Adel Kamel and the ‘Magnificent Conman of Cairo’

But, much like al-Hakim, Kamel spent far more of his energy on literature. And Kamel did study — and practice — law. This tribute forms the foreword of the 2020 English edition of Kamel’s satiric novel, which has become   The Magnificent Conman of Cairo   in Walid Almusharaf’s translation. Still, as far as we know, he wrote literary works for only a few years: between 1938 and 1942. To celebrate the translation of this long-forgotten, now-remembered classic, a few views on the book and on its author, as well as an excerpt from the novel:
ArabLit: Waleed Almusharraf on Kamel’s Characters: ‘Despicable and Lovable with No Contradiction’
ArabLit: With His Daughters: Family Photos and Memories
ArabLit: Publisher Seif Salmawy on Rediscovering Adel Kamel
Al Jazeera: Egyptian classic rediscovered in English
Hoopoe Fiction: Read an excerpt from the first chapter of   The Magnificent Conman
The novel is available from AUC Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.Com, Amazon.Uk, and is best bought at your local bookshop. Shortly after Adel Kamel’s satiric 1942 novel   Malim al-Akbar   was rejected by the Arabic Language Academy, he gave up on publishing. Much like Egyptian novelist and playwright Tawfiq al-Hakim, Adel Kamel’s father insisted that he study the law. Adel Kamel and the ‘Magnificent Conman of Cairo’

Egyptian author Adel Kamel — a lawyer, long-forgotten novelist, and long-time member of the Harafish — was born in Cairo on February 27, 1916:
The author in 1934, courtesy of his family. In 1993, a year after Adel Kamel moved to Texas to be with his daughters, Mahfouz wrote a tribute to him. But he never lost his interest in literature and philosophy, and he continued to run with Naguib Mahfouz and the others in the iconic “Harafish” group until he left Egypt in 1992.