Naguib Mahfouz - Nobel Laureates In Literature, Birthday and Life

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Naguib Mahfouz's Personal Details

Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian novelist and the first Arab writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 11, 1911
Died onAugust 30, 2006
NationalityEgyptian
FamousNobel Laureates In Literature, Writers, Novelists, Playwrights, Short Story Writers
SpousesAttiyatullah Mahfouz (m. 1954)
Childrens Fatima, Umm Kalthum
Universities
  • Cairo University
Birth PlaceCairo, Egypt
GenderMale
FatherAbdel-Aziz Ibrahim
MotherFatimah
Sun SignSagittarius
Born inCairo, Egypt
Famous asNovelist
Died at Age94

// Famous Novelists

Naguib Mahfouz's photo

Who is Naguib Mahfouz?

Naguib Mahfouz was a respected Egyptian novelist and writer regarded as one among the pioneer contemporary writers of Arabic Literature. Naguib Mahfouz was the first Arab writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. He had begun writing at the young age of 18 and went on to pursue this interest until his death. Naguib Mahfouz started his literary career with short stories and journals, however, later began writing novels and this gained him international recognition. His works were originally in Arabic and were later translated into English, French and German. Majority of Naguib Mahfouz’s works presented his views on the monarchy system prevalent in Egypt in ancient times, colonialism and present-day Egypt. It predominantly dealt with social issues concerning political captives and women. His blunt narrative style led to severe outrage from religious groups and subsequent banning of certain works. During his lifetime, he published more than 350 short stories, 34 novels, 5 plays and a couple of scripts.

// Famous Short Story Writers

Childhood & Early Life

Naguib Mahfouz was born on 11 December 1911 in a middle class family in Cairo. His father Abdel-Aziz Ibrahim was a civil servant and his mother’s name was Fatimah. He had 6 siblings - four brothers and two sisters and he was the youngest.

He was tutored at a Koranic school also called ‘Kuttab’. He completed his primary and secondary education and his interest in Arabic Literature began growing here. His greatest influence during the time was writer Hafiz Najib.

When Naguib Mahfouz was only seven, he witnessed the Eqyptian revolution of 1919. It is said to have had a great effect on him as it gave him his initial experience of nationalist sentiment and deeply influenced his writings later on.

After completing his education at the Kuttab, Naguib Mahfouz was enrolled at Egyptian University in 1930. He graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 1934. He went on to pursue an M.A in Philosophy, but discontinued after a year, with the objective of taking up professional writing as occupation.

Career

After completing his graduation, Naguib Mahfouz went on to take up work with the Egyptian civil service in 1934. Here, he continued working in various departments until his retirement in the year 1971. His initially worked as a clerk at the Cairo University.

By 1936, he began his writing career as a journalist with Al – Risala. During this time, he also used to contribute short stories to newspapers Al- Ahram and El- Hilal.

In 1938, he was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Islamic Endowments at the Ministry of Islamic Endowments (Awqaf). The following year Naguib Mahfouz’s debut novel ‘Khufu’s Wisdom’ was published.

Other prominent works by him include novels like ‘Abath Al Aqdar’ (published in 1939), ‘Radobis’ (published in 1943), ‘Khan al-Khalili’ (published in 1945). His style of writing was unpolished and he often included topics like socialism, God, homosexuality, philosophical and psychological issues.

He requested a transfer to the al-Ghuri Mausoleum library at Cairo in 1945. Here, he managed the ‘Good Loan Project’, which was an ‘interest- free’ loan program for poor.

He also got the opportunity to observe the area and life there and explored western literature in this period. He read the works of Conrad, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Proust, Stendhal etc.

During the 1950s he took up the post of Director of Censorship in the Bureau of Arts and Director of the Foundation for the Support of Cinema. His last assignment in the Civil Services was as a consultant to the Ministry of Culture.

He published ‘The Cairo Trilogy’ - three novels that portray the lives of three generations in the Cairo city beginning from World War I to the military coup in 1952. The novels are titled ‘Bayn al Qasrayn’ (1956), ‘Qasr al Shawq (1957), Sukkariya’ (1957) (Between-the-Palaces, Palace of Longing, Sugarhouse).

In 1959, his novel ‘Awlād ḥāratinā’ (Children of the Alley) was published and was subsequently banned in Egypt owing to its controversial content. The usage of religious prophets’ names and the treatment of religion in the novel caused much outrage among a section and he even received death threats.

Between the years 1940 and 1980, approximately twenty five of his works were converted into screenplays. However, he was not interested in adapting his own books and thus did not participate in these endeavors directly.

In 1971, he was offered a position with al – Ahram newspaper and he continued to write a column every week. He continued contributing to the paper until a short while before his death.

Major Works

Naguib Mahfouz’s works are concentrated around the lives and people of Egypt. His most notable work is the ‘The Cairo Trilogy’, a collection of three novels that were published during 1956-1957, and earned him international acclaim.

Awards & Achievements

He received two Egyptian state awards for his writings.

In 1988 Naguib Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In 1989, the American University at Cairo awarded him the Presidential Medal. The University also gave him an honorary doctorate in 1995.

In 1992, he was made an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

In 2002, he was elected as a member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Personal Life & Legacy

Naguib Mahfouz married Atiyyatallah Ibrahim in 1954. The couple had two daughters - Fatima and Umm Kalthum.

He had stated that he remained a bachelor until he was 43 as he believed that marriage would restrict his future in literature.

He was stabbed in the neck by a religious fanatic in 1994 in an attempt to take his life. He recovered the attack but the nerves on the upper right limb were severely damaged. This had a negative impact on his work as he was able to write for a few minutes a day only.

Naguib Mahfouz died on 30 August 2006 at Cairo. He was 94 at the time of his death.

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Naguib Mahfouz awards

YearNameAward

Other

1988 - Nobel Prize for Literature

Naguib Mahfouz biography timelines

  • // 11th Dec 1911
    Naguib Mahfouz was born on 11 December 1911 in a middle class family in Cairo. His father Abdel-Aziz Ibrahim was a civil servant and his mother’s name was Fatimah. He had 6 siblings - four brothers and two sisters and he was the youngest.
  • // 1919
    When Naguib Mahfouz was only seven, he witnessed the Eqyptian revolution of 1919. It is said to have had a great effect on him as it gave him his initial experience of nationalist sentiment and deeply influenced his writings later on.
  • // 1930 To 1934
    After completing his education at the Kuttab, Naguib Mahfouz was enrolled at Egyptian University in 1930. He graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 1934. He went on to pursue an M.A in Philosophy, but discontinued after a year, with the objective of taking up professional writing as occupation.
  • // 1934 To 1971
    After completing his graduation, Naguib Mahfouz went on to take up work with the Egyptian civil service in 1934. Here, he continued working in various departments until his retirement in the year 1971. His initially worked as a clerk at the Cairo University.
  • // 1936
    By 1936, he began his writing career as a journalist with Al – Risala. During this time, he also used to contribute short stories to newspapers Al- Ahram and El- Hilal.
  • // 1938
    In 1938, he was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Islamic Endowments at the Ministry of Islamic Endowments (Awqaf). The following year Naguib Mahfouz’s debut novel ‘Khufu’s Wisdom’ was published.
  • // 1940 To 1980
    Between the years 1940 and 1980, approximately twenty five of his works were converted into screenplays. However, he was not interested in adapting his own books and thus did not participate in these endeavors directly.
  • // 1945
    He requested a transfer to the al-Ghuri Mausoleum library at Cairo in 1945. Here, he managed the ‘Good Loan Project’, which was an ‘interest- free’ loan program for poor.
  • // 1954
    Naguib Mahfouz married Atiyyatallah Ibrahim in 1954. The couple had two daughters - Fatima and Umm Kalthum.
  • // 1956 To 1957
    Naguib Mahfouz’s works are concentrated around the lives and people of Egypt. His most notable work is the ‘The Cairo Trilogy’, a collection of three novels that were published during 1956-1957, and earned him international acclaim.
  • // 1959
    In 1959, his novel ‘Awlād ḥāratinā’ (Children of the Alley) was published and was subsequently banned in Egypt owing to its controversial content. The usage of religious prophets’ names and the treatment of religion in the novel caused much outrage among a section and he even received death threats.
  • // 1971
    In 1971, he was offered a position with al – Ahram newspaper and he continued to write a column every week. He continued contributing to the paper until a short while before his death.
  • // 1988
    In 1988 Naguib Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • // 1989 To 1995
    In 1989, the American University at Cairo awarded him the Presidential Medal. The University also gave him an honorary doctorate in 1995.
  • // 1992
    In 1992, he was made an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
  • // 1994
    He was stabbed in the neck by a religious fanatic in 1994 in an attempt to take his life. He recovered the attack but the nerves on the upper right limb were severely damaged. This had a negative impact on his work as he was able to write for a few minutes a day only.
  • // 2002
    In 2002, he was elected as a member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • // 30th Aug 2006
    Naguib Mahfouz died on 30 August 2006 at Cairo. He was 94 at the time of his death.

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Naguib Mahfouz's FAQ

  • What is Naguib Mahfouz birthday?

    Naguib Mahfouz was born at 1911-12-11

  • When was Naguib Mahfouz died?

    Naguib Mahfouz was died at 2006-08-30

  • Where was Naguib Mahfouz died?

    Naguib Mahfouz was died in Cairo

  • Which age was Naguib Mahfouz died?

    Naguib Mahfouz was died at age 94

  • Where is Naguib Mahfouz's birth place?

    Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo, Egypt

  • What is Naguib Mahfouz nationalities?

    Naguib Mahfouz's nationalities is Egyptian

  • Who is Naguib Mahfouz spouses?

    Naguib Mahfouz's spouses is Attiyatullah Mahfouz (m. 1954)

  • Who is Naguib Mahfouz childrens?

    Naguib Mahfouz's childrens is Fatima, Umm Kalthum

  • What was Naguib Mahfouz universities?

    Naguib Mahfouz studied at Cairo University

  • Who is Naguib Mahfouz's father?

    Naguib Mahfouz's father is Abdel-Aziz Ibrahim

  • Who is Naguib Mahfouz's mother?

    Naguib Mahfouz's mother is Fatimah

  • What is Naguib Mahfouz's sun sign?

    Naguib Mahfouz is Sagittarius

  • How famous is Naguib Mahfouz?

    Naguib Mahfouz is famouse as Novelist