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Prominent Egyptian poet Negm dies at 84

Owner of Meritt Publishing House, Mohamed Hashem, said that the Egyptian vernacular poet Ahmed Fouad Negm died Tuesday morning at the age of 84 years, after struggling with a fatal illness.
Hashem expressed sorrow over the death of his friend saying Egypt lost one of its most prominent vernacular poets.
Negm was born in Kafr Abu Negm, Abu Hammad Village, Sharqiya Governorate. He was imprisoned several times due to his stance from senior politicians and different successive regimes in Egypt.
The poet was employed at the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization, which works on social and political issues in the region.
Negm stayed in a room on the rooftop of one of the houses in the neighborhood of Boulaq Dakrour for several years before his presence was known. He was chosen by the Arab Group’s anti-poverty fund affiliated with the UN as ambassador to the poor in 2007.
His name became linked to the renowned Egyptian folk singer Sheikh Imam. They lived together for some time in Khoash Qadam lane near Abbasiya district during which the lane turned into a meeting place for intellectuals.
Negm has been awarded the Principal Prince Claus Award in September in recognition for “speaking truth to power, refusing to be silenced and inspiring more than three generations across the Arabic-speaking world.” He was scheduled to be handed the award on 11 December during the annual ceremony of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, but he died few days earlier.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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