Shauqi, Ahmad

Shauqi, Ahmad

 

(also Ahmad Shawqi). Born Oct. 16,1868, in Cairo; died there Oct. 14,1932. Egyptian writer.

Shauqi came from an aristocratic family that was on close terms with the khedive’s court. He studied law in France from 1887 to 1891. For his anti-British opinions, Shauqi was exiled to Spain from 1915 to 1919. In 1924 he was elected to the senate. He took part in congresses of Orientalists in Berlin (1891) and Geneva (1894).

Shauqi’s poetry is thematically varied, ranging from panegyrics to children’s poems and humorous verses. Four volumes of his divans have been published (1898,1927,1936, and 1943). They are works of the Egyptian neoclassical school and adhere to traditional literary models. However, their melodiousness (many of them have been set to music), as well as their generally understandable content and sincerity, made Shauqi the most popular poet of the Arabic world in the first half of the 20th century. In 1927 he was proclaimed “prince of poets.”

Shauqi expressed sympathy toward Egyptian nationalism in his verse dramas on historical themes, which are obviously imitative and not particularly clear or well constructed. One of them, The Great Ali Bey (1893), may be considered the first original Arabic drama. Shauqi also wrote historical narratives and short stories.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
[“Stikhi.”] In the anthology Stikhi poetov Egipta. Moscow, 1956. Pages 13–42.

REFERENCES

Kotsarev, N. K. Pisateli Egipta: XX vek. Moscow, 1975. Pages 277–80.
Hanna, S. A., and R. Salti. “Shauqi—a Pioneer of Modern Arabic Drama.” American Journal of Arabic Studies, vol. 1. Leiden, 1973. Pages 81–117.
Boudot-Lamotte, A. Ahmad Šawqi, I’homme et I’oeuvre, Damascus, 1977.
Badawi, M. M. A Critical Introduction to Modern Arabic Poetry. Cambridge, 1975.
Daif, Sh. Shauqi-shair al-asr al-hadith. Cairo, 1957.
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