Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tributes to Naguib Mahfouz

I first heard of Naguib Mahfouz when he was awarded the Nobel prize in the autumn of 1988, and a week later, i bought my first Mahfouz novel, adrift on the Nile, i couldn´t wait till i got home, and started reading in a café just minutes after picking it up at the bookstore. After that i had a love story with his novels for two years , reading everything i could get my hands on, and watching every film based on his novels as well, over and over, especially the Cairo trilogy. What i liked most was his ability to write about the ordinary life of the people of Cairo, against the background of it´s modern history. At that time i didn´t know that much about it, and in some sense, my appetite for seeking more knowledge about the history and politcs of the Egyptian society came in parallel with me discovering the Egypt of Mahfouz.

I also appreciate one of his core values, that followed him trueout his career, perhaps most vividly in the first part of the trilogy, the national unity, a theme that stayed with him to the end of his life. I remember that he had a piece in al Ahram, just days after the Kosheh incident in the opening week of the new millenium, where he once again stated, how, when he grew up, no one ever thought about if he´s friends where Muslims or Christians. I could very well see how he was influenced by Salama Musa, who unfortunately during the last decade lost his tolerance and openmindedness to some extent, something Naguib Mahfouz never did.

I found some good articles on the occasion of his passing, two in open Democracy, by Trevor Le Gassick and Roger Allen. Another by long time Cairo correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, Dan Murphy, and last but in no way the least, the special focus on the author in al Ahram Weekly, compiled by Hala Halim.


Blogger phirdouse abdul said...

And I fell in love with Cairo after reading Palace Walk years's impossible to not love the city that exudes so much charm and oozes soul..

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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11:36 AM  

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