Last updated: December 3, 2013

RIP Ahmed Negm - an Egyptian poet of protest has passed away

Banner Icon Egyptian poet and folk hero, Ahmed Fouad Negm passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 84, reports state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.

Born in 1929, Negm is a legend in the Arab world, known for his outspokenness, wit and resistance. Beginning to write poetry while serving a prison sentence for forging papers he soon became a working class hero and a vocal critic of Egypt’s former regimes. 

Here is a selection of quotes from the “poet of protest” and “the voice of Egypt’s revolution”:
“Revolution is started by dreamers, led by maniacs; its benefits eventually enjoyed by opportunistic SOBs.”
“Before you claim to be a protector of religion, first make sure that you understand religion.”
“If Islam was about how big your beard is, Santa Claus should be Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh.”

He was also known for his wit and sarcasm…
"I still write like I'm 25, eat like I'm 25, and please a woman like I'm 25.”
“Sunnis can seek help from the US; Shias have Russia; but atheists have no protector other than God.”

Which is your favourite Negm poem?

Christine Petré
Christine Petré is an editor at Your Middle East. You can follow her work at
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