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Egypt mourns death of 'people's poet' Ahmed Fouad Negm

Egypt mourns death of 'people's poet' Ahmed Fouad Negm
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Egyptians are mourning the death of the man known as the “poet of the people” who challenged successive military leaders and whose work inspired young generations to push for change.

Ahmed Fouad Negm who was 84, had been ill for some time.

His satirical work, written in colloquial Egyptian Arabic, struck a chord with people as they struggled to come to terms with momentous events in their nation’s history.

These included the humiliating defeat at the hands of Israel in 1967, the 1979 peace treaty with Israel and the authoritarian rule of Hosni Mubarak.

“Ahmed Fouad Negm is the people’s poet, he was always in revolt and he taught many generations,” said singer Azza Balba. She was among many friends and family at the funeral which was held at a well-known mosque in Cairo’s medieval district.

Imprisoned under Egypt’s rulers Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, the poet was also critical of Islamists, including the country’s first elected president Mohamed Mursi, who was ousted from power by the army in July.