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Arab literary giant Mohammad al-Maghout dies

Written by: Staff

DAMASCUS, Apr 3 (Reuters) Syrian writer Mohammad al-Maghout, whose poems and plays fiercely criticised Arab regimes, died today aged 72, the official news agency SANA said.

''Syria and the Arab world lost a giant today,'' the agency said, adding that Maghout had died after a long illness.

Maghout's work combined satire with descriptions of social misery and malaise, illustrating what he viewed as an ethical decline among rulers in the region.

He teamed up with Syrian actors Dureid Laham and Nihad Qali to produce some of the region's most popular and acclaimed theatrical works, such as ''Exile''.

''Policemen, Interpol men everywhere; you search for the perfect crime,'' Maghout wrote in one of his poems. ''There is only one perfect crime; to be born an Arab.'' REUTERS TM BS2317

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