|Popular Egyptian poet Negm, the folk hero who despised the pharaohs, dies at 84
Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm, renowned for his revolutionary poetry and contempt for political leaders, died today, a publisher said.
He was a folk hero in Egypt and also despised Arab leaders in the region.
Years before the unceremonious ouster of Hosni Mubarak, he had remarked that the dictator, did not have the support of the street.
“Ahmed Fouad Negm passed away. He was 84,'' Mohammed Hashem told AFP.
Negm spent 18 years in jail for his strident criticism of former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, and Hosni Mubarak.
He became recognized as a voice of protest in 1967 when he wrote poems on the Arab-Israel war, which were highly acclaimed.
During the 2011 anti-Mubarak revolt, protesters often recited his revolutionary poems at Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square – epicenter of the 18-day uprising against the former strongman.
Negm was also well known for his decades-long association with Egyptian composer Sheikh Imam, and was widely regarded as a folk hero.
Son of a police officer and a housewife, Negm was born in 1929 in the Egyptian city of Sharqia and was one among 17 brothers.—AFP/The Standard