Egypt's most acclaimed novelist, Gamal El-Ghitiani, lies in a military hospital in a critical condition with no sign of improvement since slipping into a coma six days ago.
El-Ghitani was admitted to El-Galaa Military Hospital on Saturday to undergo medical tests as a result of breathing troubles before he slipped into a deep coma.
The renowned author of Zayni Barakat is on a medical ventilator.
Gamal El-Ghitani, 70, is one of Egypt's most notable writers and was a close friend of the Arab world’s only Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz. Mahfouz was also an inspiration for his works.
His literature has been translated into many languages including English, German and French.
Ghitani was born in Upper Egypt on 9 May, 1945, to a poor family, before they moved to El-Gamaliyya neighbourhood in Islamic Cairo.
El-Gamaliyya, with its rich heritage and architecture, was where Ghitani’s consciousness was shaped as an author as well as being the setting of many of his novels.
'Papers of a Young guy, who lived a Thousand Years Ago,' was the beginning of his literary career in 1969.
He also worked as a war reporter on the frontlines during the Arab-Israeli conflict until the 1973 war.
Ghitani has won many prizes and his works have been recognised locally and internationally. Most recently he won the Nile Award for Literature in 2015, the highest literary honour granted by the Egyptian state. He also won the French Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1987, as well as several other awards.
In 1993 El-Ghitani, founded and headed Akhbar Al-Adab (Literature News), one of Egypt's most prestigious literary newspapers. He remained the editor-in-chief of the paper until 2011.