Egypt’s Poet of the Poor: 2013 Prince Claus Laureate Ahmed Fouad Negm

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Film on the Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm by AROMA Pictures, directed by Ahmed Manawishi, for the Prince Claus Award, 2013. Video: PrinceClausFund via YouTube.

Ahmed Fouad Negm (1929-2013) was a master poet, fearless social and political critic, and beloved advocate of the poor and the disenfranchised. Rooted in local working class culture, he has been a perceptive public intellectual and a much-loved balladeer of the people for many decades. Negm is both an icon and a folk hero, renowned in literary circles for the quality, lyricism and beauty of his work, from love songs to radical satires that take the complex, highly nuanced vernacular Arabic to unprecedented poetic levels. He is celebrated on the streets of Cairo and across the Arab world for giving voice to the spirit of the people’s movement for social justice. –Prince Claus Award Committee

Sampsonia Way Fearless, Ink. Egyptian columnist Hamdy El-Gazzar wrote his most recent column about Ahmed Fouad Negm, who died on December 3, 2013.

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Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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