Al-Hakim, Tawfiq (1898–1987) By Lundell, Michael
Tawfiq Al-Hakim (1898–1987) was an Egyptian playwright, short-story writer, and novelist generally credited with giving birth to the theater in Egypt. His fiction, in the form of several novels and short stories, is also widely canonized. Roger Allen called Al-Hakim “one of the most significant figures in twentieth-century Arabic literature” (Hutchins 1998: 9). Al-Hakim was also particularly concerned with developing an Egyptian National Theater unencumbered, though inspired, by European models. His various writings engage with themes of culture, love, rationality, the European literary canon, government corruption, experimentation of form and language, nationalism, vernacularism, colonialism, and gender.