Fans of revolutionary verse lose ‘uncle’ Abdel Rahman al-Abnudi
CAIRO - Egyptian poet Abdel Rahman al-Abnudi, widely known for his revolutionary verse and criticism of two toppled presidents, died Tuesday at the age of 76, his wife said.
Abnudi, who underwent brain surgery at a Cairo hospital just days ago, rose to prominence in the 1960s for his poems, some performed by legendary Arab singer Abdel Halim Hafez.
In a career spanning four decades, Abnudi, known for his leftist views, published several volumes of medieval poems on Arab hero Abu Zeid al-Hilali and his tribe that travelled through the Middle East and North Africa.
Born in 1939, Abdnudi's fans affectionately called him "uncle".
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab offered their condolences to Abnudi's family.
"Egypt and the Arab world have lost a great poet... his contributions to poetry will remain a national and Arab symbol," Sisi's office said.
In recent years, Abnudi openly criticised former presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi, both toppled after mass uprisings, but has supported Sisi.
While Mubarak was forced to quit after a popular uprising in early 2011, Morsi was ousted by Sisi in July 2013 following mass street protests against his single year of divisive rule.
Abnudi's wife, Nehal Kamal, said her husband would be buried in the canal city of Ismailiya later on Tuesday, where he moved years ago.