Last Update 21:1
Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Egypt's longest-running literary magazine at risk of closure

Adab wa Naqd (Literature and Criticism) is facing serious financial challenges, and may close after 27 years of continuous publication

Ahram Online and Agencies, Wednesday 16 Nov 2011
Views: 3054
Views: 3054

The literary magazine Adab wa Naqd (Literature and Criticism) is facing a serious financial crisis and may have to close after 27 years.

An important part of the Egyptian literary scene for decades and one of the most lasting contributions of the Tagammu (Unionist) Party, the monthly magazine was founded in 1984.

Managing editor Helmi Salim has said the November issue will not be issued, which will be the first time the magazine has not been published for 27 years, despite serious challenges and oppression during the Mubarak era.

Refaat El-Said, chairman and head of Tagammu, said the party is facing serious financial challenges, exacerbated by internal disputes, and Salim said staff hadn’t received their salaries for six months.

Various organisations were approached to provide alternative sources of funding for the magazine, including the General Organisation for Cultural Palaces, the Cultural Development Fund, the Arab Culture Organisation in Beirut, and the Sheikha May Cultural Centre in Bahrain, but with limited success. The main hurdle to the funding problem is that the magazine is published by a political party with restrictions on the sources of funding it can receive and its interaction with public and private organisations.

News of the magazine’s difficulties has caused a stir among cultural figures who recall how the magazine had contributed to the country’s cultural life and their own careers. Poet Shabaan Youssef expressed deep regret at the magazine’s possible closure as it had a strong heritage, especially in its earlier days, with two great editors-in-chief, Al-Tahher Makky and Farida El-Nakkash.

However, it seems unlikely the cultural community will rush save to the magazine given its limited distribution and reduced quality in recent years, partly because most contributors are volunteers. There was a proposal to change the magazine from a monthly to a quarterly but Salim opposed the idea.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.