Sad news shocked the fans of Kamal Zoghbani. The Tunisian novelist and philosopher died on Monday, September 14, at the age of 55, after suffering from a sudden heart attack.
Zoghbani, a great and well-known Arabic novelist and essayist won many prizes, including the prestigious Comar Prize for his book “Waiting for Life” and the Béchir Khraief Prize for his novel ‘Machina Bona Hora or La Machine du Bonheur.’ He was also a professor of philosophy at the University of Tunisia.
In his works Zoghbani dwelled on the relations between the Tunisian reality from a philosophical point of view.
He used to say the globalization system that prevails in the world today wants to transform us into “worthless numbers!” In his works, he criticized the current cultural policy of his country which he called one of “ambiguity” or “ignorance,” justifying this view by “the decline in reading among the public due to multiple satellite channels.”
In his novels, Zoghbani wanted to evaluate the reality in Tunisia after the 2011 Jasmine Revolution. He noted the revolution “made great gains in liberating thought, expression, and conscience, which enabled Tunisian intellectuals to write freely.”
In a lengthy dialogue during the 2017 Tunis Book Fair, he affirmed: “Tunisians, after the revolution, were thirsty and wanted to know about their new reality by reading new and bold novels that penetrate all the prohibitions and taboos that existed during the era of the Ben Ali regime.” But at the same time, he criticized the capitalist society in which the wealthy and the powerful enjoy prosperity and sell promises to the simple citizen.
Talented novelist, intellectual and philosopher Kamel Zoghbani was mourned online by his readers and by publisher.