Three things to know about Mohamed Hassanein Heikal

Published February 17th, 2016 - 11:36 GMT
He was known for his work as editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram, Egypt’s largest state news outlet, as well as his decades of political commentary. (Yalmashhad.com)
He was known for his work as editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram, Egypt’s largest state news outlet, as well as his decades of political commentary. (Yalmashhad.com)

Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, a veteran Egyptian journalist, has died aged 92. He passed away on Wednesday after suffering from a deterioration in health due to kidney failure.

Heikal was an iconic figure in Egypt, described as one of the Arab world’s most prominent political commentator. He was editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram, Egypt's largest state news outlet for 15 years, with his writings on president Gamal Abdel Nasser often being considered some of the most insightful.

Here are three things to know about his life and career.

Heikal was known for his writings on president Gamal Abdel Nasser

Heikal was very close with Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, the man who led the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in 1952. His daily columns were thought to be some of the most insightful on the topic of Nasser’s thinking.

He did not always get along with Anwar Sadat

Heikal fell out with president Anwar Sadat despite helping him consolidate his power after Nasser’s death. His writings at Al-Ahram became critical of some of Sadat’s policies, which led to his removal from his editorial role.

In his later years, he hosted a lecture series on Al Jazeera

In 2007, Heikal began hosting a series of lectures on the popular news network Al Jazeera. His lectures, entitled “With Heikal,” focused on world events including Israel’s historic policies in the region and the politics surrounding the Suez Canal.


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