Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Farwell To Naguib.

One of the greatest men in Egyptian History died today. Naguib Mahfouz, the noble prize winning Egyptian Author passed this morning at the age of 94.


Not just the best Egyptian writer in history but one of the best writers of the 20th century, Mahfouz captured the intricacies of life in Egypt while conveying themes common to all people, love, death, poverty and perseverance over oppression. His universal themes and compelling writing led to nearly a hundred English translations and over half of his writings being transformed into film.

Mahfouz’s was politically conscious throughout his life and expressed tolerance and acceptance, a stance that brought controversy to his life. In 1959 Mahfouz published Children of Gebalawi which was banned by Al-Azhar. A fatwa was released on his life by an Egyptian Jihadist group in the 80s and an assassination attempt was made on him in 1994 in which he was stabbed. Despite the sentiments of fundamentalist groups Mahfouz was truly loved by the Arab world and his work will remain for future generations as an everlasting memory of him.

P.S.

Naguib Mahfouz and I share a special connection, this blog (Whisper of Madness) was named after his very first story published in 1938.

9 Comments:

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Rhino-itall said...

interesting. i never heard of him. can you recommend something for me to read?

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Egyptian magician said...

The Cairo Trilogy--
His brutally honest look at egyptian culture was the cause for his attempted assasination.

Naguib,
you will be sorely missed
Ya rab nayehum

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Egypeter said...

I've never read his novels but I will now.

He is an absolute HERO to my mother. She has read every single novel by him and loves him dearly. I'm gonna have to go break the news to her.

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger Rhino-itall said...

thanks, i'm going to amazon now.

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger D.B. Shobrawy said...

If you are interested in a quick reference of condensed information regarding Naguib Mahfouz just go to ANSWERS.COM (always a good choice) and type in Naguib Mahfouz. That will give you a listing of his writings, short biography and highlights of his life. Oh and NO dont just go to Wikipedia, Answers.com gives you a more rounded response.

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Twosret said...

Everytime I went to Groppi in Heliopolis, Cairo for sweets with my mom, she will point to me and say ” D. this is Naguib Mahfouz”, we owned most of his books, a slim, handsome guy with funny glasses sitting peacefully sipping his coffee in the open air and writing or reading. I would try to peak at him as a kid just to get a smile, and he never turned me down, It was like a tradition to see him there whenever we went in the morning, 9 a.m. every morning he was there.

The vivid memories of my fav. dates covered with chocolate from Groppi and Naguib Mahfouz is not easy to be forgotten.

RIP Naguib Mahfouz, we love you and we will miss you.

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

I heard him on NPR saying that the Turks were responsible for messing up Yugoslovia by converting part of the population to Muslims and that the Turks should solve the problems there. He had a lot of opinions on the forcible conversion of non Arab peoples to Islam that I very much agree with. Those people had very good religions of there own before Islam and their cultural traditions do not meld well with Islamic ones.

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Mohamed said...

Rhino-itall
The trilogy is too long, try Midaq Alley (not my favorite, all americans I know who've read it loved it), my favorite is the beggining and the end, the only problem is that you'll be deeply depressed for months after reading it.

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Egyptian magician said...

DB...
Explain the "whisper of madness" title a bit more...why you picked it for the blog how you've tried to honor naguib mahfouz?

 

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