During his short lifetime Naguib Surur courted adulation,
and notoriety in equal measure. His work was meant to
shock - and it did, he was shocking .
Born in June1932, he graduated from the Egyptian
Institute of Acting in 1956; then traveled to Russia to take a doctorate in drama. Returning to Egypt in 1964, he made his debut as a director at the Pocket Theatrewith Chekov's Cherry Orchard. He taught at the Academy of Theatrical Arts until the mid-1970s when attacks of depression began to take their toll. He died in October, 24, 1978, at the age of 46.
Hismost famous poem collection is Kuss Ummiyyat- an outpouring of rage written in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. His work has never been formally published in Egypt, it was widelycirculated and still having the power to make waves.
Accounts of his life reveal a wild, troubled soul who embarrassed friends as well as enemies, and was regarded by some as simply mad. He is against mostpeople’s perspectives. He would never compromise his art in order to please the authorities. He could not be bought, copied or corrupted.
Official Languages: Arabic
Actual population: 20 000
By Wendy Salas Segura
Maqrizi's daughter is lost
In the plague
And the plague always comes onthe tail of a famine,
When prices are measured against a kilo of meat,
Even the price of writers, novelists, poets,
Artists and scientists,
When the stuff of the dreams of the poor is meat;
Fruit for the masters.
I recall a poet's saying:
I shall sleep not to see
My country being bought and sold.
Then drink from two glasses,
Or, if you wish, drink from one.If my death cannot be driven away,
Then let me engage with it
With what I have at hand.
The poem in question, known as the Drink Delirium, was written by Surur between 1969 and 1974....