This content is not available in your region

Egyptian novelist Gamal Al Ghitani dies

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Egyptian novelist Gamal Al Ghitani dies

<p>Renowned Egyptian novelist and journalist Gamal Al Ghitani died on Sunday at a hospital in Cairo where he had been in a coma for more than three months, his wife said.</p> <p>Al Ghitani, 70, was admitted to Cairo’s El Galaa Military Hospital after he faced difficulty in breathing.</p> <p>“He died this morning,” Al Ghitani’s wife, Majida Al Jendi, told reporters.</p> <p>State media reported that Al Ghitani’s funeral was to be held at Cairo’s Sayyida Nafisa mosque later in the day.</p> <p>Al Ghitani, a firm supporter of the army since the fall of veteran leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011, was one of Egypt’s most acclaimed writers and shared a close friendship with the Arab world’s only Nobel laureate, Najeeb Mahfouz.</p> <p>Al Ghitani’s books, including widely praised novel Zayni Barakat, have been translated into several languages including English, German and French.</p> <p>An opponent of Islamists, Al Ghitani, who worked as a carpet designer before taking to writing, reported extensively from the frontline during the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict.</p> <p>Acclaimed locally and internationally, Al Ghitani won many awards, the latest being the Nile Award for Literature in 2015, the highest literary honour granted by the Egyptian government.</p> <p>In 1987 he was made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a prestigious position awarded by the French government recognising significant achievement in the arts.</p> <p>In 1993, Al Ghitani founded and headed Akhbar Al Adab (Literature News), one of Egypt’s literary newspapers. He remained its chief editor until 2011.</p> <p><span class="caps">AFP</span></p>