A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Anouar Abdel-Malek, 1924-2012

I missed it as it was overshadowed by so much else Egyptian news, but the exiled leftist Egyptian political thinker and sociologist Anouar Abdel-Malek died late last week at the age of 88, in Paris.

A pan-Arabist Arab nationalist, and a Marxist critical of the Egyptian Communist Party, he fled Nasser's Egypt when Nasser, whom he initially admired, cracked down on leftists, and spent most of his subsequent life in Paris. He is probably best known in the English-speaking world for his 1968 book (1962 in French) Egypt: Military Society: The Army Regime, the Left, and Social Change. Much of his work appeared in French; some see his 1963 article "L'orientalism en crise" as anticipating the critique of Edward Said.

Much of his work was highly intellectual; he was a leftist social critic of the West.

An appreciation by Hamza Qinawy is here.


David Mack said...

Was he a Copt? I knew at least one AUB professor by the name Abdel Malek, who told me proudly that it was the name of a prominent Coptic family.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

I believe he was, though he didn't emphasize it so far as I know.