Emirates News Agency – Abu Dhabi International Book Fair session discusses Taha Hussein’s influence


ABU DHABI, 28th May, 2022 (WAM) — A panel discussion at the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this week saw experts and scholars discuss Egyptian writer and intellectual Taha Hussein, considered one of the Most Influential Cultural Figures of the Twentieth Century.

During the session, titled “Taha Hussein: Critic and Thinker,” Arab scholars agreed that Hussein deserved the title “Dean of Arabic Literature” for his immense contributions to the modernization of Arabic literature. His critical approaches have even been compared to the great Arab classical poet, philosopher and writer Abu Alaa Al Ma’aari.

Dr. Hassan Nazim, Iraq’s Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, described Hussein’s literary status and genius in creating a modern shift in the Arabic language paradigm that led to its modernization, noting its desire to rethink the heritage of the Arabic language and adapt it to needs. of a new generation”.

Dr. Mohsen Al Musawi, professor of Arabic studies and comparative literature at Columbia University, New York, said Hussein worked continuously to defend intellectuals who immersed themselves in perfecting their art. “At the height of his career, during the cholera epidemic in Egypt, he adhered to his critical and intellectual vision and philosophy. He was keen that societies and countries be led by educated leaders”, he added.

Dr. Hassan Madan, Bahraini author and scholar, commented: “Dr. Taha Hussein has drawn the characteristics of the intellectual and literary roadmap that we need as Arabs. It is an Arab project that is about Arab culture, and we here in Abu Dhabi, as Arabs, are discussing his importance as a great literary figure. We need to pay more attention to his writings to understand his experience and his legacy.

Dr Diaa Al Kaabi, Associate Professor of Modern Literary Criticism at the College of Arts, University of Bahrain, said Dr Hussein is a man of great depth and foresight, with a deep connection between him and Abu Alaa Al-Ma’aari. , the classical poet, and noted that Hussein’s blindness gave him a unique insight, which is reflected in his critical speeches.

Dr. Ahmed Al Saeed, Founder and Executive Director of Beit Al Hikma, Cultural Industries Group, said, “Dr. Hussein’s literature has resonated in China and with Chinese intellectuals and writers. I have reviewed numerous doctoral and master’s theses that dealt with his work. because he is considered a great figure, not just a regional figure but a global figure whose work is respected around the world.”

The session took place in the presence of Saqr Ghobash, President of the Federal National Council (FNC); Ambassador Dr. Muzaffar Mustafa Al Jubouri, Ambassador of Iraq to the United Arab Emirates; Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, President of the Arabic Language Center of Abu Dhabi; and a number of other cultural officials and personalities, as well as journalists and media professionals.

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