Veteran novelist and author Dr. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik - File photo
CAIRO - 4 April 2018: On Monday, I had that burning feeling of losing a friend without saying goodbye. Once I learned that Dr. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik passed away, I felt that I lost an old friend who I haven’t heard from in a long time, but still have a deep appreciation for in my heart.
I was introduced to Tawfik’s writings through my friends. I was fascinated by his easy language and pure imagination that smoothly touched the mind of a 9-year-old child – most of my generation started reading Tawfik’s books at this age – and I got hooked. His books never left me alone during my family trips, summer vacations and before closing my eyes to sleep.
You don't need to be super to be a hero
Every month I was anticipating the new episode of the pocket-sized epic series “Ma Wara Al-Tabia” (Supernatural Phenomenon) to follow up on the new adventure of his protagonist, Dr. Refaat Ismail, an old doctor with the lowest physical characteristics and average IQ.
Dr. Refaat Ismail as portrayed by Ahmed Khaled Tawfik
Dr. Refaat was not wealthy, lucky or masculine, and for sure wasn’t handsome, but he was a deep thinker and realistic man with a big heart to love one woman deeply and eternally – Magy. He made an entire generation believe that one can be a hero without a superpower.
A caricature depicts Ahmed Khaled Tawfik meets with his protagonist Dr. Refaat Ismail in heaven - By Sameh Sameer
He made the youth read
Tawfik was an honest man, but he used to write about the extraordinary phenomenon, sci-fi classics and horror stories that you can always learn something from.
After experiencing a life-changing heart attack in 2011, Tawfik talked more about death and predicted his end; he even predicted the date of his funeral – April 3 – in one of his articles. In another article, Tawfik expressed his will to have “He made the youth read” written on his own tombstone, a wish that was fulfilled by one of his faithful readers.
One of Ahmed Khaled Tawfik's readers fulfilled his wish and posted a paper says “He made the youth read” on his tombstone - Facebook Photo
He even predicted the sorrow and pain in his funeral, saying, “My funeral will be beautiful and moving; unfortunately I will not see it, although I will certainly be there.”
The approach with the youth of January 25 Revolution
As usual, Tawfik did not miss the chance to share in the revolution of the generation he wrote for, so he wrote “Senja – Knife” in 2012, the sad, pessimistic, unfortunate novel about a girl who commits suicide and a failed novelist who tries to decode the mystery of her death by approaching the reality she lived in. The ugly, painful society Tawfik described was an extreme description of pre-revolution Egypt, in an attempt to unveil the reality surrounding the youth who rose from the ashes to lead this great revolution.
The cover of his book “Senja – Knife” released in 2012
With lots of tears and loud prayers, the youth gathered before a tomb in Tanta on April 3, 2018 to say goodbye to a man their parents never heard of. Despite dying at the age of 55, Tawfik was never an old man; he was young at heart, quiet, always smiling and never empty of words.
At last, goodbye Dr. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik; goodbye our godfather; you will never be forgotten.