Mahmoud Messaadi, 93, a renowned Tunisian writer, a former minister and speaker of parliament, died Thursday in Tunis.
Born in 1911, editor of Al-Mabahith Review (1944-1947), secretary-general of UGTT (Tunisian Trade Union from 1948-1953), minister of national education (1958), he was also a general inspector of education.
Messaadi published in 1955 a play called ‘The Dam’ (Assadd), which was highly praised by the Egyptian Taha Hussein and was studied by the orientalists Massignon and Berque.
According to Taha Hussein, Messaadi succeeded to reconcile in this play Muslim philosophy with existentialism.
Messaadi is also known for his landmark literary work, “Haddatha Abu Hurayra” (Abu Hurayra said), also published in 1973. He is the author of a book in French about “Tempo in Arab rhyme,” published in 1981.
Under his watch, the University of Tunis was created in 1960.
He also served as minister of culture and speaker of parliament.