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General Egyptian Book Organization Reprint Rare Books by Taha Hussein

The 'Restoring Taha Hussein' project hopes to reintroduce the writer's legacy to a new generation of Arabic readers.

John Bichara

General Egyptian Book Organization Reprint Rare Books by Taha Hussein

On the 50th anniversary of the death of Taha Hussein, one of the most celebrated writers in Egypt and the 'Dean of Arabic Literature', the General Egyptian Book Organization - a government body dedicated to preserving and promoting Egyptian literature - has completed its 'Restoring Taha Hussein' project to reprint the prestigious author's works.

The 'Restoring Taha Hussein' project hopes to reintroduce the writer's legacy to a new generation of Arabic readers. Born in 1889 in Minya, Taha Hussein became blind at the age of two, and grew up to study at Cairo University, as well as the University of Montpellier and Sorbonne University in France. Upon his return to Egypt, he was appointed professor of history at Cairo University, and later became a professor of Arabic literature and Semitic languages. He was the founding Rector of the University of Alexandria, and was later appointed the Minister of Education in 1950, promoting free education for all and establishing a number of new universities.

As an author, Taha Hussein published more than 60 books including six novels and 1,300 articles. In the West, he was most famous for his autobiography 'Al-Ayyam', which was published abroad as 'An Egyptian Childhood' and 'The Stream of Days'.

The General Egyptian Book Organization has so far republished 'Hafez and Shawki', 'Pioneers of Thoughts', 'Selected Poetical Texts of the Greek Drama', 'The Literary Life in the Arabian Peninsula', and his translation of Voltaire's 'Book of Fate', amongst others. The organisation plans to restore more of Hussein's work in the near future.

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