Naguib Mahfouz, 1911-2006

Naguib Mahfouz passed away this morning after more than a week of hospitalization, finally succumbing to complications that included internal bleeding.

There's a good essay about Mahfouz on the Nobel Prize site.

More later.

Update: I have a reflection on Mahfouz on the Guardian's Comment is Free website and was also interviewed by Radio France International's English broadcast about his significance in Egypt and the Arab world. Let me know what you think. The funny thing is that while I'm not actually a great fan of Mahfouz's work, I loved the man and his persona. If you really want to know tons of great anecdotes about him, pick up Gamal Ghitani's recent book (in Arabic only, for now) about the literary salons he held throughout his life, which Ursula wrote about here.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,