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Naguib Mahfouz
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Naguib Mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz (born December 11, 1911) is an Egyptian novelist.

Naguib Mahfouz was born in the Gamaliya quarter of Cairo, Egypt. A longtime civil servant, Mahfouz served in the Ministry of Mortmain Endowments, then as Director of Censorship in the Bureau of Art, as Director of the Foundation for the Support of the Cinema, and, finally, as consultant to the Ministry of Culture. During his career he has brought out more than 30 novels. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1988.

Many of his novels are written in serialized form – e.g., Midaq Alley.

Many of Mahfouz's works have been banned in the Middle East for alleged blasphemy. Mahfouz is the target of much criticism and hatred due to his support of the peace process with Israel, and of the normalization of the Arab states' relations with that country. After a fatwa was issued against him by Omar Abdul-Rahman, Mahfouz was attacked and stabbed in the neck in 1994. He was 83 years old. He now lives under constant bodyguard protection. When a fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie, Abdul-Rahman said that such an action would not have been necessary had the death sentence he had issued against Mahfouz been carried out.

US trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas titled a song on his 2001 album Witness "Mahfouz." The 25 minute piece features Tom Waits reading an excerpt from Mahfouz's works.

Works

See also