Yehia Haqqi


Yehia Haqqi was a prominent novelist, short story writer, and one of the pioneers of the twentieth century literary movement in
Egypt. He was born on January 1, 1905 in the popular district of Sayyada Zeinab in Cairo into a literary family. His uncle was a writer and his brother edited the magazine Sufur, in which the stories of Mahmoud Taymour appeared.

Haqqi studied law and graduated 1925. He worked for a short period as a lawyer in Alexandria, as a civil servant in the provinces, and as a diplomat in the Middle East and Europe. He served in
Jeddah, Rome, Paris, and Ankara. In 1952 he was appointed Ambassador to Libya.

In 1953 he was appointed director of arts departments and in 1958 as a literary advisor to the Egyptian General Book Organization. In 1959 he became editor of Al Magalla, the leading cultural monthly of Cairo.

"Qindeel Umm Hashem" (Umm Hashem’s Lantern) 1944, is one of his best known novellas. It recounts the difficulties faced by a young man who is sent abroad to finish his studies in medicine.

He also wrote "Umm Al A"wagiz"(The Mother of the Helpless) "Dimaa we Teen" (Blood and Mud) "Antar and Juliet" " Sah el noom" (wake up) "Ihtigag" (Protest) "Aqrab Affandy" (Mr. Scorpion) "Tanawa"at Al Asbab" (Means vary) "Qessa fi Ard"hal" (A Story in petition) "Iflass Khatibah" (The bankruptcy of a Match Maker) "Al firash al Shaghir" (The Empty Bed) and " Al Bostagy" (The Postman). His autobiography is titled “Khaleeha ala Allah" (Leave it to God).

His study of law has its impact on his writings, which are characterized by objectivity.

Haqqi contributed to contemporary Egyptian cultural and artistic revival, including the creation of an arts institute, a puppet theatre, the Cairo symphony orchestra, and folkloric arts troupes.

He wrote a number of books on cinematographic art including "Madrast Al Masrah" (Theatre School) "Homom Thakqafia" (Cultural Concerns).

He translated into Arabic a number of European books, by authors such as Stephen Zweig ; Mikhail Sadoviano; Thomas Mann ; Desmond Stewart.

Together with
Tawfiq al Hakim, Taha Hussein, Mahmoud Taymour and Naguib Mahfouz, Haqqi belongs to a small group of exceptionally talented writers who laid the foundation for the literary renaissance in Egypt.

Read Arabic Short Stories.

References: The Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction, ed. Denys Johnson-Davies, 2006, American University of Cairo Press, p 133.
Arabic Short Stories, ed. Mahmoud Manzalaou, 1985, American University of Cairo Press, p 76.
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