The new October 2023 issue of the New Culture magazine was issued by the General Authority of Culture Palaces, headed by Amr El-Basiouni, headed by the editor-in-chief of journalist Tareq Al-Taher. This is the issue that the magazine devoted to celebrating Taha Hussein on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his passing. The editor-in-chief wrote the editorial for this special issue entitled: “The Inspiring One,” drawing attention to the many qualities that distinguished Taha Hussein, who was described as a thinker at times, a writer at other times, and a university professor…and he played a prominent role in the march of Egyptian culture over more than a century. .
The materials in this issue vary between studies, certificates, and files. A group of Egyptian and Arab writers participated in it, especially from Morocco, Jordan, and Iraq. Ihab Al-Mallah wrote a portrait entitled: “A Project for the Egyptian Renaissance… The Research is Still Continuing!”, in which he reviewed the important stations in the life of Taha Hussein, at Al-Azhar, at the Egyptian University, and in his studies at the Sorbonne, as well as the most important intellectual productions that he produced.
The first chapter in this issue was entitled: “Studies,” in which Muhammad Mishbal wrote a study entitled: “How do we talk about literature? Taha Hussein and the rhetoric of critical communication,” highlighting Taha Hussein’s early awareness that the practice of literary criticism is governed by temptations. Modern civilization leads man to desire everything that is near and easy, and to refrain from everything that is far away, which forces him to make every effort. Sami Suleiman Ahmed’s study was entitled: “The Multiplicity of Voices in His Critical Discourse: Reading Abu Al-Ala as a Model.” This study was based on three books that Taha Hussein allocated to Al-Ma’arri as a field for testing his methodological hypotheses. The three books are: Renewing the Memory of Abu Al-Ala, and With Abu Al-Ala in His Prison And the voice of Abu Al-Alaa, confirming that Taha Hussein has a special reader, who has a constant feeling of Abu Al-Alaa’s presence in many of the positions announced by the dean, or his influence in a number of visions that he adopted at different moments. While Jamal Al-Askari wrote a study entitled: “Dar Al-Ulum School”, researching the era in which Dar Al-Ulum School was transformed into Dar Al-Ulum College, highlighting the role of the dean in this transformation, as well as the issue of the curriculum, which was the basis that preoccupied Taha Hussein and his generation of innovators. .
Zainab Al-Assal’s study was entitled: “Pioneering in the Curlew’s Prayer,” emphasizing that the novel The Curlew’s Dua is based on compact internal psychological time, in order to be consistent with the psychological state of the novel’s heroine, Amna. The studies concluded with Shuaib Khalaf’s study, which he titled “Identity and Dialogue between Taha Hussein and Abdul Rahman Badawi,” in which he recounts the dean’s relationship with one of his students – Abdul Rahman Badawi – as an example indicative of the mechanism by which Taha Hussein dealt with his students, as well as his view of heritage with moderation. Clear; He takes from it what is appropriate for his era, elevates his status, establishes his civilization, and prophecies upon it, making it a foundation to lean on.
In the main issue file, Tariq Al-Taher discussed new details in the battle that raged over the book “On Pre-Islamic Poetry,” highlighting the continuation of that battle after 1927. He also lists and discusses the most important main stations in that battle, as well as presenting the opinions of thinkers and politicians about it, as well as discussing The book in the Egyptian Parliament, and the communications and cases filed by those opposing his ideology, which he produced in this book, reviewing the demands of Al-Azhar scholars from the Minister of Education, which are to confiscate the book, remove Taha Hussein from the university, and put him on trial, as well as authorizing the Cairo University Council to settle the matter, taking into account Fundamental Principles of University Education, backing up his views on that battle with some documents published together for the first time.
As for the testimonials section, they varied between general testimonies about the dean’s overall thought and literary production, and specific testimonies about the dean’s specific works or qualities. Ammar Ali Hassan wrote a testimonial entitled: “A discussion with Adonis about Taha Hussein and another method for enlightenment.” In his testimony, he recounts the details of a discussion that took place between him and the Syrian thinker and poet Adonis about Taha Hussein, in which Ammar Ali Hassan affirmed that Taha Hussein never changed his ideas, and that the approach he followed in his book “On Pre-Islamic Poetry” was consistent with his various books about Islam, highlighting On the methodological revolution launched by the Dean and his opening of the door to the desacralization of opinions and people who passed through ancient centuries. Saad Al-Qursh also wrote a testimony entitled: “Taha Hussein between incomplete modernity and an idea that investors do not renew to mislead,” which is a testimony linked to the testimony of Ammar Ali Hussein, in which he confirms that the book “On Pre-Islamic Poetry” is a revolution in reading pre-Islamic poetry and reconsidering the lives of the Arabs who were People of knowledge, religion, wealth, and politics, as well as the fact that this book has been steadfast for a hundred years against the misguidance and deception campaigns that were launched against it and the lives and money of those who opposed its ideology were spent on it. Abdel Salam Al-Shazly’s testimony was titled: “Mirrors of Cultural Memory,” in which he reviews Taha Hussein’s relationship with his students, emphasizing his precedence in linking the contemporary literary movement with our literary history, and that the efforts that our university is developing and developing are a natural result of the principles of literary research that were consolidated by his lectures. And his works and articles that he transmitted to his students; He faced his society bravely in many areas, including the literary lesson, and remained a champion of the new and promising in various areas of culture. While Najat Ali wrote “Icon of Rebellion and Opposite Consciousness”; In it, she reviewed her studentship at the hands of professors from Taha Hussein’s students, who were systematically affiliated with his rational school, such as: Jaber Asfour, Abdel Moneim Talimah, Fatima Musa, and others. She learned unforgettable lessons from his books, his strict stances and his scientific and moral biases, those for which he paid dear prices. With the utmost courage and loyalty to his principles. While Alaa Khaled wrote a testimony entitled: “It was more than they expected,” in which he confirms his establishment of the theory of the unity of global or Mediterranean culture and that extended relationship between Egyptians and Muslims on the one hand and the world on the other hand. Radwa Al-Aswad wrote about “The Woman in His Life,” reviewing the role of his wife, Suzanne, in the dean’s life, from their first meeting in Paris, and their journey together to its end with his death. Susan was his first teacher on his way to complete intellectual freedom.
Al-Taher prepared an investigation on “the letters of the dean’s students and fans,” those who over time became symbols of this country and bore the burden of enlightenment, like their teacher Taha Hussein, such as: the critic Dr. Muhammad Mandour, Dr. Muhammad Abdel Hadi Shair, Dr. Muhammad Al-Nawahi, and others, and through this investigation it is possible to monitor the conditions of Egypt and Egyptians at all levels, and the letters reviewed and discussed in this investigation are considered a history written by personalities who loved Egypt and were contemporary with Taha Hussein, who became for his students and lovers an institution at whose door they stand.
As for the articles section, it varied between articles that revolved around one of Taha Hussein’s issues, and articles that discussed his intellectual, literary and creative productions. Ibrahim Mansour wrote an article entitled: “The Fangla: From Sophistical Debate to Freedom of Thought.” This article revolved around the word “ The “fangla” mentioned by Taha Hussein in the book “Al-Ayyam”, and the meaning of this word and the connotations related to it. Mahmoud Al-Dabaa’s article was titled: “Taha Hussein and the Culture of Reduction,” reviewing the issues and intellectual problems raised by the dean, such as the issue of how do we understand history? The problem of ancient and modern in all Arab eras, the issue of literary taste, and others. While Muhammad Al-Sayyid Ismail’s article was titled: “An exciting revolutionary life: Why did “Al-Ayyam” continue for all these years in the educational curricula?”, pointing out that Al-Ayyam is not devoid of imagination, which makes it fulfill its literary function, which separates it from recording Hussein’s Egyptian political memoirs. Heikal, and that blindness was transformed by his hands into positive energy that launched his imagination and curiosity to know everything and those around him. Nabil Faraj wrote an article entitled: “Taha Hussein and the 1952 Revolution”; The revolution honored him by placing him in the highest positions and giving him the highest awards. He was the first to receive the State Award of Merit in Arts. While Rashid Issa wrote “Multiple Gardens in One Vase,” emphasizing that Taha Hussein is a comprehensive cultural institution or several rivers compressed into one vase, he was able to overcome the plight of his eyesight to make it a gift of his unique, extraordinary insight. Jassim Khalaf Elias wrote an article entitled: “Taha Hussein Enlightenment,” in which he asserted that his writings had disturbed the cognitive stability in Arab culture, and opened its doors to move away from the transmission that we inherited from the stubborn ones. As for Abdul Aziz Al-Sibai, he wrote “The Crime of the Age against Taha Hussein,” and he is a thinker who enjoyed a turbulent intellectual and partisan life, marked by prosperity and development in some fields of thought and culture. Muhammad Khalaf’s article dealt with the book “The Great Sedition”, in its three parts, in which the general decided to storm a thorny field and pave a path stained with blood. The title of this book has become an accepted historical term in scientific and literary studies of that era in Arab and Islamic history. This section concluded with Iman Ahmed Youssef’s article, entitled: “The Light of Insight Is Manifested by Its Outpouring and Vision,” reviewing how Taha Hussein turned his ordeal into a divine gift that changed his life forever.
As for the chapter on The Other Shore, Jamal Al-Maraghi wrote an article entitled: “Add me, Suzanne,” confirming that Suzanne Taha Hussein had gone beyond her job as a reader until she was preparing each part before reading it so that she would be ready to discuss Taha Hussein in it, and she enjoyed seeing him very much. Depth and understanding of things. Rasha Saleh wrote an article entitled: “Taha Hussein and the Creative Dialogue with European Cultures”; It reviews that Taha Hussein attributed the credit to Carlo Nalino in knowing the history of literature, how to classify literary schools, and the relationships that arose between literature and politics on the one hand, and between literature and the environment on the other hand. The dean’s relationship with French extended to the roots of this culture through its scientific roots. With his interest in Latin culture, which forms the deep roots of French.
As for the seventh art section, which is the section that deals with Taha Hussein’s works that were turned into films or television dramas, Walid al-Khashab wrote “Taha Hussein’s cinema: melodrama… realism… artistic value,” stressing that the unifying element between his stories that were turned into Films are an artistic genre, as they are all romantic stories with features of melodrama. There was a special celebration of the novel “The Nightingale’s Prayer”, which doubled the credits of the film prepared about it, as it is a realistic film. Nahid Salah wrote, “The Brigadier on the screen: a human presence… an existential struggle… a clash with the West,” in which she discussed his relationship with cinema and television, and his discovery of Paris as the city of cinema and that it was a transformation from a beautiful dream into a bitter nightmare, stressing that he was very meticulous in every detail. Related to transforming his novels into cinematic films or television dramas, he would frequent the filming sites to scrutinize and follow up on the concept and the performance of the actors.
Ahmed Kamali recalls “Egypt in the Dean’s Month,” recounting the important press news that was published in October 1973 related to the passing of the Dean of Arabic Literature, Taha Hussein, along with some documents and press news published at that time.
As for the journey section, Mahmoud Abdel-Bari Tahami wrote a study entitled: “Taha Hussein as an Assembly,” highlighting the important stations in Taha Hussein’s life that qualified him for membership in the Academy, and the image of a member of the Arabic Language Academy in the mind of the dean, who saw membership in the Academy as a gift, an honor, and a command. It is unusual, as it is not just a job in which someone is appointed and then removed, and the mechanism of the council’s work has been established, and this is what it is doing now. It is a silent work that does not seek fame, and does not receive a great reward from it. The council’s work to this day is a collective work in which efforts are combined. It accumulates experience and knowledge.
The magazine also publishes in this issue a bibliography about Taha Hussein, presenting the most important dates in his life, his creative, critical and intellectual writings, as well as his translations.
In another place, the magazine visits the Ramattan Museum, which is the palace in which Taha Hussein lived, and after his departure, Farouk Hosni, the former Minister of Culture, saved him from the fate of Youssef Wehbe’s palace, which was turned into a hotel. The visit also showcases the generosity of the dean’s family, which did not skimp on the state and gave it all of his possessions and medals. Which he earned all his life.
This issue concludes with an article by Muhammad Abdel Basset Eid, entitled: “The Dean’s Call,” which is the call that the Dean spared no effort in emphasizing, which is the “practical spirit” or scientific thinking, and the call for it, as well as his keenness to attract people to what he writes by various means.
It is noteworthy that the New Culture magazine is issued by the General Authority of Culture Palaces, the deputy editors-in-chief are journalists Israa Al-Nimr and Aisha Al-Maraghi, the executive editor-in-chief is critic Mustafa Al-Qazzaz, and the artistic direction is Amr Mohamed.