Although largely unknown in the West, Taha Hussein is one of the towering figures of Egyptian literature. The elimination of his The Daysa foundational piece of Egyptian prose—from school curricula would be a major step away from literary art.

A particular band of clerics are demanding the book’s removal. According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights,  the clerics don’t like how Hussein’s autobiographical The Days tarnishes Al Azhar’s image. (For goodness sakes, what image does Al Azhar yet cling to? Isn’t this the same government-run institution that issued a ruling in support of the Gaza wall?)

Read reviews of The Days from “Martyn’s Page” and Al Ahram Weekly. Or just buy a copy at Amazon.

And, in other literature-in-the-curriculum news:

Saudi Arabia has added its first female poet to the country’s textbooks. Wonderful. Now Saudi Arabia has become more progressive than we are.

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