Naguib Mahfouz - Nobel Prize, Compiled by Egypt Today Naguib Mahfouz - Nobel Prize, Compiled by Egypt Today

et Quote: Naguib Mahfouz

Mon, Dec. 11, 2017
CAIRO – 11 December 2017: “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” - Naguib Mahfouz

Celebrating the birthday of the legendary Nobel Prize-winning author

Naguib Mahfouz

, we have gathered only some of his best quotes considering that we would never be able to include all of them due to there being too many still relevant.

“The Arab world also won the Nobel with me. I believe that international doors have opened and that from now on, literate people will consider Arab literature also. We deserve that recognition.” - Naguib Mahfouz

Mahfouz was born on this day back in 1911 and passed away on August 30, 2006 at the age of 96. He is mainly known for being as one of the first Arabic literature contemporary writers. Every day, Mahfouz would write for the duration one hour during his 70-year career he wrote 25 movie scripts, seven plays, 350 short stories and 34 novels. Egyptian cinema today has witnessed over 30 movies that were based on Mahfouz’s novels and literary works.

“I was a government employee in the morning and a writer in the evening.” - Naguib Mahfouz

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Naguib Mahfouz - Courtesy of AUC Press


There was an assassination attempt by an Islamic extremist that took place in 1994 on Mahfouz, who was 82 at the time due to his controversial novel “Awlad Haretna” (The Children of Gebelawi”). The novel spoke about God, the prophets and creatively explained the philosophy of religion. This incident only directed attention to the novel, which was later deemed as one of the most famous novels in the history of Arabic literature.

“We used the Western style to express our own themes and stories. But don't forget that our heritage includes The Thousand and One Nights.” - Naguib Mahfouz

The Egyptian government would go on to honor Mahfouz with Egyptian State Prize twice for his literary works. While the American University in Cairo (AUC) recognized him with a doctorate in 1995 and was chosen as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Institute of Arts.

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Naguib Mahfouz - Courtesy of AUC Press


“There are no heroes in most of my stories. I look at our society with a critical eye and find nothing extraordinary in the people I see.” - Naguib Mahfouz

The AUC press has become his main English language publisher and agent of all translation rights. The agreement was signed with Mahfouz prior to his death and there are around 600 editions in 40 languages for his works displayed at AUC Press.

“I defend both the freedom of expression and society's right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things.” - Naguib Mahfouz


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