Remembering Egypt's most famous travel writer



Sat, 19 Aug 2017 - 12:15 GMT


Sat, 19 Aug 2017 - 12:15 GMT

Anis Mansour -  File photo.

Anis Mansour - File photo.

CAIRO - 19 August 2017: August 18 marked the birthday of the late Egyptian cultural icon, Anis Mansour.

After a rich career that lasted for over half a century, the prolific writer Mansour left us a legacy of over 180 books that he had either authored, translated, or edited. He wrote about a wide array of subjects, including travel, science, history, biography, philosophy, literature, religion and politics.

Mansour is famous for his witty and attractive writing style that is more artistic than journalistic. When it came to his travels, he was very descriptive. He makes the readers fell like they are experiencing the trips first hand. His writing style made him popular among today’s readers and in the future.

How it all started

After the 1952 revolution, the renowned weekly magazine Rose al-Youssef appointed Mansour to travel to Europe on orders to follow news about the overthrown King Farouk. That travelogue was the beginning of his travel writing.

In 1959, Mansour started his famous travels around the world. For 225 days, he traveled across the five continents. He went from Cairo to India, then to Tibet, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, New York, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and then back to Cairo.

During this amazing journey, he was the first journalist to ever interview Dalai Lama, and the first Arab journalist to visit Australia. The articles he wrote during this journey were published in the famous newspaper Akhbar al-Youm.

Inspired by Jules Verne’s classical novel entitled Around the World in 80 Days, Mansour also compiled his articles and published his most famous book Around the World in 200 Days. His work earned him a huge state award. The author Taha Hussein wrote the introduction for the books third edition, and he praised Mansour’s style. The book was a huge success. Moreover, the former Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat wanted to add it to the Egyptian school curricula. However, the book was never added to the curriculum.

Although it was a travel account that took place about 60 years ago, the book is still widely read today. The book’s famous and large volume can be easily recognized in almost each and every bookstore in Egypt.

He also authored a number of books about his travels. He was inspired by Robert A. Heinlein's famous science fiction novel. Mansour wrote a book called Stranger in a strange land which consists of four volumes, about his travels in Africa, Russia, Yemen, and Algeria.

Among his bestselling books is a book called The Strangest Journeys in History. In this book he wrote about weird historic trips and expeditions that took place all over the world. Most of the stories are very famous, others are less well known.



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