Gamal El-Ghitani

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Gamal el-Ghitani
Gamal Ghitany.jpg
Born(1945-05-09)9 May 1945
Gihena, Egypt
Died 18 October 2015(2015-10-18) (aged 70)
Cairo, Egypt
Occupation Journalist, author, novelist
Nationality Egyptian

Gamal el-Ghitani, (Arabic : جمال الغيطانى, IPA:  [ɡæˈmæːl el ɣeˈtˤɑːni] ; 9 May 1945 18 October 2015) was an Egyptian author of historical and political novels and cultural and political commentaries and was the editor-in-chief of the literary periodical Akhbar Al-Adab ("Cultural News") till 2011.

Egyptians are an ethnic group native to Egypt and the citizens of that country sharing a common culture and a common dialect known as Egyptian Arabic.

An editor-in-chief, also known as lead editor or chief editor, is a publication's editorial leader who has final responsibility for its operations and policies. The highest ranking editor of a publication may also be titled editor, managing editor, or executive editor, but where these titles are held while someone else is editor-in-chief, the editor-in-chief outranks the others.

<i>Akhbar Al-Adab</i>

Akhbar Al Adab is an Arabic weekly literary magazine which is published by state-run Akhbar Al Yawm publishing house.


Life and works

Gamal El-Ghitani was born in Guhayna, Sohag Governorate in Upper Egypt and moved with his family to Cairo as a child. He began writing at a young age and had his first short story published when he was only 14. He was originally trained to be a carpet designer and received his diploma in 1962. He continued to write on the side and was imprisoned from October 1966 through March 1967 for his critical commentary on the regime of Gamal Abd el-Nasser. In 1969 he switched careers and became a journalist for the Egyptian newspaper Akhbar El Yom ("The Day's News"). [1]

Sohag Governorate Governorate in Egypt

Sohag Governorate is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is located in the southern part of the country, and covers a stretch of the Nile Valley. Since 1960, its capital has been the city of Sohag. Prior to that, the capital was the city of Girga and the name of the governorate was Girga Governorate.

Cairo City in Egypt

Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East, and the 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 CE by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, and is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC.

After becoming a journalist, el-Ghitani continued to write historical fiction, and many of his stories are set in Cairo. He also wrote about many cultural and political topics, notably the level of censorship in modern-day Egypt. In an effort to help promote the Arab literary culture, he helped found the literary magazine "Gallery 68".

In 1980, he was awarded with the Egyptian National Prize for Literature, and in 1987, the French Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 1985, he became editor-in-chief of Al Akhbar ("The News") [1] and continued to be a contributing editor to Akhbar El-Yom's literary section. From 1993 to 2011, he was the editor-in-chief of Akhbar Al-Adab, one of Egypt's primary literary magazines. [1] In 2005, he won a French Award for translated literature "Laure Bataillon", one of the highest French awards to be bestowed upon non-French writers. He was entitled for this award due to his giant work "Kitâb al-Tagalliyyât" or "Book of Illuminations". In 2009, he was awarded the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Ren, the award is worth about $200,000 and is one of the world's richest literary awards.

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and its supplementary status to the Ordre national du Mérite was confirmed by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. Its purpose is the recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.

<i>Al Akhbar</i> (Egypt)

Al Akhbar is an Arabic daily newspaper based in Egypt. It is a state-owned semi-official newspaper.

Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is "one of the most prestigious and well-funded prizes in the Arab World." It is presented yearly to "Arab writers, intellectuals, publishers as well as young talent whose writings and translations of humanities have scholarly and objectively enriched Arab cultural, literary and social life." The award was established in memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the principal architect of United Arab Emirates, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE for over 30 years (1971–2004). The first award was in 2007. The total value of the prizes is DH 7,000,000 making it one of the richest literary awards in the world.

Gamal El-Ghitani was married to the Egyptian journalist Magda El-Guindy, editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram's children's magazine "Alaaeddin". He has a son, Mohammad, and a daughter, Magda. He died on 18 October 2015 at the El Galaa Hospital For Armed Forces Officers Families in Cairo. [2]


See also

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  1. 1 2 3 Safaa Azab (7 August 2014). "Gamal El-Ghitani: Nasser should have listened to Naguib Mahfouz". Asharq Al Awsat. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  2. "Award Winning Novelist Gamal Al Ghitani Dies At Age 70". The Palestine Telegraph. 18 October 2015. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015.