Mahmoud Salem

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Mahmoud Salem
محمود سالم
Died24 February 2013 (aged 82)
EducationHigh school
PeriodLate 1960s - 2000s
GenreChildren literature
Detective fiction
Mystery fiction
Notable worksThe 13 Devils
The Five Adventurers

Mahmoud Salem (Arabic: محمود سالم‎; 1931 - 24 February 2013) was an eminent Egyptian author who was known for children books and mystery series.

Early life and education[edit]

Salem was born in Alexandria in 1931 as a son of a naval officer.[1][2] He was raised in different cities in Egypt.[3]

He first attended a military college, but left it due to his membership to a leftist group during the late 1940s.[1] Then he joined Cairo University's faculty of law.[1] However, he again left his studies.[1]

Career and activities[edit]

After leaving his studies at the faculty of law, Salem began to work as a journalist.[1] During the 1950s, he worked for the state-run daily Al Gomhuria, firstly as military reporter during the Suez war and then, as head of the crime section.[3] During the 1960s he worked for the Radio and Television Magazine and then, for the children’s magazine Samir where he began to write detective and mystery fiction.[3] He fled the country and lived in Lebanon when he was forced to exile due to his support for the Nasserist views in the 1970s.[3] Until his last days, he published weekly political articles in the newspaper, Al Tahrir.[4] One of his latest articles published on 22 February 2013 involved criticisms against the Muslim Brotherhood.[4]


Salem was the author of many well-known books in Arabic, targeting children and adolescents. Total number of his books is nearly 300.[5][6] One of his books is the 13 Devils written by him while he was in exile in Lebanon.[3] It was series of mystery novels, in which 13 characters from different Arab countries deal with plots of foreign intelligence service.[3] In 2007, one of his stories was filmed.[5] The Five Adventurers, a mystery series, is about the adventures of five children.[2]


Salem died in Cairo at the age of 82 on 24 February 2013.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Saad, Mohammed (25 February 2013). "Pioneering children's author Mahmoud Salem dies at 84". Ahram Online. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Departure of Egyptian Mystery Author Mahmoud Salem". Alowais. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Prominent fiction writer Mahmoud Salem dies at 84". Egypt Independent. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Egyptian author Mahmoud Salem dies age 84". Daily News. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Salem passes away". Poetry News Agency. Cairo. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  6. ^ Patterson Iskander, Sylvia (1993). "Arabic Adventurers and American Investigators: Cultural Values in Adolescent Detective Fiction" (PDF). Children's Literature. 21: 118–131. doi:10.1353/chl.0.0266. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2013.