Renowned Egyptian novelist Edwar El-Kharrat dies

Mohammed Saad , Tuesday 1 Dec 2015

Edwar El-Kharrat
Egyptian Novelist Edwar El-Kharrat

Renowned Egyptian novelist and critic, Edwar El Kharrat, died in a Cairo hospital today, 1 Dec, 2015, after slipping into a coma yesterday.

Edwar Kharrat was 89.

The funeral will be held at El-Dobara Church in Tahrir tomorrow morning and he will be buried in Alexandria, his birthplace.

El-Kharrat is considered one of the founders of the modern Arabic novel and short story as well as a pioneer of Arabic literature. He was also a prominent critic and translator.

He published over 50 books including novels and poetry, and is best known for his novel Rama wal Tinin (Rama and the Dragon) and his short story collection Hitan Aliya (High Walls).

El-Kharrat, who was one of the theorists of modern Arabic literature, was admitted into the Anglo Hospital in Cairo on 20 Nov after being struck with pneumonia.

His condition briefly improved before deteriorating again, prompting his transfer to the hospital's intensive care unit on 30 Nov, according to his son, who told Ahram Online in a text message that his father did not respond to antibiotics and was not doing well. 

El-Kharrat, 89, was born in Alexandria on 16 March 1926. He graduated from the University of Alexandria with a law degree in 1946, and was one of the figures who participated in the national revolutionary movement in 1946 against the British occupation. 

He moved to Cairo in the mid 1950's to work as a translator in the Romanian embassy before starting his literary career.

El-Kharrat was awarded the Nile Prize for Literature in 2014, the highest honour bestowed by the Egyptian state in the field of literature. He was also granted the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature by the American University in Cairo in 1999.

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