Court sentences man to death for murdering wife of Egyptian poet Afify Matar

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Dec 2020

The defendant allegedly killed Qandil in her home after breaking in with the intention of robbing and killing her

Nafisa Qandil
Egyptian writer Nafisa Qandil

A criminal court in Shebeen El-Kom, Menoufiya has sentenced a man convicted of murdering writer and critic Nafisa Qandil, the wife of renowned Egyptian poet Mohamed Afify Matar, to death.

The verdict was made after the court received the country’s Grand Mufti’s approval. Courts in Egypt refer death penalty verdicts to the Grand Mufti, but his opinion is non-binding.

The 32-year-old defendant allegedly killed Qandil while she was alone in her home in Menoufiya’s Ashmun city after breaking in with the intention of robbing and killing her. 

Police arrested the defendant five days after the incident. The defendant reportedly confessed his crime in detail, admitting to stealing money from the victim’s house and reenacting the crime.

Qandil studied Islamic Sharia (law) and was a writer at an Iraqi journal called Al-Aqlam.

Her writings, such as an article titled Failaq Al-Nesaa’ (Women’s Force) included antifeminist ideas arguing that equality between men and women is a flawed concept.

Her husband, Matar, was a prominent poet in the 1960s and has several published works, including a book of poems named Quartet of Joy, which has been translated to English.

He won several awards in the Middle East, including the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award.

Matar was arrested early in the 1990s, during the tenure of late President Hosni Mubarak, after he was accused of being involved in an anti-government plot.

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