Issam MahfouzIssam Abdel-Masih Mahfouz (also written 'Isam/Essam Mahfood/Mahfuz') (12 September 1939 – 3 February 2006) was a Lebanese playwright, poet, journalist, author, translator, and critic. His literary works include dozens of books on politics, culture, and theater, as well as “dialogues” - imagined exchanges with historical figures. During his lifetime he was also well known as a Professor of Dramatic Arts at the Lebanese University and for his writing in the Lebanese newspaper al-Nahār, particularly its culture section.
Mahfouz is best known for his call to reform theater in the Arab world. In 1968 he published “The First Theater Manifesto” in which he proposed changing the language used in the theater from classical Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic or fuṣ’ḥa) to the local dialect to reflect the language of the street as “it is closer to the hearts of the people”. He also called for the themes of theatrical pieces to be international rather than local. In 1991 he altered his language proposal from the use of the local dialect to the development of a hybrid form of fuṣ’ḥa that would be comprehensible throughout the Arab world while still retaining the immediacy of the dialect. He subsequently translated all his plays into this “popular fuṣ’ḥa” (al-fuṣ’ḥa al-sha’abīyah). Mahfouz's own plays met immediate critical and popular success, and inaugurated a new era of theatrical production in the Arab world. Most recently, his play "The Dictator" was awarded the Sultan Award at the Arab Theater Film Festival in Doha in 2013. A translated version of “The Dictator” was selected by the Between the Seas Festival in New York for 2015 production. Provided by Wikipedia
“...Maḥfūẓ, ʻIṣām. Liqāʼāt shakhṣīyah maʻa al-thaqāfah al-Gharbīyah. al-Ṭabʻah 1....”
“...Maḥfūẓ, ʻIṣām. Sūryālīyah wa-tafāʻulātuhā al-ʻArabiȳah. al-Ṭabʻah 1....”