Google marked what would have been the 82nd birthday of late Egyptian poet Farouk Shousha with a Google Doodle featuring him during a radio programme programme that he hosted.
Born on 9 January 1936 in rural Damiatta, Shousha, like most educated men of his generation, attended the Kuttab, where he embraced the Arabic language through Quranic recitation.
He began writing poetry during his free time, and in 1956 he graduated from Ain Shams University.
Known for his rigorous language and quiet, melodious voice, Shousha was one of the country's best-known contemporary poets.
He moved on to the radio, where his voice left an imprint for over a half century. His 10-minute programme, Loughatouna Al Gamila (Our Beautiful Language), represented Shousha's life mission, bringing classical-Arabic poetry to the hearts and minds of generations of listeners.
Shousha’s prominent Friday programme Fi Tarik Al-Nour (In the Path of Light), lasting five minutes, offered an almost Sufi rendering of Islamic affinity.
Between 1977 and 2006, he hosted an hour-long programme Umsiya Thaqafiya (An Evening for Culture) aired on channel one of state-run Egyptian TV.
"Shousha's poetry is often described as emotional, because of the predominance of the theme of love," wrote Rania Khallaf in Al-Ahram Weekly in 2006.
In her article, Khallaf quoted Shousha, saying: "My relationship with women starts with my mother, who encouraged me to read and write poetry. I have a lot of respect for women. A poet who lives without a woman, is a poet who is divorced from the universe. Critics tend to think that my poems were written for specific women, but this is not true. Sometimes the point is something else, like the relationship between Egypt and the Nile. The women in my poems are often associated with my sense of Egypt as my country. There is no such thing as a muse."
Shousha was a member of the Center of Arabic Language, a university lecturer on Arabic language and literature, and a member of many cultural committees.
He was honoured with several awards, including the State Encouraging Award for Poetry (1986), the Kfafis International Prize for Poetry (1994), the Saudi Yemani Prize for Poetry (1994), the State Evaluating Prize for Literature (1997), and a prestigious Nile Award for Literature (2016).
Shousha died on 14 October 2016, at the age of 80.
The Farouk Shousha's Google Doodle is regional and can be viewed in North Africa and the Middle East.
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