The Cultural Office of the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin organised a seminar on the literature of Naguib Mahfouz at the embassy in Cairo.
Former German ambassador to Egypt Bernd Erbel presented major works by Naguib Mahfouz through an in-depth reading of his novels.
Erbel also showcased the places where the events of Mahfouz's novels took place through a collection of photographs taken by the former ambassador during his time in Egypt, especially in the Mamluk area in Cairo.
During his lecture, Erbel said that the international writer and Nobel laureate was able to brilliantly pass on Egyptian and Arab literature to the world – although he travelled abroad only three times – through his honest reflection on Egyptian society and its transformations.
Ambassador of Egypt in Berlin Bader Abdel-Aati opened the lecture with a speech where he praised Ambassador Erbel and his role in further strengthening relations between Egypt and Germany, adding that he was one of the most successful German ambassadors to work in Egypt because he understood Egyptian society, loved it and deeply studied its history.
"The lecture is especially important because it deals with the literature of Naguib Mahfouz, who is undoubtedly the 'legitimate father' of the Arabic novel. He expressed the truth about the developments in Egyptian society in different historical stages, and Mahfouz's literature concerns not only Egypt or the Arab world, but humanity as a whole," he added.
The lecture was heavily attended by Germans who are interested in Egyptian literature and civilisation, as well as a number of ambassadors accredited in Berlin.
Former Egyptian Ambassador Badr Abdel-Aati in front of the audience at the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin (Photo: courtesy of the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin)