August 31, 2006: Egypt bids farewell to Mahfouz

Egypt bids farewell to Mahfouz

Egypt bade farewell to its Nobel prize-winning novelist Najeeb Mahfouz, celebrated as one of the greatest writers in modern Arab literature, who died at the age of 94. Cairo’s district of Nasr City was blocked off to traffic as Mahfouz was given a full-fledged national funeral, attended by President Hosni Mubarak and top officials. The author’s coffin was wrapped in an Egyptian flag and briefly carried on a horse-drawn hearse down a soldier-lined street in the capital. The procession was broadcast live on national television and around 200 people gathered at Al Hussain mosque for the public funeral that Mahfouz had requested before his death. Amid tight security, relatives, friends and admirers of Mahfouz gathered in the heart of the city.

Other important events:

1876 Turkey’s Sultan Murad V is deposed on plea of insanity and is succeeded by Abdul Hamid II.

1900 British forces under Frederick Roberts occupy Johannesburg, South Africa.

1907 England, Russia and France form Triple Entente.

1918 Bolshevik troops attack British Embassy in Petrograd, Russia.

1919 Ukrainian Army recaptures Kiev.

1922 Czech-Serb-Croat Alliance is signed at Marienbad.

1935 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an act prohibiting the export of US arms to belligerents.

1939 Japanese invasion army driven out of Mongolia.

1951 The first 33-rpm long-playing record is introduced by the German company Deutsche Grammophon.

1955 The world’s first solar-power automobile designed by William G. Cobb, is demonstrated in Chicago, Illinois.

1957 Malaysia gains independence from Britain.

1962 Trinidad and Tobago become independent nation within British Commonwealth.

1969 Boxer Rocky Marciano dies in a plane crash in Iowa at age 45.

1971 Cuba terminates the airlift that had brought 246,000 Cuban refugees from Havana to Florida since December 1965.

1977 Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith’s party wins the election and gains all 50 white seats in Parliament.

1978 Constitution is adopted by Sri Lanka.

1987 South Africa’s longest mine strike in history ends.

1986 The Soviet passenger liner SS Admiral Nakhimov sinks after colliding with the bulk carrier Pyotr Vasev in the Black Sea, 423 people are killed.

1990 East and West Germany sign a treaty to join legal and political systems.

1991 Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan declare independence.

1993 Venezuela president Carlos Perez flees.

1994 Irish Republican Army declares an open-ended ceasefire in its 24-year campaign against British rule of Northern Ireland.

1997 Princess Diana dies in a high-speed Paris car crash.

2005 Some 1,000 Iraqi Shiite pilgrims die in a stampede over a Baghdad bridge, apparently provoked by rumours of a suicide bomber.

2009 The Walt Disney company announces the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment inc’s stock at $4 billion.

2010 American forces ends seven years of combat operations in Iraq.

2012 Angola holds Parliamentary elections.

2013 An ammonia leak from a cold storage unit at a food company in China’s commercial hub of Shanghai kills 15 people.