Egyptian master of children's literature Shawky Hegab dies at 77

Ahram Online , Wednesday 26 Jul 2023

Shawky Hegab, a prominent Egyptian poet, writer, and artist who specialized in children's literature, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 77.

Shawky Hegab
File Photo: Shawky Hegab, a prominent Egyptian poet, writer, and artist who specialized in children s literature.Al-Ahram


Minister of Culture Nevine El-Kilani expressed her condolences and praised the poet's contribution to Egypt's cultural heritage.

"Shawky Hegab was a unique figure in the world of children's literature, with a talent for storytelling, songwriting, and character creation," El-Kilani said.

"His work was characterized by a deep love for Egypt's folklore and cultural heritage, which he preserved through his art," she added.

Hegab was born in Al-Matareya, Daqahliya, in 1946. He learned poetry from his father, who was an avid reader. Throughout his career, he worked as a writer, director, consultant, and advisor for various organizations and committees, including the United Nations, the World Committee of Red Cross, and the Cinematic Professions Syndicate.

Hegab's artistic works included plays, songs, stories, and character creations for children, and he wrote over a thousand songs for children in Egypt and the Arab world. He was the author of the popular children's programme Paradise Birds and created its characters Arnob, Bocloz, Dabdob, Cookycak, Dokdok, and Bisbes Ho.

He also wrote and directed the children's series CookyCak and Dokdok for Egyptian television.

In addition to his work for children, Hegab wrote and directed several films and plays and received numerous prizes and certificates of appreciation from various organizations and festivals. These included the Leipzig Film Festival Prize, Carthage Film Festival Prize, and the United Nations Prize for his film Baghdad the Song of Times.

Hegab was also the founder of the Shawky Hegab Play Group for Children Theatre and served as the president of the First Festival of Children's Theater in Fayoum Governorate in 2010.

He was praised for his unique experience in the field of children's literature and his ability to preserve folklore through his art.

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