A picture of Naguib Mahfouz in the lobby of the museum (Photo: Official release of the Ministry of Culture)
Egypt finally opened on 14 July the long awaited museum for the only Arab Nobel laureate writer Naguib Mahfouz, 13 years after his passing.
The museum was opened by Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem and Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enani, and was attended by members of the media and the ambassadors of Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Serbia, Portugal, Japan, Chile and Saudi Arabia.
Also attending was Mahfouz's daughter Huda, known as Umm Kulthum, his only surviving daughter after his second daughter Fatima passed away in 2017.
The museum is in the Muhammad Bek Abul-Dahab Complex, which was built in 1774 under Ottoman rule and is located beside the main entrance of Al-Azhar Mosque.
Naguib Mahfouz's daughter Umm Kulthum
The idea for establishing a museum for Egypt's most renowned novelist has been floating around for a long time, but the actual execution started in 2016 yet was delayed many times, until it finally saw the light this month.
Egypt's Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Antiquities chose the Complex of Abu El-Dahab dues to its location near where Mahfouz was born and raised in Gammaliya until he was seven years old.
The museum takes up two stories and includes a wing for his medals and honours and a wing for his personal belongings and handwritten documents. Mahfouz books, both old and modern editions, have their own section, and a library holds most of what has been written about Mahfouz. The museum also has a cinema and a seminar room.
Mahfouz's daughter has given the museum the Nobel Prize certificate and the case in which the golden medal came, but kept the medal itself as "it was a gift from my father to me." Mahfouz's initials are engraved on the grey box.
Mahfouz's daughter Umm Kulthum has donated hundreds of pictures, documents and honours belonging to the late writer. Minister of Culture Abdel-Dayem honoured Mahfouz's daughter for her efforts and donations in a celebration that followed the opening.
The museum will be open daily from 9am to 9pm. For the first month, entry will be free between 9am and 2pm.
The tickets will be EGP 5 for Egyptians, EGP 20 for non-Egyptians, EGP 2 for Egyptian students and EGP 10 for foreign students.
The halls of the museum are named after some of Mahouz's most famous works.