with a decrease in testosterone levels in the long term.

And perhaps the most important point. In almost all of our patients, we observed hypokalemia (a decrease in potassium levels. – Ed.). With coronavirus infection, potassium is intensely excreted from the body, and scientific articles even suggest that hypokalemia serves as the trigger for a cytokine storm. So spironolactone has a real chance to reduce the risk of this dangerous complication. But the main thing, in my opinion, is that lowering the level of potassium in the body is extremely harmful to the heart and triggers life-threatening rhythm disturbances, increasing the risk of sudden death. We, like all others, replenished potassium with droppers, but it was more effective to retain it in the body with the help of spironolactone.

Men certainly get worse than women;  the elderly are heavier than the young;  overweight people are heavier than patients without excess weight Photo: Ivan MAKEEV

Men certainly get worse than women; the elderly are heavier than the young; overweight people are heavier than overweight patientsPhoto: Ivan MAKEEV


– Yana Arturovna, how many patients did you have on average?

– About 10 – 14 days. But someone and 50 days.

– Have you noticed signs by which it can be assumed that the disease in the person brought is likely to go the hard way?

– Such studies were carried out in the world, our clinical practice confirmed them. Men certainly get worse than women; the elderly are heavier than the young; overweight people are heavier than overweight patients. Men with a classic male type of baldness, a lot of facial hair, we can say brutal men get sick harder.

– Under what conditions did you discharge patients?

– We acted as close as possible to the recommendations Ministry of Health: so that the temperature for three days was not higher than 37.5 degrees; so that C-reactive protein (an indicator of inflammation) is lower than 10 mg / l, and saturation, that is, the level of oxygen in the blood, is higher than 96%.


– How often do you get sick doctors and nurses?

– In the first month no one got sick at all. We have a very powerful epidemiological service. The head of the sanitary-epidemiological department, a senior researcher, correctly organized the whole process, and for the first two weeks she personally worked in the sanitary inspection room at the exit from the “red zone” and helped doctors and nurses who were exhausted after the shift safely remove protective clothing.

Then both people’s fatigue and viral load accumulated. By the middle of the second month, sick people began to appear. There were no seriously ill patients. We treated part of the staff in our observation, part of it was treated at home. In total, 18 people were infected from the medical staff (less than 10%).

– Doctors take something for prevention? Vitamins C, D, Zinc?

– I saw the recommendations of American nutritionists, they speak out positively about taking zinc, melatonin and vitamin C. There were somewhat conflicting data on vitamin D. But we did not give any such recommendations to our employees. We have all the prevention was associated with minimizing contacts and other measures of epidemiological safety.

Physicians are the heroes of our time.“If you think that you are special and that a pandemic will not affect you, you are deeply mistaken,” listen to what the doctors who are fighting with coronavirus say


“They used a cure for gout against COVID”: How patients were treated in a hospital that showed the best results in Moscow

The results of treatment at the university clinic of Moscow State University were the best in the capital. “Komsomolskaya Pravda” learned the details of how doctors and scientists saved severe patients [Часть 1]

Virologist told whether it is possible to disinfect masks from coronavirus in sunlight

And also why the epidemic is gaining strength in southern countries and whether the sun affects the incidence – all this in an interview with George Vikulova (details)


A powerful thunderstorm with hail hit one of the villages of the Tver region | SOCIETY: Events | SOCIETY

A powerful thunderstorm with hail hit June 28 on the Rameshkovsky district of the Tver region. Local residents reported this to AiF Tver and shared photos from the scene.

June 28 morning in the village of Rameshki, which is 60 kilometers from Tver, a real winter storm fell. Residents took to the street and found paths covered with snow.

“The wind was strong, roofs were torn off in some places. Somewhere trees fell, including near the road. That’s how they went to bed in June, and woke up in November, ”local residents comment on the situation.

Photo: AiF in Tver
Photo: AiF in Tver
Photo: AiF in Tver
Photo: AiF in Tver


In India per day from lightning strikes killed more than 100 people :: Society :: RBC

Photo: Ezra Acayan / Getty Images

Lightning caused the death of 107 people in the East and the North of India on June 25. About this newspaper The Times of India.

According to the publication, as a result of the discharges killed 83 residents of the Eastern state of Bihar, 24 people were killed in the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Most of the victims caught thunderstorms during the field work. Despite the warnings of emergency services declared a heightened level of danger, the people did not escape from the weather in houses.

Prime Minister Narendra modi on Twitter expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. According to him, state governments will have relatives financial assistance.

20 June in the Park of Museum-reserve “Kolomenskoye” in the South of Moscow from a lightning strike injured a man and a woman. They were hospitalized.


In New York, “the rainbow after the storm” in a church in Queens

Monday 1er June, a day like no other for Saint Bartholomew. Nestled away from the big avenues, shopping in eastern Queens, a borough of new york, this great church of the beginning XXe century has re-opened its doors on this day after more than two months of closure because of Covid-19. On the forecourt, Sister Lucy Mendez welcomes the faithful with a smile (and of the hydroalcoholic gel). Inside the imposing building, where more than 5,000 parishioners follow each other usually during the masses the weekend, a handful of people, far from each other, pray on a background of music. ” I cried like a babysays Sandra Muñoz, one of the parishioners. I have been overwhelmed by the prayers, the music, the atmosphere. I hadn’t realized how much the church I had missed. It is as if my soul had suddenly felt the absence. “

The epicenter of the epicenter “of the pandemic in New York city

While the churches re-opened gradually in New York and in the rest of the country, the recovery has a peculiar taste at Saint Bartholomew’s. Located in Elmhurst, a neighborhood populated by immigrants and is considered as “the epicenter of the epicenter” of the pandemic in New York city, the church has lost almost 70 of its members, according to father Rick Beuther, pastor of the parish for nine years. “We think that the balance sheet is even more heavy. We will all find out, as that one will find our parishioners”, he says.

His ward has many “essential workers” (drivers, cooks…) immigrants, exposed to the virus, which do not have the means or health insurance to protect themselves. ” When the virus spread in the whole world, I am worried because our parish brings together the world precisely. 60 % of our parishioners are hispanic, 40 % are asian. I am the only one born in the United States. We have masses in English, Spanish, mandarin, burmese, bengali, indonesian…lists there. It was like a tsunami. “

“I’m sick, I need help “

It is not only parishioners who are sick. Shortly after the last public mass, Sunday, march 15, father Rick Beuther began to have fever and cough. He has lost the taste and smell, one of the symptoms of Covid. Sister Lucy Mendez, head of religious education within the parish, has also contracted the virus. “I fell asleep one night thinking that I wasn’t going to survive. And then I opened my eyes the next day I feel grateful to see another day “, she says.

→ TO READ. Coronavirus : all the nuances of the ” lockdown “

During the closure, the Colombian has continued to contact his 50 catechists, assistants and 1 000 students who benefit from the services of the parish. ” Even sick, I had to show myself strong to reassure them. There was a lot of fear in the face of this disease. “The father Beuther did the same. ” I spent hundreds of calls, written e-mails to catch up on the news, pursued the masses on Facebook. 80 % of our parishioners are undocumented. When they lost their work they were not able to touch the various assistance being implemented by the State or the unemployment benefits. We receive a lot of messages that started with “I’m sick, I need help. We have no more food. “

According to the instructions of the diocese, the church could not arrange funerals for parishioners disappeared. ” Many have opted for the cremation less expensive than burial. In addition, the local funeral home didn’t have enough room for the coffins, ” says father Rick Beuther. Since its reopening, the church receives a limited number of followers simultaneously. After having organized two distributions of food, she continues to give to its families $ 3,000 of vouchers to spend at the local supermarket. ” See the parishioners come back fills me with joystresses Sister Lucy. This is going to be a long process, but we finally see the rainbow after the storm. “


PREMIER will show a film based on the play by Ostrovsky with Makarov and Aksenova

On the PREMIER platform, the film will premiere based on the book by Alexander Ostrovsky. Spectators will be able to see the tape of Gregory of Constantinople as early as May 21.

The film adaptation was based on the plot of the famous play “The Storm”: the main character – married Ekaterina Kabanova – will be played by Lyubov Aksenova. Throughout the film, at first glance, the happy girl will have to fight with the nit-picking mother-in-law of Kabanikh, and the weak-willed husband Tikhon (Ivan Makarevich) is in no hurry to intercede for the missus. Later it turns out that a relative of the mayor of the city in which the family lives is in love with the main character.

Shot from the film “Thunderstorm”. Photo: PREMIER

UNION Studio under summer rains: TNT has prepared a new release of a musical projectMen against women: in the program, representatives of two stand-up programs on the channel will clash.

Note that earlier the “Thunderstorm” could only be seen at film festivals in Russia, Italy, Spain and several other countries. Therefore, the broadcast of the film on domestic TV can be called the debut of “Thunderstorms”. In addition to Aksenova and Makarevich, Victoria Tolstoganova, Maria Shalaeva and Alexei Makarov will also appear in the film. In addition to the role, Ivan Makarevich also wrote three soundtracks for the film, some of which the viewer will also hear.


23 injured in field hospital tents collapse in Qatar

Doha: 23 workers were injured in a Qatari hospital when tents attached to the hospital collapsed in order to expand to treat Covid-19 patients due to a strong storm, according to local media.

The winds, which reached a speed of 72 kilometers per hour on Thursday, led to the collapse of two tents that had been established on the campus of Hazm Mabrik General Hospital in the Qatar Industrial Area, according to the Gulf Times newspaper.

None of the patients were injured and most of the injured were hospital employees who were slightly injured during the operation of transporting patients at the facility, which is located 20 km southwest of central Doha, according to the newspaper quoted the Ministry of Health.

The strong winds in Qatar caused the “Boeing 787” belonging to Qatar Airways to collide with the Boeing I350 at Hamad Airport in Doha, and the material damage was limited.

The densely populated industrial area, home to the majority of migrant workers, was the epicenter of the outbreak of the Corona Virus in Qatar.

Qatar, which has hundreds of thousands of foreign workers working on projects related to the 2022 World Cup, has reported 12 deaths and 14,096 cases of Covid-19.

Hospital director Hussain Ishaq said the incident was being treated “very seriously” and an investigation had been opened.

He was quoted by the Gulf Times newspaper as saying that hospital staff “helped ensure that none of the patients who were safely transferred to other hospitals were infected.”

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“Master and servant”, teaching in the heart of the storm

I spent a few years of my life in the company of Leo Tolstoy, surrounded by the pictures that his wife Sophie had taken of him. I read his notebooks and his newspaper, protected by the circle of his books. I looked up and it was the photograph of Yasnaya Poliana, her huge colonnaded wooden house, with a green roof, pinned above my desk, which brought me back to him. I still haven’t visited this property which was his Russia, and which he made, in a way, an eternal moment. I feared, and I still fear it, to discover it delivered to tourists when all these years, while I was working on her biography, I pushed each door, lifted each trunk from the attic, and that in winter , in the solitude of snow writing, I huddled against the large stove in the living room. The finished book – the book and not the intimate story that binds me to this writer -, I kept the dream of going there, but then in small steps, in stages, to prepare my heart to enter the lair of the one who was endowed with the most tragic gift – to carry humanity and the world with him.

Last year, finally, I took this first step. With my friend Maroussia, I approached Yasnaya Polyana through St. Petersburg. The February snow swirled in the halo of lampposts, flaked on the ice of the Neva, buried the city around us and rose to the sky in its star cluster. Saint Petersburg is not the city of Tolstoy. But, with her back turned to the vastness of the steppes of Russia, to the mysterious east from where the colors of Byzantium came to her, she yearns to try to measure herself against her prospects. Then it propels the spirit towards its endless train of plains and forests, in their confusion of birch and pine.

This spring, with Maroussia, we were to leave for Moscow and perhaps finally push further south, as far as Yasnaya Polyana. Nothing was pressing yet. But there was the coronavirus and we were kept on the edge of this trip as on a station platform after the train had left, for fear that there might never be another one.

There is always a novel, a short story or a character from Tolstoy to console me with sorrow or disillusionment. Today, in the uncertainty of this departure, I reopened Master and servant. I found Vassili Brekhounov there, the rich merchant who braves a snowstorm not to lose a good deal, and too bad if Nikita, his servant who accompanies him, has only a thin skin to protect himself from the cold. Soon, the snow covers all landmarks; the troika rocks in a ravine. Vassili’s first movement is to abandon his servant, to leave with the horse and the blanket, but soon he turns in circles and, soon, finds himself at his starting point. Nikita is there, half frozen. He has agreed to surrender to death and rather than curse his master, he begs him to hand over his meager nest egg to his son. “The charity of the poor is not to hate the rich. ” Then, in an unexpected impulse in this man who is completely tended to always get richer, the master opens his coat. He offers the vital heat of his body to his servant. He lies on top of him and wraps the sides of his coat. The next day, when the villagers spot the sleigh stretchers erected in the snow, Nikita is alive and Vassili is dead …

In this story, I love what it offers us at the heart of our own storm, to get us out of our strange nervous apathy: this reversal of the soul and the vision of the meaning to give to one’s life. It is propelled out of time, out of everyday life, that Vassili hears what is essential, and what is only a lie. Before this ordeal, he had never understood the reasons for his presence on earth, nor that “If a man has a lot more than he needs, it is because others lack the necessary.” In this space-time which confronts him with the choice to prefer himself, or to save Nikita, Vassili experiences the fear, no longer of losing a good deal, but of losing himself because he has never deployed his soul. He then realizes that this very fear is of spiritual essence. It alone compels us, says Tolstoy, to counting vital which, in the race for gains, victims of pleasures and comfort, one cannot proceed. Thus, simplified, refined, stripped of all his useless projects of good business, that Vassili Brezhunov, the hero of Master and servant, will have lived fully, lived a real life: at the moment when he will give his to save that of his servant, of whom he makes his friend.


The Himalayas, winter and against everything

The XIXe century and the beginning of the XXe were the golden age of the Alps. Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses, Eiger… One after the other, the large stone citadels were climbed by exceptional mountaineers, local guides or passionate amateurs, who left their name in the rock: Bonatti pillar, Whymper corridor, route Heckmair…

With the Alps domesticated, faces turned to other terrae incognitae and the post-war era saw the birth of Himalayism. Faced with the immensity of the challenges, it was the States that attacked the mythical peaks exceeding 8,000 meters. Annapurna for the French, Everest for the English, K2 for the Italians … Military expeditions led by large nations capable of delivering tons of equipment and food to base camps carried by hundreds of sherpas.

In 1964, the last of these giants, the Shishapangma and its 8,027 meters, was defeated by a Chinese team. End of the adventure? No, because all these firsts had been done in the “beautiful” season, between May and July, before the winds and storms were unleashed and the temperatures dropped to – 50 ° C. The last challenge remained, the latest craze: try the summits in winter.


This is the subject of the book by two journalists, Emilie Brouze and Bérénice Rocfort-Giovanni, who conducted a fascinating investigation into the exploits and motivations of these “Ice warriors” through the story of six expeditions. The collection began in 2018 with the rescue of Elisabeth Revol, the first woman to climb the Nanga Parbat in winter, who had to abandon her companion on the rope, victim of cerebral edema. In this season, nothing is planned for a rescue operation. Loneliness is part of the adventure.

However, a surge of international solidarity succeeds in shaking up the heavy Pakistani bureaucracy. A team of Polish mountaineers who was about to climb the neighboring K2 agreed to go to the rescue of the Frenchwoman and her Polish companion in distress. In forty-eight hours, they were helicoptered to the foot of the Nanga Parbat and carried out a breathtaking night climb to reach Elisabeth Revol. After two nights without a bivouac, the one who had to continue the descent alone was saved. But, contrary to the promises to which it had clung, no helicopter will take off to pick up Tomasz Mackiewicz … Once again, the Nanga Parbat justified its nickname “killer mountain”.

Steel mind

Meeting with Elisabeth Revol and her rescuers; account of Jean-Christophe Lafaille’s last ascent on the Makalu; reflections on cold, altitude and engagement; A look back at the extraordinary exploits of the Poles, great winter specialists, since they were the first to conquer Everest in 1980 and, afterwards, these mountaineers with a steel mind, used to cold and deprivation , removed twelve of the fourteen 8,000.

A quest that goes “Beyond mountaineering and closer to exploration”, in the words of Adam Bielecki (author of the winter premiere of Gasherbrum I and Broad Peak). And to quote Magellan, Robert Falcon Scott or Neil Armstrong… Neil Armstrong, no less. In fact, the book ends with unsuccessful attempts concerning K2, the last undefeated summit in winter when twelve astronauts have set foot on the moon! The last mountain – and undoubtedly the most beautiful and demanding, even in summer – which resists again and again the assaults of these adventurers of the extreme.

Fabrice Drouzy

Emilie Brouze and Bérénice Rocfort-Giovanni Winter in the Himalayas, the ultimate challenge Glénat, 168 pp., € 19.95.


19 dead after storms in the United States

BTornadoes and storms that struck the southern United States on Easter weekend killed at least 19 people. The Mississippi State Civil Protection Agency reported almost a dozen hurricanes of the highest categories EF-4 and EF-5 on the Fujita scale at Monday with wind speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour. In the Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Walthall and Jones districts, the tornadoes tore houses off the foundations, covered roofs, and cut off electricity pylons.

In some regions in the south of the state, almost 20 centimeters of rain fell. Thousands of residents spent the weekend in shelters. Because of the corona pandemic, they were asked to keep their distance from neighbors and friends. Governor Tate Reeves, who confirmed at least eleven deaths in Mississippi, declared the emergency Monday night. “Nobody wants to celebrate Easter like this. The forces are on duty day and night, ”said the Republican.

In Georgia and Arkansas at least one person was killed by an uprooted tree. In ten states from Texas to West Virginia, tornadoes and storms meanwhile cut the power supply for a total of one million households. In Monroe, a small town in northern Louisiana, almost 300 buildings were damaged by violent gusts of wind. The state east of Texas is also one of the regions in the United States that has been hit hardest by the corona pandemic. By Sunday, Bayou State health officials counted approximately 20,000 infected and more than 800 dead.


“With the discovery of oil, the sea has ceased to be a source of inspiration”

Born in Kuwait in 1958, a former engineer, Taleb Alrefai teaches creative writing at the university in Kuwait and is the author of a dozen books, including Same here and the shade of the sun, translated at Sindbad / Actes Sud. Al-Nadji, the sailor recounts the last day of this Kuwaiti naval legend (1909-1979), known as a brave captain, who drowned at the age of 70 while fishing with two friends. This first-person account recounts both the hours and the significant events of its existence, while being a melancholic and passionate ode to the sea.

How did you get the idea for this novel?

I read Sons of Sindbad (1940) by Alan Villiers, who describes his trip with Al-Nadji, from Aden to south-west Africa. I was passionate about this sailor, who ended tragically. Alan Villiers, adventurer, writer, Australian photographer, describes the way in which Al-Nadji directed his sailors on his sailboat. It was enough for him to say a single word and everyone got to work. Alan Villiers said they were the magic of the East. One night, Alan Villiers asked Al-Nadji: “Why don’t you turn on the light? – No need for light on the sea, I know it by heart. “

Have you conducted documentary research?

For a year, I conducted interviews with his family, investigated the men who sailed with him, and read newspaper clippings. Al-Nadji had five sons, I met the last three living, around 80 years old. They told me about their father’s love for the sea. I have spoken to his grandson several times. I thus gathered a lot of information on his personality, on the relationships with his children, with his mother, with his friends. Al-Nadji had never driven. He said : “I am a captain. I am made to drive boats. ” After gathering all these documents, I wondered about the form and I chose to retrace the last twelve hours of his life.

Why his last day?

Because if you mention Al-Nadji in Kuwait, everyone remembers that he died at sea. It is however a small point in his life. And then I discovered a three-minute video, in which the only survivor of the three relates the sinking. When the storm rocked the boat, the youngest, 60, decided to swim toward the shore. He says that in this storm, the torrential rain and at night, he felt his brother behind him, then not at all. His body was discovered several days later. That of Al-Nadji never. Al-Nadji’s grave is the sea.

Why not a biography?

There were already books, including one of his son’s. The novel requires writing in a more contemporary way. Most of it was flashback. At first, I imagined two or three scenes by slipping into Al-Nadji’s skin, then that of one of his friends … And then I thought that he was someone really famous , then I withdrew. For Al-Nadji, exceptionally, I could not decently do self-fiction, unlike the two already translated at Actes Sud for example.

Was he part of the latest generation of sailors?

His father, a sailor already, took him away when he was 10 years old. They were going to dive for the pearl four months from April and then returned to Kuwait for a month, before leaving to trade through the Gulf ports to India. Al-Nadji did not like pearl fishing, which meant parking for several days in the same place. “I don’t like to stop, I like movement”, he said. He mainly traded. After the start of oil development, it was over. Being on the water meant being in danger all the time. Today, we work with money.

Have you taken liberties with reality?

Partly, of course. When the novel was published in the Arab world, his family invited me. One of his grandsons asked me: “How did you manage to get to know the most beautiful scene, the one where at 5 he already wants to go to sea?” “From my imagination”, I replied. “I do not want to know it. We know how our grandfather was, it’s very real. “

Is the sea a common theme in Arab literature?

It is rare today to find maritime novels. Syrian writer Hanna Mina, who died in 2018 and worked part of his life on boats, wrote about it. After the first novel published in Kuwait in 1948, there were texts related to the sea because we had strong relationships with it at that time. Many families lived on it. But when the largest oil deposit was discovered in Kuwait in June 1946, that source of inspiration ceased to be. And this is also the case in Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, even in Egypt. A research master in research in Arabic literature, Krouna Ichrak, has just had her dissertation published, very interesting on the subject, the Sea in Arabic literature (the Harmattan), starting from my book on Al-Nadji.

When did you start writing?

I was born into a modest family; my father worked at the mosque as an imam, and my mother took care of her four children. There were no books in the house. But I had an uncle, Ismaial Fahad Ismail, who was a well-known writer in Kuwait and the Gulf countries, considered the founding father of Kuwaiti literature. Died in 2019, he had given his whole life to writing and reading. It was he who brought me to writing. The first time I came to see him at 12 years old with my first text, he said to me: “You will become a writer, keep reading. – Read what? I have no books. “ He gave me the mother by Maxime Gorki, translated by the famous Sami Al Droubi, translator of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Pushkin … I started writing in 1976.

You like social subjects.

All my writings relate to social and autobiographical subjects. My novel published in early 2020 in Kuwait and Egypt deals with a transgender, inspired by a real case. Many of my books deal with the difficult condition of women in Arab countries, or that of immigrant workers. To write, in my opinion, is to shed light on sordid and obscure places, on these hidden people that nobody talks about.

Collected by Frédérique Roussel

Taleb Alrefai,

Al-Nadji, the sailor translated from Arabic (Kuwait) by Waël Rabadi and Isabelle Bernard, Actes Sud / Sindbad, 128 pp., 17 € (ebook: 11.99 €).