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 Ahmed Shawqi

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PostSubject: Ahmed Shawqi   13/11/2010, 6:37 pm




Ahmed Shawqi (December 25,1869–December13,1932)See http://www.shorouknews.com/Columns/Column.aspx?ID=325342(Arabic: أحمد شوقي, Egyptian Arabic: Egyptian Arabicpronunciation: æħmæd ˈʃæwʔi])was one of the finest Arabic Language poets and dramatists who pioneered the modern Egyptian literary movement, most notably introducing the genreof poetic epics to the Arabic literary tradition. Shawqi also produceddistinctive poetry that is widely considered to be the most prominent of the20th century in Egypt.His family were of Kurdishorigin[1] and hisparents were born and raised in Egypt.
Life
Monument forAhmed Shawqi in Doqqi, Cairo
Raised in a privileged setting, his familywas prominent and well-connected with the court of the Khedive of Egypt. Upon graduating from high school,he attended law school, obtaining a degree in translation. Shawqiwas then offered a job in the court of the Khedive Abbas II, which heimmediately accepted.
After a year working in the court of theKhedive, Shawqi was sent to continue his studies in Law at the Universities of Montpellier and Paris for three years. While in France, he was heavily influenced by theworks of French playwrights, most notably Molière and Racine.
He returned to Egyptin 1894, and remained a prominent member of Arab literary culture until theBritish forced him into exile in southern Spain,Andalusia, in 1914.Shawqi remained there until 1920, when he returned to Egypt. In 1927he was crowned by his peers Amir al- Sho’araa’ أمير الشعراء(literally: the Prince of Poets) inrecognition of his considerable contributions to the literary field.
He used to live in ‘Karmet Ibn Hani’ or IbnHani’s Vineyard كرمةابن هانىء at Al-Matariyyaharea near the palace of the Khedive Abbas II at SarayEl-Qobba until he was exiled. After returning to Egypthe built a new house at Giza which he namedthe new Karmet Ibn Hani.[2] He met Mohammed Abdel Wahab, and introduced him for the first time toart, making him his protégé as he gave him a suite in his house. The houselater on became Ahmed Shawki Museum and Mohammed Abdel Wahab became one of the most famous Egyptiancomposers.
Works
Shawqi’s work can be categorized into threemain periods during his career:

  • The first coincides with the period during which he occupied a position at the court of the Khedive, consisting of eulogies to the Khedive: praising him or supporting his policy.
  • The second comprised the period of his exile in Spain. During this period, his feeling of nostalgia and sense of alienation directed his poetic talent to patriotic poems on Egypt as well as the Arab world.
  • The third stage occurred after his return from exile: during that period he became preoccupied with the glorious history of Ancient Egypt and Islam. This was the period during which he wrote his religious poems, in praise of the Prophet Muhammad. The maturation of his poetic style was also reflected in his plays, the most notable of which were published during this period.

Plays
Shawqi was the first in Arabic literatureto write poetic plays. He wrote five tragedies:

  • Magnun Laila (literally "The Madman of Layla"), his first play.
  • The Death of Cleopatra, his most famous play.
  • 'Antara
  • Ali bek el-Kabeer
  • Qambeez (Cambyses II), 1931

and two comedies:

  • Es-Set Huda (literally: Madam Huda)
  • El-Bakhila (literally: the Miser)

in addition to a prose play: the Princess of Andalusia.
Poetry

  • Esh-Shawqiyyat, his selected works, in four volumes, including Nahj al-Burda, a tribute to the Prophet Muhammad
  • A long poem about the History of Islam, named The States of Arabs and the Great Men of Islam.

Prose
Shawqi wrote several exquisitely written novels. A few survived. He also wrote chaptersof prose, they are quite didactic, about diverse subjects, that might seemincoherent at a cursory glance and collected them under the title: the Markets of Gold.
Novels
The Last Pharaoh, translated by Poet AhmedSeddik
Memory
Shawqi is celebrated in several parts of theworld and in Egyptthere is a monthly lecture series about his poetry at the Sawy Culturewheel.Google made a doodlefor him on selected Arabic-speaking countries on October 16, 2010 in honor of his memory.

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