Ismail Adham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Isma'il Ahmad Adham (Arabic: إسماعيل أحمد أدهمIPA: [esmæˈʕiːl ˈæħmæd ˈʔædhæm] Ismā'īl Aḥmad Adham; 1911–1940) was an Egyptian writer and literary critic who was born in Alexandria. He claimed to have been educated in Russia and to have received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Moscow in 1931. Adham wrote reviews of the poetry of Egypt's most celebrated writers of the era, such as Khalil Mutran, and worked as an editor for the poet and publisher Ahmed Zaki Abu Shadi. He was one of the few writers of Egypt's old regime to openly declare his atheism, which he attempted to promote through his infamous manifesto Why am I an Atheist? (Arabic: أنا ملحد؟ الماذاLimāḏā ʾanā Mulḥid). This essay provoked heated responses from theist writers of the period, putting Adham in the limelight.[1]

Adham apparently suffered from depression, and fed his melancholy by reading Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard. Adham committed suicide at the age of 29, drowning himself in the Mediterranean Sea in July 1940. His cadaver was found floating, a suicide note addressed to the police in his pocket. In the note, Adham explained that he committed suicide because he hated life, and he asked that his body be not buried but burned.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Juynboll, G.H.A. 1972. " Ismail Ahmad Adham (1911–1940), the Atheist." Journal of Arabic Literature. 3: 54–71. [1]

External links[edit]

  • [2] "Blasted Backlash," by Gamal Nkrumah. Al-Ahram Weekly, 3–9 April 2008, Issue No. 891
  • [3] "Islamic viewpoints: New secularism in the Arab world," by Ghassan F. Abdullah. Center for Inquiry.