Naguib Mahfouz’s funeral

Sorry I’m short of time thesedays due to work commitments, so can’t blog regularly.
Anyways, here are pix by Nasser Nouri of Naguib Mahfouz’s funeral today.

Naguib's funeral

And here’s a report by Reuters…

Pomp, ceremony but no public at Mahfouz’s funeral
By Aziz Kaissouni
CAIRO, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Nobel Prize-winning author Naguib Mahfouz was given a state funeral on Thursday but the everyday Egyptians his novels depicted were kept out of sight by heavy security.
Mahfouz’s flag-draped coffin was carried on a horse-drawn carriage past rows of soldiers in ceremonial dress, ahead of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, to the sound of drums and trumpets.
The writer’s dedicated readers braved the scorching Cairo sun for hours, only to be told they would not be allowed to attend the procession.
“He doesn’t want a state funeral…he wants the people to bear him on their shoulders,” shouted Mahfouz fan Amal.
“Did he write for the flag? Did he write for the horses? He wrote for the poor. We should walk in his funeral.”
In keeping with Mahfouz’s wishes, a small ceremony had been held earlier in the day in the Al-Hussein mosque, in the heart of historic Cairo where many of his novels were set.
Only a few dozen people attended the ceremony, held under tight security. A Reuters witness said a group of men had attempted to enter the mosque in protest at prayers being held there for the novelist, whom they said was an infidel.
The author, the only writer in Arabic to win the Nobel Literature Prize, in 1988, survived an assassination attempt six years later when Islamist militants stabbed him in the neck.
Religious authorities said one of his novels broke Islamic rules by clearly depicting God and the prophets.
After the prayer ceremony, Mahfouz’s coffin was quickly bundled into a van for the state funeral. Thousands have attended similar funerals for other celebrities in recent years.
For Mahfouz, tearful members of the public were replaced by thousands of black-clad security men who had brought traffic in the area to a standstill. Only mourners from Egypt’s political elite were clearly visible.
Less than 60 die-hard fans tried to get close to the procession which was not visible from where they were allowed to stand. Some of them had travelled from far-flung provinces to attend.
Mohsen Khas, from one of Cairo’s poorer suburbs, had arrived too late for the morning ceremony and had taken a big sign praising Mahfouz to the state funeral instead.
Once again the coffin passed without him catching a glimpse.
“Farewell, Arab Shakespeare,” his sign read.

0 thoughts on “Naguib Mahfouz’s funeral”

  1. Back to the early 1988, when Mahfouz launched off his bias -alleged masterpiece “Kids of Our Suburb” which had tipped the balance of dozens of muslims home and abroad to think twice before they could come out with another benign comment and spoke highly of this nifty laureate, he hadn’t far too much known that his masterpiece, as being depicted by the occidental communities, would have gained the then tittle-tattle. He gained commercially and occidentally when he depicted our popular Egyptian suburbs as icons of violence, apathy and finally abomination. However, he failed orientally.
    The only creature deserved to walk in his funeral procession is his faithful Nobel Prize which will soon shed crocodile tears over his death. Rest in peace Naguib of the deadly world and in tears we supplicate our God to retain your dear-valued pedigree inside your cemetery.

  2. Mahfouz Shakespeare of the Arab World?
    Mahfouz did not chronicle the lives of the royals bu chose common people. One can liken him to Zola or to Dostoeivski (in that he wrote always about one city), but Shakespeare?

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