From right to left (Bahaa Abdel-Meguied, Nabil Farouk, Said El-Kafrawy, Refaat Sallam, and Mohamed Hassan khalifa)
As the year 2020 opened with the death of one of Egypt's young writers it closed with the death of four prominent writers who left their mark on the Egyptian literary world.
Here is a list of the Egyptian writers we lost in 2020.
Bahaa Abdel-Meguied, 13 December 2020
Egyptian novelist and professor of English literature at Ain Shams University, Bahaa Abdel-Meguied died on Sunday 13, December at the hospital due to coronavirus complications.
Abdel-Meguied earned his English literature degree in 1989 before earning a PhD on the thematic evolution in the poetic works of Seamus Heaney in the year 2000.
His published novels include Al-Nawm Ma'a Al-Ghorabaa (Sleeping with Strangers), Al-Qateefa Al-Hamraa (The Red Velvet) and Waraq Al-Ganna (Heaven Leaves).
Nabil Farouk, 9 December 2020
Egyptian writer and novelist Nabil Farouk, who became famous for his Egyptian pocket novels, died on 9 December after suffering a heart attack at the age of 64.
Farouk was a pioneering spy-fiction writer and Adham Sabry, the protagonist of his most prominent series, Ragol Al-mostaheel (The Man of the Impossible), has been an icon in Egyptian culture since the 90’s.
The late author shaped much of Egyptian readers' imagination in the 90’s and early 2000’s, readers who are now between 20 to 35-years-old. Students during his heyday used to take his pocket novels to their schools and read them discreetly during boring classes.
Refaat Sallam, 6 December 2020
Renowned Egyptian poet and translator Refaat Sallam, known for his magnificently smooth translation of poetry that carried the authenticity and beauty of the original text, died on 6 December in Cairo at the age of 69.
Sallam was born on 16 November 1951 and released his first poetry collection in 1987, which was titled Wardat Al-Fawda Al-Gamila (The Pretty Flower of Chaos), after which he published 10 poetry collections and many translations of Western poetry.
He translated the complete works of French poet Charles Baudelaire, Egyptian-Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, American poet Walt Whitman and Frenchman Arthur Rimbaud.
Said El-Kafrawy, 14 Novemember 2020
Egyptian writer Said El-Kafrawy, who was one of the most prominent writers of the 60's literary generation in Egypt, died on Saturday at the age of 81.
El-Kafrawy was one of the writers who attended Naguib Mahfouz's cultural salon in the historic Cafe Riche in Downtown Cairo.
He is best known for his 12 short stories collection including Bayt Lel Aberen (A Home for Passerbyes), Al-Baghdadeya (The Baghdadi), Koshk Al-Musika (The Music Kiosk: Stories from Egypt), Hekayat Min Daftar Al-Ahwal (Stories from the Book of Statuses).
Mohammed Hassan Khalifa, 23 January 2020
On the opening day of Cairo International Book Fair, young writer, Mohamed Hassan Khalifa, who had just published his first short story collection, had a heart attack at the fair and died in his 20's.
His death left the Egyptian literary world traumatized. His short story collection was titled Ee'lan Qalb Waheed (An Annoucnemnt of a Lonley Heart) and was published by Kenzy publishing house in Cairo.