With the 15th of November upon us, we are reminded of the passing of the renowned writer and thinker Taha Hussein. The General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO), an organisation that prints and publishes Egyptian cultural books, has announced the completion of the “Restoring Taha Hussein Works” project. The project will republish 17 of Hussein’s literary works to reintroduce them to young Arabic readers. The project honours his legacy on the 50th anniversary of his passing.
Among these 17 works set for the public to rediscover, GEBO has so far republished Hafez & 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. Many others will be unravelled during the upcoming Cairo International Book Fair, which is scheduled for January 26th to February 6th, 2024.
Young Arabs recognise Taha Hussein for his autobiography Al-Ayyam, which was published in English as The Stream of Days. Its social influence was monumental. Having used his experience – going blind as a result of faulty treatment for his ophthalmological condition – Hussein has dedicated much of his life to raising awareness on the issue of resorting to unqualified pseudo-practitioners and the vital role of education in the lives of people with disabilities. Al-Ayyam has been required reading for high school seniors in Egypt for decades. Throughout his life, Taha Hussein published more than 60 books, including six novels, two of which were adapted into the films Doaa’ el Karawan and El Hob el Da’ee, and 1,300 articles.