Exhibition in month-long celebration of Egyptian Nobel Prize-winning novelist Naguib Mahfouz

Ahram Online , Friday 16 Dec 2022

An exhibition showcasing works inspired by Naguib Mahfouz and his novels opened Sunday at Hanager Arts Centre at the Cairo Opera House, kicking off a month-long tour celebrating the Nobel Prize winner across Egypt’s governorates.

Naguib Mahfouz


Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006) was the first Egyptian and native Arabic writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1988).

The Ministry of Culture launched the exhibition, titled "Naguib Mahfouz: between the alley, work and friends," on the author’s birthday, 11 December.

The exhibition presents paintings inspired by the iconic novelist and his books, as well as a selection of documents related to the professional life of the writer, spanning the period from graduation at university until his retirement.

The works on display include those by Mohamed Al-Taman, Hassan Abdel-Fattah, Ahmed Al-Ganaini, Emad Rizk, Khaled Samaha, Saeed Kamel, Gamal Al-Mugui, Azza Mostafa, among the total of 22 artists.

The programme, which is set to travel to numerous governorates over the coming four weeks, will include screenings of films based on Mahfouz's novels, conferences and meetings discussing the writer's legacy.

The exact programme of the events and their locations are yet to be revealed.

Earlier this year, 10 days short of the 16th anniversary of Mahfouz's passing on 30 August 2006, his only surviving daughter, Oum Kalthoum,  announced that she would be releasing her first book titled Abi Naguib Mahfouz (My Father Naguib Mahfouz).

There was renewed interest in the novelist in 2021, on the 110th anniversary of his birth, with publishers republishing his literary work as they did during his heyday in the mid-20th century.

Over the decades, Mahfouz's works inspired dozens of award-winning Arab and international films, plays and TV dramas.

Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy, Bayn Al-Qasrayn, Qasr Al-Shawq, Sukkariya (Between-the-Palaces, Palace of Longing, Sugarhouse) in 1957 won him great fame throughout the Arab world. He later released hit novels like The Children of Gebelawi (1959), The Thief and the Dogs (1961), Autumn Quail (1962), Small Talk on the Nile (1966) and Miramar (1967), as well as several collections of short stories.

Mahfouz served in many administrative and advisory positions until 1972, when his retirement from the Egyptian bureaucracy preceded an outburst of creativity that resulted in him winning The Nobel Prize in Literature 1988.

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