Hussein, Taha

Portrait
Born: Nov 18, 1889 AD
Died: 1973 AD, at 83 years of age.

Nationality: Egyptian
Categories: Authors


1889 - Born on November 18th in Izbet el Kilo, AI-Minya, Egypt. Dean of contemporary Arabic literature and a pioneer of enlightenment.

1892 - At a very early age, he contracted a simple eye infection and, due to faulty treatment by an unskilled local practitioner, was blinded, at the age of three.

1908 - He learned of the founding of a new, secular university as part of a national effort to promote education in Egypt under British occupation, and was very keen to enter it.

1914 - He was the first graduate of this university to receive a Ph.D. with his thesis on the skeptic poet and philosopher Abu-Alalaa’ AI-Ma'arri.

1917 - Married to Suzanne Bresseau on August 2nd.

         - His doctoral dissertation, was written on lbn Khaldun, the fourteenth century Arab historian, the founder of sociology.

1918 - He obtained his second Ph.D. in Social Philosophy from the Sorbonne, Paris.

1919 - He received a diploma in post-graduate studies in the Roman Civil Code from the same university.

         - He was granted honorary doctorates from the universities of Oxford, Madrid, and Rome.

         - He was appointed a professor of history at the Egyptian University. He did not confine himself to political and constituational history but transferred to his students his knowledge of Greek drama such as Sophocles and Aeschylus.

1920-1925 - The greater part of Taha Hussein’s canon is basically influenced by Greek culture. He issued "Selected Pages" from Greek Dramatic poetry, "The Athenian System" and "Leaders of Thought".

1938-1944 - He wrote the 3-volume autobiography "The Days" (also "Al-Ayyam"), nonfiction "On Pre-Islamic Poetry", "The Future of Culture in Egypt", novels "The Call of the Plover" ("The Call of the Curlew") and "The Tree of Misery".

1950 - When he assumed office as Minister of Education, he managed to put his motto, "Education is like water we drink and the air we breath," into practice.

1973 - Died in his home, alone with his "sweet voice" Suzanne, on October 28th in Cairo, Egypt.

         - President Gamal Abd AI-Nasser bestowed on him the highest Egyptian decoration, normally, reserved for heads of state. He received the United Nations Human Rights Award.
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