The Al Jazeera obituary called al-Saadani “one of the pioneers of satirical writing in the Arab world.” Al Jazeera also noted that, early in al-Saadani’s career, critics had predicted he would be strong competition for the great short-story writer Yusuf Idris, but that “the life and writings of al-Saadani took another course.”
Al-Saadani’s books include Egypt Revisited, Amreeka Ya Leeka, Donkey of the East, and The Bad Boy in Exile.
In 2000, “the bad boy” was profiled in Al Ahram Weekly. His friend George Bahgory writes:
He would always leave the TV on when he went to sleep, and often when we were staying together I would wake up to find him snoring, a smile on his face, under a pile of blankets. Letting the news of the world fill the room all night was a way of recharging his wit. The sounds filled his head with ideas, which he then put to paper rapidly.
El-Saadani’s jokes were born of disparities and contradictions, exaggeration and puns. He had a gift for recasting any situation, flavouring it with his typically Egyptian humour. His friends consider him an artist, the very best, who illustrates and narrates the inexhaustible humour of life.
So far as I know, nothing of al-Saadani’s has appeared in English.
More from Al Masry Al Youm: Writer Sami Kamal el-Din remembers al-Saadani.
Also, prominent Moroccan social critic/philosopher Mohammed Abed al Jabri has died.