Modern Egyptian writer. Advocated simplifying the complexities of earlier Arabic prose styles. Azhar-trained, he wrote moral tales, original essays, and versions of European works mostly characterized by disillusion and sentimentality. These remained immensely popular with the younger generations of Egyptians for several decades. Lacking knowledge of foreign languages, he managed to produce extremely popular versions of both Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1921) and Bernardin de St. Pierre's Paul et Virginie (1923).