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New museum for Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz – Times of India

Photo: Foreign visitor reads the biography of the late Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz after the official opening of the museum in Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Sameh Elkhatib/Files

A museum commemorating the life and works of Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz has opened in Cairo, nearly 13 years after the Nobel laureate’s death.
Mahfouz was an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature and is the only Arab to do so. He wrote over 30 novels, 300 stories and even several movie scripts. When awarded the Swedish Academy praised his work saying, “Themes like the nature of time and love, society and norms, knowledge and faith recur in a variety of situations and are presented in thought-provoking, evocative, and clearly daring ways. And the poetic quality of your prose can be felt across the language barrier. “
The Naguib Mahfouz Museum and Creativity Centre houses the belongings and personal library of Mahfouz.

The centre, in a redeveloped building dating back to 1774, had been planned for years but had been delayed by financial and other issues.

“I hope this museum becomes a centre of cultural radiation and a tourist attraction,” Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem said at the opening ceremony on Sunday.

The two-storey building in Cairo’s Gamaliya district is near to where the author was born and the area was the inspiration for many of his stories and characters.

As well as displaying some of his personal belongings and handwritten texts, the museum includes a hall containing all his works, in modern and old editions, as well as seminar rooms, an audiovisual library and a library housing research and studies on Mahfouz’s works.

His Nobel medal, however, is not on display and remains with his family.

Mahfouz’s daughter Umm Kulthum, who attended the opening, said she was happy that the dream of building the museum had been realised “after years of waiting”.

End of the article

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