Egyptian novelist and left-wing activist Sharif Hatata dies at 93

Ahram Online , Monday 22 May 2017

Sharif Hatata
Sharif Hatata

Egyptian Marxist author and former communist activist, Sharif Hatata, died on Monday 22 May in a hospital in Germany. He was 93 years old.

Hatata, who was married to Egypt's most notable feminist writer, Nawal Saadawi, was born on 13 Septempter 1923, to an Egyptian father and an English mother.

Hatata's father was a feudal landowner and his family from the upper-middle class. However, despite this privileged social background, Hatata developed leftist political views.

In the aftermath of World War II, he joined the Egyptian Communist Organization (know as Ash-Sharara), later helping to co-found the leftist movement HAMITU.

He had his first experience in prison in 1948, when he was arrested during an anti-communist crackdown by the Egyptian authorities. He was released after King Farouk of Egypt was toppled by the Free Officers movement.

Hatata, who was also a medical doctor, met his wife Nawal Saadawi, in 1964 and they remained married until 2010.

He authored many books including his autobiography The Open Windows, in which he details his struggles in the Egyptian leftist movement.

He also authored many novels, such as The Eye with an Iron Lid (1982) and The Net (1986).

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