Louis Awad

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Louis Awad

Louis Awad (Arabic: لويس عوض‎‎) (el-Minya, 1915 - 1990)[1] was an Egyptian intellectual and a writer.

Born in the upper Egypt, in Sharuna village, in Minya, Egypt, Awad studied at the literature department of Cairo University before setting off to England for further studies before the Second World War. He returned to Egypt in 1941, after which he lived in the Cairo district of Dokki for much of his adult life.[2]

He studied literature at Cairo University, Cambridge University,[3] and Princeton University. In 1947 he was a professor of English at Cairo University and published a revolutionary collection of poems called Plotoland (also spelled Plutoland) wherein he introduced free verse forms to Egyptian literature and presented a scathing attack on traditionalism in poetry.[4][5]

He was the first Egyptian chairman of the English Department (Faculty of Letters) at Cairo University and while there, he encouraged students to listen to classical music.[6] When surrealism in art reached Egypt, he didn't denounce it but was quoted as saying, "“Whatever we think about the originality of this art form in Egypt, it was good at dealing a death blow to academism.”[7][8]

From 1945 to 1950 he joined with other writers who drew from Marxism and other sources in a call for the total reform of Egyptian society.[5] He attended talks by Taha Hussein with Denys Johnson-Davies.[9] He was outspoken in his wish for "democratization and secularism in the Arab world"[10] and he is celebrated in Egypt for having been a contemporary thinker.[11][12]

Awad's unwavering critical stance continued after the 1952 revolution. As a consequence, he suffered the humiliation of being forced to resign his position at Cairo University in 1954.[13][14] In 1976, he wrote about the revolution in The Seven Masks of Nasserism: Discussing Heikal and Tawfik Al-Hakim.[15]

Awad became the literary editor at the newspaper al-Ahram-the largest daily newspaper of the Middle East making him one of the leading opinion-makers in the Arab world.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ḥajjī, Ṭāriq Aḥmad (2003). Culture, Civilization, and Humanity. Taylor & Francis US. p. 372. ISBN 9780714684345. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Habashi, Fawzi, معتقل كل العصور, "Prisoner in all Epochs," Dar Merit, Cairo, 2004, P.28
  3. ^ Johnson-Davies, D., & Mahfouz, N. (2006). Chapter 7. In Memories in Translation: A Life between the Lines of Arabic Literature (pp. 43-48). American University in Cairo Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt15m7k62.10
  4. ^ Jabr, Fadel K. (2011). "The Children of Gilgamesh: A Half Century of modern Iraqi Poetry" (PDF). Metamorphoses (Smith College of Northampton, Massachusettes. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Brugman, J. (1984). An Introduction to the History of Modern Arabic Literature in Egypt. BRILL. ISBN 9789004071728. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "Melody and the human soul". Al Ahram Weekly. October 15, 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Beránek, Ondřej (2005). "The Surrealist Movement in Egypt in the 1930s and the 1940s". Archive Oriental (73.2): 219. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "He was a fearless pioneer". al-Ahrām. December 30, 1966. 
  9. ^ Johnson-Davies, D., & Mahfouz, N. (2006). Chapter 5. In Memories in Translation: A Life between the Lines of Arabic Literature (pp. 35-38). American University in Cairo Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt15m7k62.8
  10. ^ Luciano-Adams, Beige (2005). "Louis Awad's Secular Tradition; Samir Nakash's Love of Arab Culture; Rethinking Edward Said's 'Orientalism'; Arab Satellite TV Funding". Al Jadid. 10 (48). Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  11. ^ "Gratitude". SIS gov egypt. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Celebrated literary critic Abdel-Rahman Abu Ouf dies". ahram online org. January 1, 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  13. ^ Tsourapas, Gerasimos (2015). "Nasser's Educators and Agitators across al-Watan al-'Arabi : Tracing the Foreign Policy Importance of Egyptian Regional Migration, 1952-1967" (PDF). British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  14. ^ Hegazi, Ahmed Abdel Moaty (May 10, 2012). ""It is a cause for all of us!" — The case of Adel Imam". ahram online org. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  15. ^ Saad, Mohammed (July 24, 2015). "10 books you should read about the 1952 revolution". ahram online. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  16. ^ Turck, Nancy B. (September 1972). "The Authoritative Al-Ahram". Saudi Aramco World. 23 (5). 

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