Egyptian novelist, critic, and modernist reformer. One of the towering figures of twentieth-century Arabic literature. Became blind at a young age but rose to a position of leadership in Egyptian society and letters. Educated in Egypt and France. Served as adviser to Egyptian Ministry of Education and as minister of education 1950–52. Known for novels, short stories, historical and critical studies, and political articles. Claimed that pre-Islamic odes were inauthentic. Favored secularism over traditionalism and promoted intimate connections between Egypt and the West. Best known for his autobiography, Al-ayyam (Days), which exposed weaknesses in traditional education, and The Future of Culture in Egypt.
Subjects: Islam — Philosophy.