Critisism & Literature Studies

Painting by : Gamal Kotb – Egypt

  • Born in Kafr Shinwan, Shibin El Kom city- Menoufia Governorate, Egypt, in 1921.
  • Completed his primary education at ‘Al Masa’i Al Mashkoora’ school in Ashmoun, where his father taught Arabic and Islamic studies.
  • In 1949, he obtained his BA from the Arabic Department at the Faculty of Arts, King Fuad I University (currently known as Cairo University).
  • Attained a Diploma from the Institute of Higher Education in 1942, before earning his MA in 1949 and his PhD in 1953.
  • Started his professional career in 1942 by working as a teacher for the Ministry of Education , and in 1945 was transferred to the Academy of Arabic language in Cairo before joining the faculty of Cairo University in 1954
  • In 1968, he was appointed as chair of Modern Literature at the Department of Arabic Language, Faculty of Arts – Cairo University. And in 1969 he was appointed as Dean of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts.
  • In 1971 he was appointed as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University, but left his post in the same year to work as a visiting lecturer at Khartoum University and later at Riyadh University.
  • While working at Cairo University, he was appointed as Cultural Attaché at the Egyptian Embassy in Rio De Janeiro, where he worked from 1962 to 1964.
  • In 1977, he resigned from his posts at Cairo University and Riyadh University to devote his time to writing.
  • Published many of his works in English
  • Translated a number of books from English to Arabic.

Decision of the General Secretariat : 

Since the late 1950s, Shukri Ayyad’s works of literary criticism have been some of the most prominent and influential contributions to this field, due to their pioneering role and their creativity both on the theoretical and practical levels. His works succeed in bringing together the authenticity of tradition and an awareness of and openness to the most significant sources of modern critical thought, making them an important reference to many generations of researchers and scholars.

Awards : 

  • State merit Award in Literature (1988).
  • Kuwait Prize for Scientific Advancement (1988).
  • International King Faisal Award in literature

Famous Works : 

  • Al Batal Fil Adab wal Asateer (The Protagonist in Literature and Mythology)
  • Tagore, Sha’er Al Hob Wal Salam (Tagore, the Poet of Love and Peace)
  • Kitab Al Shi’r li Aristotlese (Aristotle’s Book of Poetry)
  • Musiqa Al Shi’r Al Arabi (Music in Arabic Poetry)
  • Al Hadara Al Arabiyya, (Arabic Civilization)
  • Al Qissa Al Qaseera Fee Misr (The Short Story Genre in Egypt)
  • Al Adab Fi Aalam Mutaghayyir (Literature in A Changing World)
  • Al Ru’ya Al Muqayyada (Restricted Vision)
  • Dirasat Qur’aniyya (Quranic Studies)
  • Madkhal Ila Aalam Al Usloob (An Introduction to Stylistics)
  • Ittijahat Al Bahth Al Usloobi (Trends of Stylistic Research)
  • Da’irat Al Ibda’ (The Circle of Creativity)
  • Al Lugha wal Ibda’ (Language and Creativity)
  • Bayn Al Falsafa wal Naqd (Philosophy and Criticism)
  • Al Mathahib Al Adabiyya wal Naqdiyya Ind Al Arab Wal Gharbiyyeen (Arabic and Western Schools of Literature and Criticism)
  • Al Naqd Wal Balagha (Criticism and Eloquence)
  • Diwan Al Arab Min Wihdat Al Qabeela Ila Wihdat Al Umma (Arabic Poetry from Tribe to Nation)
  • Milad Jadeed (Rebirth)
  • Tareeq Al Jami’a (The Road to University)
  • Zawjati Al Raqiqa Al Jameela (My Sweet Beautiful Wife)
  • Ruba’iyyat: Mukhtarat Fusool (Quartets: Selected Seasons)
  • Hikayat Al Aqdameen (Tales of Yore)
  • Kahf Al Akhyar (The Cave of Good People)

Articles on Literary and Social Criticism

  • ‘Tajarub Fil Adab Wal Naqd” (Experiments in Literature and Criticism)
  • ‘Fil Bed’ Kanat Al Kalima’ (In the Beginning Was the Word)
  • ‘Nahnu Wal Gharb’ (We and the West)
  • ‘Al Deen Wal Ilm Wal Mujtama’ (Religion, Science and Society)
  • Tatbeeq Al Sharee’a Wa Siyaghat Al Hader (Applying Sharia Law and Formulating the Present)
  • ‘Ala Hamish Al Naqd’ (On the Margin of Criticism)


  • Notes Towards the Definition of Culture by T.S. Eliot
  • The Writer and His World by Charles Morgan
  • Literature and Western Man by J B Priestly
  • The Gambler by Dostoevsky
  • Confessions at Midnight by Georges Duhamel
  • The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore

He passed away on July 24, 1999.