Egyptian writer Saeed Al Kafrawy has died after a fight against illness. He was 81. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Egypt’s leading writer Saeed Al Kafrawy, who penned several collections of short stories, has died after a fight against illness, his friends have said. He was 81.

Born in 1939 in the Egyptian province of Al Mahla Al Kubra, Al Kafrawy launched a writing career focusing on short stories, a genre to which he remained devoted until his death on Saturday.

This devotion earned him the nickname the “monk of the short story”. He was briefly detained in 1970 over one of his stories.

Famed collections

His famed collections include “Zubeida and the Monster”; “Antique Days”; “The City of Beautiful Death”; and “Al Bughdadiya” – the latter earned him the Sultan Qaboos Prize for Culture.

He was awarded Egypt’s State Prize of Merit for Literature in 2016. Al Kafrawy also edited the cultural series “Arabic Horizons” published by the state-run General Egyptian Book Organisation.

Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdul Dayim paid home to Al Kafrawy, calling him a “knight of the short story’ in the Arab world.

He was buried on Sunday in a family tomb outside Cairo following a funeral that prominent Egyptian writers attended.