He used to memorize his stories and recite them like poetry.. Yahya Al-Taher Abdullah on the anniversary of his death | culture


Cairo- “I am the son of the village and I will remain.. and my experience is almost all in the village, and the village is an existing life, it is Karnak in Luxor, and I see that what happened to the homeland has happened to it, and it is a forgotten and exiled village as I am an exile and forgotten…”.

This is how the late writer Yahya Al-Taher Abdullah describes his birthplace, the village of Karnak in the famous city of Luxor in southern Egypt, which was the inspiration for his most important stories and novels, the most famous of which is the novel “The Ring and the Bracelet”.

Al-Taher – whose death anniversary falls on April 9, 1981 – tells that when he moves away from his village, he seeks it in the city, and searches for his family, relatives and people who live with him, and that he only lives in its lower world. He says, “When I meet them, we meet as Sa’idah, as the sons of Karnak, and we live together our Egyptian pain and our Arab calamity, and our distance from the era as expatriate people.”

saves his stories

Al-Taher was born on April 30, 1938 in the village of Karnak, Luxor. His mother died when he was young, and he was raised by his aunt, and he was educated in Karnak until he obtained a diploma in intermediate agriculture, and worked at the Ministry of Agriculture.

He moved to the city of Qena in 1959, where he met the poets Abdel Rahman Al-Abnoudi and Amal Donkul, and they all moved to Cairo to begin their journey in the world of literature and lights.

The young Saidi writer began to meet with senior writers in cafes, and he used to memorize his stories by heart, and recite them like poems to the ears of writers and the public, as if he saw this as his way to bridge the distance between the popular writer and narrator.

Al-Tahir says that he should say and not write, because his nation does not read, and that if he is good at saying he finds someone who hears it, and when he says, his listeners increase, because people are not deaf. .

At Café Riche in central Cairo, Al-Taher met the great writer Youssef Idris, and Idris expressed his admiration for the “Mehboob Al Shams” group, to present it in the writer’s magazine, which would then be Tahir Abdullah’s great breakthrough.

story poet

In his stories, Al-Taher reviewed the connection of people to the place, and the life and legend it might contain. His literature was very rebellious to the fixed templates in the story. He created a language of his own, in which narration or narration was mixed with poetic language and melodious rhythms. Some critics called him “the poet of the story”, and others called him “the poem’s story”, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.

Al-Taher varied between the literature of Upper Egypt and the literature of Cairo, as he revealed to us unknown and silent areas in daily life in the villages of the south, which he knows all the minutes of. Myth and myth.

The late critic Jaber Asfour tells of Al-Taher’s literature that the first thing that caught his attention to his world was the story of “Mountain of Green Tea”, which he describes as etching its presence in his memory as an example of Yahya’s world that first embodied in the village of Karnak, and its body as a model for its likenesses. Villages mired in poverty and superstition.

collar and bracelet

His most notable work was the novel “The Ring and the Bracelet” (1975). The story takes place in the village of Karnak, where superstition, ignorance, disease and deep-rooted traditions dominate the people, and where the father “Bakhit” is an old and resourceless man, unable to work, and throws the family’s burdens on the mother, and the daughter awaits the return of her absent brother and the arrival of the right husband.

The novel was a great success, so it was presented in a famous movie directed by Khairy Bishara in 1986, starring Sherihan, Ezzat Al-Alayli and singer Mohamed Mounir.

His most prominent works

His most important publications were “Three Big Trees Bringing Oranges” (1970), “The Tambourine and the Box” (1974), “I, She and the Flowers of the World” (1977), “Old Truths Are Good to Amaze” (1977), “Tales of For the Prince to Sleep” (1978), and “Images from Water and the Sun” (1981).

His latest work is the story “The Messenger”, and his short story collection, “The Permissible Dance”, which he prepared for publication before his departure. He has not practiced any other work since he moved to Cairo except writing stories, literature and some children’s stories.

The complete writings of the short story poet Yahya Al-Taher Abdullah include short story collections, a long story and 3 novels (Al-Jazeera)

A friend of his life, the late writer Abd al-Rahman al-Abnoudi, said about him that al-Tahir was avid reader, read in his uncle’s library, and defended his views to death, with intimacy and sincerity, which indicates that he took culture as a welcome and approach to life, home and family, and partisanship is fateful for what he believes.

Al-Abnoudi added that when Al-Tahir wrote the story, he used simple people, the fools, and the astonished to use topics he wrote out loud, and practiced his miraculous games on them, which are a mixture of genius, conscious absurdity, madness and problems between his feet.

his departure

The death of Yahya Al-Taher in a traffic accident on Cairo Al-Wahat Road on April 9, 1981 was a great shock to his fans and friends in the literary community, and he was not yet 43 years old.

Under the title “The Star Who Has Fallen”, the late writer Youssef Idris wrote, mourning the boy who introduced him to readers two decades ago, saying:

“When I saw him, he had just come from the farthest part of Upper Egypt, from the village of Karnak, next to Luxor, and he was as slender as a stalk of wheat, sweet in speech and in texture as a reed stalk, beautiful in stature, build and glimpse.

Al-Abnoudi also mourned him in an intentional entitled “A number under the coffin of Yahya Al-Tahir Abdullah”:

We were brothers far away
And closeness is like the sisters
I was drawing in the distance
And the minutes betrayed me in you

Amal Dunqul wrote in the poem “Al Janoubi” mourning a companion of his journey with whom he shared a modest apartment in the heart of Cairo for years, addressing his daughter Asmaa al-Taher:

I wish Asma knew that her father had gone up

he did not die

Does the one who was alive die?

As if life is forever

As if the drink ran out

After his departure, his works continued to be printed and translated into many languages ​​such as English, Italian, German and Polish, and the family library published his complete works.

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