|Biographical detail : ||Philosopher and poet, an excellent Egyptian scholar of free-thinking existentialist.
Badawi who published some 75 encyclopaedic works, on philosophy, translations and analysis of Greek, German and Islamic philosophy that include Nietzsche (1939), Heritage Grec (Greek Heritage, 1940) and Temps Existentialiste (Existentialist Time, 1945). His outstanding PhD thesis, “Le Probleme de la mort dans la philosophie existentielle”, published in 1964, inspired generations of Egyptian thinkers who enlightened the rest of the Middle East.
Badawi wrote with equal ease in English, Spanish, French, German and Arabic. He also read Greek, Latin and Persian. Incidentally, in Greek Heritage, he predicted tragedies – like 11 September – resulting from the unavoidable “clash of civilisations” as “an inevitably irresolvable problem” 57 years before the American sociologist Samuel Huntington did.
Badawi also taught in such universities as Kuwait (1975-82), Tehran (1973-74) and Libya (1967-73). He spent 34 years of self-exile in Paris. He believed in supremacy of man through individual freedom and through making informed choices subjected to secular tests – inspired, perhaps, by Nietzsche’s “superior man.” Classically minded, traditionalist and elitist, Badawi was drawn early to Greek philosophy.
Abdel Rahman Badawi was born to a rich family at the village of Sharabass, 95 miles north-east of Cairo. He never married and died in Cairo.