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Egyptian poet Helmi Salem dies at 61
Salem was considered as one of the most eminent Egyptian poets during the 1970's
Ahram Online, Saturday 28 Jul 2012
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Helmi Salem
Egyptian Poet, Helmi Salem (Photo: other)

Award winning Egyptian poet Helmi Salem died Saturday, 28 July, after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 61.

Salem's funeral is expected to take place tomorrow in his hometown of Arrahib in Menoufiya governorate.

The poet was under treatment at a military hospital when he died, according to critic Shaaban Youssef, who confirmed the news of Salem's death.

Salem was born in 1951. He studied journalism in the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University. He was also awarded the State Excellence Prize in 2006.

Salem published around 18 poetry collections. His first collection was released in 1974, entitled Habibty Mazroua Fi Dima Al-Ard (My Beloved is Planted in the Soil's Blood).

He also wrote books on culture and literary criticism.

Salem sparked considerable controversy on 2007 when he released a poem entitled Shourfat Laila Mourad (Laila Mourad's Balcony), which was taken by some as abusive towards the divine. Egyptian Islamist currents vehemently attacked him, saying that the state should strip him of the State Excellence Prize.



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