Egyptian Author Gamal al-Ghitany Dies, Aged 70

Famed for his historical fiction, al-Ghitany, the author of Al Zany Barakat, is survived by his wife and two children.

AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI

DPA - Veteran Egyptian writer Gamal al-Ghitany, famed for his historical fiction, died on Sunday at a Cairo military hospital, state television reported. He was 70.

Al-Ghitany was admitted into the hospital in mid-August with respiratory and heart problems, according to the broadcaster. He had since been in a coma.

After a short career in carpet design in the early 1960s, al-Ghitany focused on writing stories inspired by his Islamic heritage.
Several of his stories have been translated into foreign languages.
He is mainly famous for his novel Al Zany Barakat, which is set in 16th century Egypt and tackles authoritarianism.

Al-Ghitany openly backed the army's 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

A statement from the office of President Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi eulogized al-Ghitany as a prestigious writer and a "a lofty literary value."
He was buried Sunday in Cairo.

He is survived by his wife, Magda El-Guindy, editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram's children's magazine "Alaaeddin," and two children, Mohammad and Magda.