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Egyptian literature facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
PapyrusWestcar photomerge-AltesMuseum-Berlin
Copy of the Westcar Papyrus in the Ägyptisches Museum, Berlin

Egyptian literature is some of the earliest known literature. The Egyptians were the first culture to develop the book.

Ancient Egyptian literature

Edwin Smith Papyrus v2
Plates vi & vii of the Edwin Smith papyrus at the Rare Book Room, New York Academy of Medicine

The ancient Egyptians wrote on papyrus. They also wrote on walls, tombs, pyramids, obelisks, and more. A well-known example of ancient Egyptian literature is the Story of Sinuhe;

Christian Egyptian literature

Alexandria became an important center of early Christianity from around the 1st to 4th century CE. Writing by Coptic Christians was important to Christian literature at that time.The Nag Hammadi library protected some books from being lost or destroyed.

Islamic Egyptian literature

Muslim Arabs controlled Egypt by the eighth century. Libraries and literature were important in Arab Egypt. Several important changes for writers happened at this time. Cloth paper replaced papyrus. Writers began using calligraphy. Also, writers began to write mostly about Islam. The earliest novel written in Egypt was Ibn al-Nafis' Theologus Autodidactus. It was an early science fiction and religious novel.

Modern Egyptian literature

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Arab world experienced a cultural change like the Renaissance. This was called al-Nahda movement. It touched nearly all areas of life, including literature. One of the most important people from this time was Naguib Mahfouz. He was first Egyptian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Another important modern writer was Muhammad Husayn Haykal. He wrote Zaynab in 1914. It is an Islamic novel and is called the first modern Egyptian novel.

Notable Egyptian writers

  • Taha Husayn
  • Yūsuf Idrīs
  • Sonallah Ibrahim
  • Tawfiq al-Hakim
  • Gamal Abdel Nasser
  • Naguib Mahfouz
  • Nawal El Saadawi
  • Bahaa Taher
  • Alaa Al Aswany
  • Abdel Hakim Qasem
  • Miral al-Tahawy

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Egyptian literature Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.