Egyptian Poet Sayed Hegab (Photo: Ahram Arabic website)
Renowned Egyptian poet and songwriter Sayed Hegab died on Wednesday at the age of 76 after a long struggle with illness, his brother announced on Facebook.
Hegab was one of Egypt's most accomplished Ameya poets and writers, active over the course of more than half a century.
He was born on 23 September 1940 in a fishing town on Lake Manzala in Daqahliya governorate in the Nile Delta.
Hegab studied engineering in Alexandria and Cairo University in the 1950s.
His upbringing in a working-class fishing town shaped his world outlook, which was reflected in his first Poetry collection Sayyad wa Geneih (A Fisherman and a Pound) 1964.
Hegab wrote for the popular children's magazines Mickey and Samir between 1964 and 1967.
He wrote lyrics for dozens of songs performed by prominent singers such as Afaf Rady, Mohamed Mounir, Ali El-Haggar and Samira Said.
He also wrote the intro credits to numerous acclaimed soap operas including Layali El-Helmiya (Helmiya Nights) and Al-Mal Wa Al-Banoon (Money And Offspring).
His poetry was composed into music by famous composers including the late Baligh Hamdy.
He also wrote the script for the popular month of Ramadan entertainment show Fawazeer Ramadan, which was hosted in the 1980s by actress Sherihan.
Hegab was politically active throughout his adult life and spent five months in jail during the Nasser era, and was an outspoken supporter of the 25 January revolution of 2011.
In the mid 1960s, Hegab co-anchored along with late poet Abdel-Rahman El-Abnoudy the poetry show Baad Al-Tahiya Wa Al-Salam on Egyptian radio.
Hegab was part of the 50-member committee that drafted the country's 2014 constitution after the ousting of the Islamist president Morsi Mohamed in 2013, writing the document's preamble.