“What can we hear about Naguib Mahfouz, especially since the talk about Naguib and his literature has satiated his eating at every level.” With this question, writer Aisha Sultan began giving a lecture entitled: “Naguib Mahfouz's unknown manuscripts”, organized by the symposium of Culture and Science in Dubai.

Sultan Naguib Mahfouz cannot be summarized in one attribute or interest, for he is the writer, novelist, storyteller and scriptwriter, and he is the simple Egyptian man, Ibn Al-Gamaliah, the Egyptian lane on which most of his novels lean.

Sultan Al-Naqid Muhammad Shayir, Editor-in-Chief of the “Akhbar Al-Youm” Foundation, presented the speaker at the symposium by saying: Shayer is the writer and literary critic, and the author of the most famous book about Naguib Mahfouz and his novel “Children of Our Neighborhood .. From the Biography of the Forbidden Novel”, which is a good follow-up to the story of the children of our neighborhood From a mere idea to a novel, there has been widespread debate about it.

The lecture was preceded by the presentation of a documentary film of Naguib Mahfouz's biography since his childhood, and the stages he went through in his life.

On his part, Barley began his lecture by saying that the talk about Naguib Mahfouz, in the year of tolerance in the Emirates, is consistent with the tolerant Naguib Mahfouz, both through his life path that represented a model for this tolerance in Egypt and the Arab region, where Naguib Mahfouz was born in 1911, and a doctor was used A Coptic for difficult birth, named after Naguib Mahfouz in the name of this doctor, and in his childhood his mother led him to Coptic mosques, churches, temples, and pharaohs, telling him: All these places are “the property of God,” as well as his tolerance of the young man who tried to assassinate him in 1995.

In 2011, Shair added, I celebrated in “Akhbar Al-Adab” the 100th anniversary of Naguib Mahfouz’s birth, and the celebration was different, by writing about Egypt on 11/12/1911, i.e. the case of Egypt on the birthday of Naguib Mahfouz And I discovered that what we know about Naguib Mahfouz is very little, and that Naguib's life is related to the development and events of the Egyptian street. On his birthday, Egypt was in a period of rest between the Urabi revolution and the Saad Zaghloul revolution, and the Egyptian society was in a state of preparation for a different variable.

Shair added: In 1923 Naguib Mahfouz moved from housing in the Jamalia neighborhood to the Abbasiyya district, that is, from a popular area to a modernist area that was for him a shift in the concept of modernity, and in the same year, Egypt gained part of its independence by setting its first constitution.

In 1936, Naguib Mahfouz decided with himself to be a writer rather than travel to France, to obtain a doctorate in philosophy, and decided to devote himself to literature and writing.

Shair spoke about the story of the children of our neighborhood, which was published for the first time as episodes in Al-Ahram newspaper, and how he conducted a number of interviews with Sami Sharaf, director of the office of President Abdel Nasser at the time, and many personalities, to find out the reason for preventing the continued publication of the novel, and through this research he reached a number Large number of papers and manuscripts of Naguib Mahfouz.

And about those manuscripts, Barley mentioned a phrase mentioned by Naguib Mahfouz about himself: “I am the king of ripping, whenever I accumulate a pile of papers I do not know what is in them. Hut .. rip rips, otherwise we will not find a place to sleep in, so there was no place to keep my manuscripts »This is how Naguib Mahfouz described himself.

Shair affirmed that the beginning of his search for manuscripts was by searching for the manuscript of “The Children of Our Neighborhood”, between the newspaper Al-Ahram that published the children of our neighborhood, and the Egyptian Library, the publisher of Naguib Mahfouz, and his friends, the ancient Harafish, and in the house of Muhammad Hassanein Heikal, and other places.

Barley continued that when the research methods planned for him were dispersed in front of him, only the house of Naguib Mahfouz himself was left in front of him, which is the house that remained closed to the worlds of the family, and the writer had no significant share in it. One day he laughed: "I do not know anything at home, even in my library, and if I need to review a book, the best and fastest is not to search for it at home, but to buy a new copy of it."

Shayer went on to say that he met Hoda Naguib Mahfouz's daughter, and she replied that they did not have any manuscripts or information about the story of the children of our neighborhood, except that she remembered a small box containing old papers that her mother kept, and that she did not know whether it was literary writings or different papers. Indeed, I presented a large cardboard box with a number of papers, and when he grabbed one of them, his eye was signed on the name «Omar Hamzawy», which is one of the protagonists of the beggar’s novel, and this was the first paper found by a critic or literary researcher in a preserved font, and it includes a copy of the first writing of his novels. Shair stressed that the manuscripts revealed that Naguib Mahfouz was writing in pencil, perhaps because his desire to erase is greater than proof, and Naguib Mahfouz stated in a dialogue with him that he does not start writing until after the idea is complete in his mind and maturity, and he is fully aware of the dimensions of the story from events and personalities In that he says: “I have a mental layout of the novel before writing itself. The plan is a very general idea. As for writing, it is the novel.”

The "Trilogy"

On the Naguib Mahfouz trilogy (Qasr Al Shouq - Between Kasserine - Sukkariya), critic Mohammed Shair said that it was an exception in the experience of Naguib Mahfouz, where he made an independent archive for each of its personalities, and Naguib Mahfouz mentioned in this: “Each character has something similar to the file, So as not to forget features and fingerprints.

Shayir said that the journey to search for Mahfouz papers had left unfinished papers and accounts under his hand, as well as the biography that Mahfouz wrote about his childhood and called it “years”, and the writer mentioned it in many of his dialogues.


He came to life after a difficult birth, at the hands of a Coptic doctor named Naguib Mahfouz, and after his name he was called the newborn.


Naguib Mahfouz moved from the aesthetic district to Abbasiya, and for him it was a shift in the concept of modernity.


Mahfouz decided with himself that he would be a writer, instead of traveling to France, to obtain a doctorate in philosophy.