Remembering Abbas al-Aqqad on his 128 birthday



Wed, 28 Jun 2017 - 07:48 GMT


Wed, 28 Jun 2017 - 07:48 GMT

Abbas Al-Aqqad. Courtesy of Egyptian State Information Service Center

Abbas Al-Aqqad. Courtesy of Egyptian State Information Service Center

CAIRO - 28 June 2017: Late renowned Egyptian writer and philosopher Abbas al-Aqqad is remembered on June 28, the anniversary of his 128 birthday, as a modernist writer, a leading liberal thinker in the twentieth century renaissance and a champion of freedom and patriotism in Egypt.

Aqqad was a poet, journalist, and translator who wrote 120 books on a wide array of topics including history, philosophy, poetry, literature, politics, religion and autobiographies, as well as translating books from English to Arabic. His books were widely read in the Arab world, and some of them were translated into French, German, Farsi, and Urdu.

Contributing to different fields of knowledge, Aqqad was involved in cultural, social, and political life in Egypt for approximately 80 years, according to a report released by the State Information Services Center. He was also a member of the Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo.

Early in his career he worked as a clerk and held other government posts in Upper Egypt until he started to write in newspapers. Aqqad was so interested in following literary developments that he resigned and settled in Cairo, dedicating himself to writing and journalism.

Aqqad (1889-1964), led many contemporary political battles in Egypt for renaissance, was involved with the Liberal Conventionalist Party and was imprisoned for a few months for insulting the king at the time. Aqqad called for “destroying the country’s highest authorities if they stood against the constitution,” according to an article by Arab Philosophers.

Aqqad sought to reshape Egypt’s renaissance through several of his literary and intellectual contentions that began in 1914. They revolved around modernity and novelty versus tradition. He advocated giving citizens the right to choose either innovation or traditional values. He was also preoccupied with literary renovation in poetry. He composed 11 collections of poems including ‘Morning Awakening’ and ‘Bits and Pieces.’

Often considered a liberal thinker and philosopher, Aqqad always championed human liberty. He studied several philosophical principles but preserved his own principle that depended on reasoning and spiritual consciousness.

Aqqad’s political works included ‘Zionism and the issue of Palestine’ and ‘No for Colonialism and Communism’ among others. His religious works included ‘Human being in the Holy Qur’an’, ‘Democracy in Islam’ and ‘Thought is an Islamic Duty’, among others.



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