Algerian writer Bencheikh dead of cancer

10th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 10 (AFP) - Jamal Eddine Bencheikh, an Algerian writer known for his French translations of the "1,001 Nights" based on Arabian folk tales and diverse other works, has died of cancer in France aged 75, his family said Wednesday.

PARIS, Aug 10 (AFP) - Jamal Eddine Bencheikh, an Algerian writer known for his French translations of the "1,001 Nights" based on Arabian folk tales and diverse other works, has died of cancer in France aged 75, his family said Wednesday.

Bencheikh, who taught literature in France, passed away in the central city of Tours on Monday.

A specialist in Arabic poetry and a renowned sociologist, Bencheikh had just completed a new edition of "1,001 Nights" which has been published. He taught medieval literature at the Sorbonne University in Paris and wrote a reference book on French Arab and North African literature.

Born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1930, Bencheikh left Algeria several years after its independence in 1962, heading to voluntary exile in France to protest a crackdown on civil liberties imposed by Algeria's president at the time, Houari Boumediene.

Several political essays he wrote that were compiled for publication in 2001 notably took Islamic fundamentalists to task for "speaking in the name of Islam in such a way that it is deepening the misunderstanding between Muslims and the West."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Algeria, Bencheikh, obituaries

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