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Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, an Egyptian pioneer of Arab science fiction and horror literature, passes away Open in fullscreen

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Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, an Egyptian pioneer of Arab science fiction and horror literature, passes away

Ahmed Khaled Tawfiq wrote hundreds of novels [Twitter]

Date of publication: 4 April, 2018

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Egyptian novelist Ahmed Khaled Tawfik has died aged 55, a writer with a vision who transformed contemporary Arab literature.

Egptian novelist Ahmed Khaled Tawfik died aged 55 on Monday, with condolences pouring in from fellow writers and fans across the Arab world.

Tawfik is widely considered to be the first contemporary Arab writer of horror and science fiction, who amassed a huge and cult fan base during his decades of writing.

"We're sad to hear that Ahmed Khaled Tawfik passed away this weekend at just 55. Author of many books including Utopia, a gripping dystopian vision of a future Egypt," Mosaic Rooms, an Arab art gallery and cultural space in London, wrote on Twitter.

In the Utopia, Fantasia, and The Supernatural series, the main character Refaat Ismael is a medical doctor. This echoed Tawfiq's own career as physician.

"He helped shape my personality," said 31-year-old Sameh Afifi, who read Tawfik's work when he was a teenager.

"[Refaat Ismael] was the first character to personify logic... a scientist who is old, weak and ugly, and has severe anxiety. He was very real."

Fans turned to Twitter to tell of their sadness.

"I owe so much of my knowledge, morals and beliefs to my Ahmed Khalid Tawfik. He was nothing short of a brilliant mind that gave so much to Arab youths," wrote Hanin on Twitter.

"The end of tyrants is something very beautiful, Unfortunately, we don't often live to see it - D. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik," said another.

Tawfik was born in the Nile Delta city of Tanta in 1962, writing more than 200 novels in science fiction, horror and "medical dramas".

He died at a Cairo hospital on 2 April from "a long-term illness", Egyptian newspapers reported, leaving behind thousands of fans across the Arab world.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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