Tharwat Abaza, 75; Egyptian Newspaper Columnist, Writer

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Tharwat Abaza, 75, a newspaper columnist and writer known for his depictions of Egyptian country life and the aristocratic class, died Sunday in a Cairo hospital after a long illness.

His best-known work was "A Man Escaping from Time," a novel that was turned into a popular Egyptian television series in the late 1960s. Abaza also wrote plays and short stories.

He became editor of the weekly Radio and Television in 1974 and was literature editor of the newspaper Al-Ahram from 1975 to 1988. He wrote a prominent column in the pro-government newspaper until he died. Abaza was a member of the Shura Council, a government advisory body, and chairman of the Egyptian Union of Writers.

He successfully sued two Egyptian journalists for libel in the late 1990s after they criticized his opposition to the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 by late President Gamal Abdul-Nasser.

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