Towering Egyptian Novelist and Cultural Critic, Gamal al-Ghitani, Dies at Age 70

Arabic Literature (in English)

Acclaimed Egyptian novelist and journalist Gamal al-Ghitani has died in a Cairo military hospital, aged 70:

ghitaniHe had been in a coma in al-Galaa Military Hospital for two months after being admitted with respiratory problems. He reportedly suffered a heart attack in August and was deprived of oxygen.

According to Al Ghitani’s wife, Magda al-Guindi, he died this morning. Egyptian state media reported that Al Ghitani’s funeral was to be held at Cairo’s Sayyida Nafisa mosque later in the day.

Al-Ghitani is one of Egypt’s most celebrated twentieth-century novelists, author of the widely influential Zayni Barakat, as well as founder and first chief editor of one of Arabic’s leading literary newspapers, Akhbar Al-Adab.

Recently, Egyptian authorities announced that they were naming a street in the Gamaliyya neighborhood — where al-Ghitani was born — for the august author. The street will have its name changed from “Dabbabya” to “Gamal al-Ghitani.” It connects two key streets in…

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About Taline Voskeritchian

Writing teacher at Boston University; translator (from Arabic and Armenian); prose writer; occasional editor; incurable wanderer.
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