Egyptian Author Kamal Ruhayyim, Known for His Trilogy About Egypt’s Jews, Dies at 76

Egyptian novelist Kamal Ruhayyim died late last month, a few days after publisher Dar al-Shorouk brought out his latest novel, وكسة الشاويش. He was 76.

Born in Egypt in 1947, Ruhayyim studied law, earning a PhD from Cairo University. He worked as a police officer, serving in the Egyptian Interpol in France beginning in 1978, and moving between Paris, Cairo, and Port Said, which figures in his literary landscape.

Although he came late onto the literary scene, publishing his first short-story collection in 1994, he earned attention and acclaim for his trilogy that explores identity and religion in Egypt and France. AUC Press brought out his trilogy in Sarah Enany’s English translation: Days in the Diaspora (2012), Diary of a Jewish Muslim (2014), and Menorahs and Minarets (2017).

Nadine El-Hadi, Senior Acquisitions Editor of Hoopoe Fiction, said in a prepared statement: “The death of longtime AUC Press author Kamal Ruhayyim is felt with great sadness. He was a fine writer, who was best known in English for his unique trilogy that dealt with mixed identities in Egypt.”

You can read an excerpt of his Diary of a Jewish Muslim on the Hoopoe website.