Egyptian Playwright, Translator, Professor Mahmoud El Lozy Dies at 67

November 15, 2021 — American University in Cairo professor, translator, playwright, actor, and director Mahmoud El Lozy died over the weekend. He was 67.

According to a 2018 profile in the AUC publication The Caravan, on the occasion of his retirement, he introduced Arabic theater to the AUC when he returned to teach there after earning his PhD at the University of California.

“El Lozy started teaching at AUC in fall 1985, before a theater program was set in place. He held multiple jobs including, assistant director of the theater, a teacher in a rhetoric course, and later, a theater course,” according to The Caravan. ” In 1986, El Lozy introduced Arabic theater to AUC with Simma Awanta written by Nouaman Ashour.”

He started writing plays in the late 1990s, and wrote both in Arabic and in English, often focused around the issue of censorship. “We had a stage reading of Mamnoo’ men el 3ard (Banned from Display)  at the Falaki [theater] at the time when there was a statewide curfew,” El Lozy told The Caravan in 2018. “I think it was 2013/14 or something like that, a lot of people attended and it went very well.”

According to The Caravan, His play Bay the Moon, was banned by state security and couldn’t be staged at AUC.

El Lozy was also translator of Tawfiq al-Hakim’s People of the Cave; in 2013, he participated in the Center for Translation Studies series of translation talks, speaking about “Translating for the Stage: Opportunities and Limitations.”

His mother acted in the theater, and his daughter is the acclaimed film star Yosra El Lozy.

A short YouTube interview with Mahmoud El Lozy last year, about theater at the AUC: