Renowned Egyptian author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik dies at 55

iStock
iStock

Influential Egyptian novelist Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, widely considered the first contemporary Arab writer of horror and science fiction, has died at the age of 55.

Since his death on Monday, condolences have poured in from fellow authors and fans, many of whom said his thrillers had filled a gap in Egyptian literature during their adolescence.

"Egyptian and Arab culture has lost a great novelist who enriched culture in Egypt and the Arab world," Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel-Dayem said.

"He was one of the most prominent writers of thrillers and youth stories... (and) was renowned for his enjoyable and captivating style."

Among his most well-known works are "Utopia", "Fantasia", and "The Supernatural" series, whose main character Refaat Ismael is a medical doctor like Tawfik.

"He helped shape my personality," said 31-year-old Sameh Afifi, who read Tawfik's work when he was a teenager.

For him, Refaat Ismael, an otherwise ordinary man who lives a life full of paranormal experiences, "was the first character to personify logic... a scientist who is old, weak and ugly, and has severe anxiety. He was very real."

In a statement Tuesday, the US embassy in Egypt extended condolences to "the family and friends of one of Egypt's most well-known and influential writers".

Tawfik was born in the Nile Delta city of Tanta on June 10, 1962. He graduated from medical school in 1985 and received his PhD in 1997.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
38% - 3251 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2228 votes
No, I don't think they need it
36% - 3126 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.92
(-0.11)
ZAR/GBP
20.85
(-0.12)
ZAR/EUR
18.05
(-0.08)
ZAR/AUD
11.68
(-0.07)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.04)
Gold
1734.71
(-0.08)
Silver
26.67
(-0.09)
Platinum
1198.01
(+0.21)
Brent Crude
62.54
(-1.55)
Palladium
2362.00
(-0.09)
All Share
68510.75
(+1.44)
Top 40
63104.70
(+1.61)
Financial 15
12568.48
(+0.90)
Industrial 25
89150.72
(+1.21)
Resource 10
70539.82
(+2.28)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo