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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Pioneering Egyptian screenwriter Mahfouz Abdel-Rahman dies at 76

Mahfouz Abdel-Rahman, one of the first screenwriters for Arab television, died yesterday after suffering a stroke

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Aug 2017
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Mahfouz Abdel Rahman (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic)
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Prominent Egyptian scriptwriter Mahfouz Abdel-Rahman died yesterday at the age of 76 after suffering a stroke that hospitalised him for a month.

The funeral prayer was held this morning at El-Shorta Mosque in Cairo's Sheikh Zayed, and the wake will be held tomorrow night at the same mosque.

The writer is considered one of the most important scriptwriters in Arab drama, with his work ranging from literary works to television series, plays and films.

Abdel-Rahman was born in 1941.

After graduating from Cairo University in 1960, he began working in Dar El-Helal, and then at the Ministry of Culture.

During this time, he regularly wrote in many newspapers including Al-Ahram, Al-Adaab, Al-Masaa and El-Gomhouria.

He published several literary works including the collection of short stories Looking for the Unknown, Four Seasons of Winter and the novel The Eighth Day.

Though he began his career as a novelist and critic, he quickly turned to scriptwriting, perhaps with a special focus on historical narratives.

His works were exceptionally well received and popular for this genre, not only in Egypt, but in the Arab world, as he presented his works in different countries including Kuwait.

In fact, he was one of the earliest Arab writers for television, as he wrote the evening show Lais Ghadan (Not Tomorrow) in 1966, and presented the first television series to air in 1971, titled Al-Awda lel Manfa

Among his best known works for television is the highly popular series Um Kalthoum (1999), as well as Bawaba El-Halawany (1992 - 2001), which ran for four seasons, Leila Soqoot Ghernata, Soliman El-halab, Leila Masraa El-Motanaby.

He also wrote the films Al-Qadeseya (1981) starring Soad Hosny, Naser 56 (1996) and Halim (2006), both starring Ahmed Zaki.

He also wrote several plays such as Aris Le Bint El-Sultan (1978), Kawkab El-Feran, and Sindbad El-Bahary (1978).

Abdel-Rahman was honoured both locally and internationally, with prizes including the State Encouragement Award in 1972, the award for best theatre writer in 1983, the golden award from the Television and Broadcasting festival for Um Kalthoum series, and the National Appreciation Award in Arts in 2002.

He is survived by his wife, renowned Egyptian actress Samira Abdel-Aziz.

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