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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Book Alert: Gaber Asfour discusses Taha Hussein's The Future of Culture in Egypt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Dec 2018
Taha Hussein
Taha Hussein
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Dai Atelier in Mohandessin will host Egyptian writer and former minister of culture Gaber Asfour on 4 December at 6:30pm to deliver a lecture titled 'The Future of Culture in Egypt between Taha Hussein and the Current Reality.'

The lecture falls on the 80th anniversary of the publishing of Taha Hussein's seminal book 'The Future of Culture in Egypt.'

Hussein (1889 – 1973) was a pioneer of modern Arabic literature, and is one of Egypt's most well-regarded writers and critics. He is often described as the 'Dean of the Arabic Literature.'

The book, released in 1938, sparked considerable controversy when it was first published.

Hussein postulates in his book that Egyptians, whose ideals and traditions are different from those of other Arabs, were never, actually, Arab.

The author, divorcing the Egyptian rationale from the Oriental one, declares Egypt a Western country.

The author asserts that universities play an essential role in this respect. Assuming the role of a cultural source, he suggests, the university would become the chief contributor to civilisation.

Hussein authored dozens of works – ranging between criticism, literature and translations – the most controversial among which were On Pre-Islamic Poetry and Al-Ayyam (The Days)

Despite having lost his eyesight at age three after receiving poor medical treatment, Hussein obtained his PhD in 1914 on the poetry of Abul Alaa Al-Maari, becoming a professor of Arabic Literature and later minister of education.

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