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Mohammed Abdul-Hayy


Dec 15, 2021

Mohammed Abdul-Hayy or Muhammad Abd al-Hayy (1 January 1944 – 23 August 1989, Ad-Damir, Sudan) was a member of the first generation of post-colonial Sudanese writers and academics. Together with Ali El-Mak and Salah Ahmed Ibrahim, he is regarded as a pioneer of modern poetry in Sudan.

This article includes a list of general references, but it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. (March 2015)
Mohammed Abdul-Hayy
Native name
محمد عبد الحي
Born (1944-01-01)1 January 1944
Ad-Damir, Sudan
Died 23 August 1989(1989-08-23) (aged 45)
Khartoum, Sudan
Occupation poet, literary critic, academic
Language Arabic, English
Nationality Sudanese
Alma mater Khartoum University
University of Leeds
University of Oxford
Spouse Aisha Musa el-Said[1]

. . . Mohammed Abdul-Hayy . . .

Abdul-Hayy was born in Ad-Damir on 1 January 1944. His father worked as an architect, and his mother was the daughter of an architect.[2] Abdul-Hayy accompanied his father on his travels, which provided him with an understanding of the diverse and multiracial culture of Sudan. These experiences later had a great influence on his poetry, which focuses on the question of identity in Sudan.

Abdul-Hayy initially studied medicine, but his interests led him to change his area of study to the arts. Abdul-Hayy entered Khartoum University in 1962. Already as a student, articles by Abdul-Hayy were published in Sudanese newspapers, such as Al-Rayaam.

Mohammed Abdul-Hayy was awarded a Bachelor of Arts from Khartoum University in 1967, and then appointed as teaching assistant in the English department. He then got a scholarship and was sent to England, where he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in English literature from Leeds University in 1970. Abdul-Hayy’s thesis focused on the Scottish poet Edwin Muir. In 1973, he was awarded a PhD in Comparative Literature from Oxford University. His PhD thesis dealt with the influence of American and English romantic thinking on Arabic poetry. After obtaining his PhD, Abdul-Hayy returned to Sudan, teaching English and comparative literature at Khartoum University. He also served as head of the Department of English from 1978 to 1980.[2] He died at the early age of 45 on 23 August 1989 in Soba University Hospital, Khartoum.

In 1973, Abdul-Hayy released his poem Al Awada alla Sennar (Return to Sennar). It focused on the question of Sudanese cultural identity, and used the historical Kingdom of Sennar as a symbol of African and Arabic coexistence. Upon its publication, Al Awada alla Sennar gained widespread acclaim within the Arab speaking world.[2]

Together with other writers of the early 1960s, such as Ali El-Makk, Al-Nur Othman Abkar, Yusef Aidabi, and Abdullah Shabu, Mohammed Abdul-Hayy is considered as one of the founders of the literary “Forest and the Desert School“, where forest refers to the rainforests of the South and desert to northern Sudan.[3]

  • Al Awada alla Sennar (Return to Sennar) (1973)
  • Moaʾalakat al isharat (The Signals) (1977)
  • Al-samandal yughanni (The Newt Sings) (1977)
  • Hadiqat al-ward al-akhirah (The Last Rose Garden) (1984)
  • Allah fi-zaman alʾunf (God in the Time of Violence) (1993)

. . . Mohammed Abdul-Hayy . . .

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. . . Mohammed Abdul-Hayy . . .