Prominent Egyptian thinker and opposition leader Abdel-Wahab Al-Messeri passed away early Thursday, July 3 after a long struggle against illness.
Messeri, 70, died at Palestine Hospital in Cairo from cancer.
A professor of English literature at Cairo’s Ain Shams University, Messeri was one of the Arab world’s most leading experts on Jewish and Israeli affairs.
His eight-volume encyclopedia on Jews, Judaism and Zionism is one of the most authentic works in the field.
Messeri was also a noted opposition leader.
He became the leader of Egypt’s Kefaya movement, which shot to fame for calling for an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s rule, in late 2007.
Kefaya, which was set in 2004, managed to break through the taboo surrounding questioning Mubarak’s role as sole candidate in presidential elections.
Born in Damanhur, Egypt, in 1938, Messeri graduated with a BA in English literature from Alexandria University in 1959.
He received MA and PhD in English and comparative literature in the United States.
Since 1988, Messeri became a professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at Ain Shams University.
The eminent Egyptian thinker has published several books on Zionism and Jewish and Israeli affairs.
His eight-volume, 3,500-page encyclopedia on Jews, Judaism and Zionism is considered the most gargantuan, comprehensive work on the subject and has turned him into a household name.
Published in 1999, the encyclopedia was the culmination of around 30 years of research.
Messeri has also written extensively on Western culture and contemporaneity, and he has also produced several poems.
Messeri has received many prizes throughout his carrier, including the State Merit Award in 2005. The latest honor he received was Al-Quds prize, which is awarded to historians and writers who produce the best work on the Palestinian cause.