2008 winner of the Italian prize "premio Grinzane - Terra D'Otranto" (from Premio Grinzane Cavour) .
Distinguished senior Fellow at The Gatestone Institute, New York;
Visiting Professor at severalsworld-class universities; barrister-at-law before the Supreme Court of Egypt; Author of 18 books in Arabic (plus 12 in English, French & Italian); Co-Founder of the Chair of Coptic Studies at The American University in Cairo and of "Tarek Heggy's Scholarship in Jewish Studies" at the University of Toronto.
Formerly : the chairman & CEO of a major International Oil Company. member of the advisory Board of the RAND Organization "Centre for Middle East Public Policy" of the initiative for Middle Eastern Youth (IMEY); member of the Advisory Board of Just Journalism (UK);Member of Egypt Supreme Culture Council (Management Sciences Committee); Board member of The Egyptian Society for Historic Studies; member of the board of trustees of the MSA University (Cairo, Egypt); Member of the board of The Faculty of Economics and Political Science of Cairo University; Member of the board of The Middle East Research Centre of Ain Shams University (Cairo); Vice President of The Arab Management Society; Member of Egypt Writers Association; Chairman of Heliopolis Library; From 1973 till 1979: Asst. Professor at Constantine
University/Algeria and The University of Fes/Morocco.
Tarek Heggys extensive writings advocate the values of modernity, democracy, tolerance, and women's rights in the Middle East advancing them as universal values essential to the region's progress. He has lectured at universities throughout the world, including Oxford University, the University of Tokyo, the University of Melbourne, Sydney University, Princeton University, Columbia University, King's College London, Colorado University, Colorado School of Mines, The Hayek Institute (Vienna), Erasmus University (The Netherlands), the American University in Cairo, and the University of California Berkeley. Additionally, he has lectured at the European University (Rome), John Cabot University (Rome), the University of Calabria, and the University of Salento (Italy), as well as Marrakesh (Morocco), Fes (Morocco), Zaytouna (Tunis) and Manouba (Tunis) universities. Due to his knowledge of the Middle East, he has been called upon to speak at various international institutions and think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the National Endowment for Democracy, the American Enterprise Institute, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2011, he was asked to speak before the British House of Commons. Because of his intellectual project advocating universal human values, he also participates in international organizations addressing the holocaust and genocide, such as Project Aladdin and the Stockholm International Forum.
Tarek Heggy's main themes are the need for economic, political, cultural and educational reforms in Egypt and the Middle East . His liberal voice is part of the small but growing minority that calls for self-criticism and massive reforms and that frankly admits the failures of the political ideologies/dogmas dominating Egypt and the Arab world. Moreover, this voice calls the conspiracy theories and overblown rhetoric that pervade the region signs of a cultural crisis that needs resolution. Finally, Tarek Heggy advocates the imperative need to develop a fair political ending to the Arab-Israeli conflict to enable all societies in the Middle East to move towards a pro-active phase of economic and social development.
Books by Tarek Heggy in English:
On Management and Petroleum Industry. 1991
Egypt's Contemporary Problems. 1992
Critique of Marxism. 1992
Egyptian Political Essays. 2000
Culture, Civilization & Humanity. 2003
The Fall of Socialism. 2009
The Arab Cocoon. 2010
The Arab Mind Bound. 2011
Books by Tarek Heggy in Arabic:
Marxist Ideas In Balance. 1978
Communism And Religion. 1980
My Experience With Marxism. 1983
What is to be done? 1986
The Four Idols. 1988
The Trinity of Destruction. 1990
Egypt between two Earthquakes. 1991
The Fateful Transformation. 1993
Reflections on Egypt 's Realities. 1995
Critique of the Arab Mind. 1998
Culture First and Foremost. 2000
The Values of Progress. 2001
On the Egyptian Mind. 2003
Margins on The Egyptian Mind. 2004
Modern Management in the contemporary Arab Societies. 2006
The Imprisonment of the Arab Mind. 2009
Our Culture Between Illusion and Reality. 2009
Books by Tarek Heggy in French:
L'inιluctable Transformation, Le Caire 1991
Le Djinn Radical , Paris 2010
L'esprit Arabe Enchaine, Paris 2012
Books by Tarek Heggy in Italian:
Le Prigioni Della Mente Araba (translated by Valentina Columbo).
Tarek Heggy by Others.
"A courageous and distinctive voice from Egypt ." ( Professor Bernard Lewis ).
"Tarek Heggy's book is one of the most interesting and important works to come out of the Arab world in a long time". ( Professor Barry Rubin ).
"Tarek Heggy is one of the most creative and prolific writers in the Arab world. His writings probe the political and social limits and present a refreshing message of self-reliance that challenges the prevailing sense that regional ills are largely made abroad".
( Professor Shibley Telhami, Head of Al-Sadat Chair, Maryland University , USA ).
"Tarek Heggy, the writer, intellectual and a leader of a large Oil company in Egypt is the author of several books on this single subject i.e.: managerial salvation of Egypt . He considers Egypt 's problem is neither poverty, backwardness nor population congestion, but is primarily bad management. His books and observations are milestones on the road to this managerial reform which our people dream of. His books are the best aid in formulating the healing prescription for this malady. Let us, therefore, seek the medicament from those who possess the experience therein". ( Moustafa Mahmoud "Al-Ahram Daily 4/12/1993" ).
"Tarek Heggy is a successful corporate leader and a sophisticated thinker who expresses profound ideas in the form of aphorisms, that is, he uses apparently simple sentences to convey complex truths". ( Anis Mansour - "Al-Ahram Daily 4/3/1993" ).
"Our paths crossed by chance . I was struck by his versatility, by the convergence of so many different personalities and dimensions on one man (an encyclopedic reader in all fields of knowledge, a writer, intellectual and political analyst, a man of letters and an artist who has developed deeply into the vast seas of literature and art, an international petroleum expert and a politician)". ( Kamal Al-Mallakh "Al-Ahram Al-Iktisady (the economist) 28/9/1987" ).
"I have followed with close attention the articles and books published by this author, who has managed to achieve in a few short years what other writers take decades to achieve: cogency of argument, clarity of style, depth of ideas, breadth of culture and sweep of vision. A prodigious amount of reading, daunting to any but the most steely-willed, has been instrumental in his rapid development. No branch of knowledge escapes his voracious appetite for reading. When it comes to economics, he is full command of his subject, in law he is highly knowledgeable, in literature, he is at one and the same time an amateur and a professional blessed with a discerning taste. His post, as Chairman of one of the largest International Oil companies in Egypt , has never before been occupied by an Egyptian or an Arab. He is a man of profound vision, whose principal motivation is the good of his country. Thus he writes with the freedom of the scientist and the commitment of the true patriot." ( Sarwat Abaza - Al-Ahram Daily 29/4/1991 ).
"Although the author comes from a generation not noted for its love of reading or its intellectual curiosity, he stands out as a singular exception to the rule, a widely-read man whose like we have not seen for many generations." ( Mohamed Mourad Al-Akhbar Daily 14/81988 ).
"Tarek Heggy's writings are not limited to expressing the author's opinion on a given subject, but extend to projecting a panoramic view of Egypt 's predicament. The economy of his style does not detract from the clarity of the picture that emerges. When he moves on to propose solutions, he does so from the vantage point of one who is fully aware of the magnitude of the problems facing Egypt . To read some of this author's works is to understand why one of the largest companies in the world should have chosen him to lead their operations in Egypt ." ( Ahmed Abul Fatah Al-Wafd Daily 16/9/1993 ).
"An association that springs to my mind on reading the works of Tarek Heggy is Jean Jacques Rousseau, in the sense that both are intellectuals concerned with reforming and restructuring their societies. Heggy belongs to that rare breed of writers who dip their pens into their hearts. When he addresses his country's problems, he writes with the passion and honesty of a nationalistic Egyptian jealous of his heritage." ( Zahira El Beyally October Magazine 3/9/1990 ).
"An important book by a distinguished author has appeared in Egypt : the book is published under the title, My Experience with Marxism, the author is Tarek Heggy."
( Ahmed Bahgat Al Massa Daily 27/11/1983 ).
"Those blessed with exceptional abilities usually distinguish themselves in their respective areas of expertise. But Tarek Heggy's talents shine in more than one firmament, he excels in more than one field." ( Adel El Bolok Misr Tourism Magazine 20/2/1992 ).
"All these writers were unanimous in acknowledging his encyclopedic knowledge and his profound original ideas." ( Faiza Saad Rose Al Youssef Magazine 26/8/1991 ).
"I urge young people to read this book and to emulate the author, Tarek Heggy, in broadening their cultural base." ( Abdel Moneim Kandil Al Akhbar Daily 21/8/1980 ).
"Tarek Heggy is an author and intellectual who stands out as a unique phenomenon among his contemporaries. When his first book, Marxist Ideas in the Balance, was published nearly ten years ago, I sent him a letter, in which I said: You have revived my faith in the youth of Egypt , on which I had firmly slammed a door that I never expected to open again. When his second book, Communism and Religion, appeared, I wrote in Al-Ahram of April 28, 1980 : The book under review is by a young author who displays a degree of insight and erudition that is startlingly precocious in one so young. When what I consider to be his finest work, My Experience with Marxism, was published, I wrote in Al-Ahram of July 7, 1983: Never before in all my life has a book so fired my imagination that I want to share it with my readers in its entirety, to convey to them every single word of a book whose honesty, vision, compelling arguments, rigorous logic, depth of research and sobriety of expression I have seen only in the works of towering literary giants."
( Sarwat Abaza Al-Ahram Daily 31/7/1983 ).
"Tarek Heggy's writings are characterized by an encyclopedic knowledge that is evocative of El-Aqqad. They are also characterized by a poetic style reminiscent of Taha Hussein's. And, in the profundity of the messages they carry, they rank alongside the best works of the great writers." ( Dr. Salah Ads Al Omal Magazine August 1999 issue No. 339 ).
"Tarek Heggy is a rich personality blessed with a wealth of talents. A deeply cultured, widely read and enlightened writer, he wields his pen masterfully, recording his ideas and experiences in a sober style informed by honesty and brimming with a love of Egypt ."
( Dr. Mohamed Ismail Ali Al Oroba Magazine April issue 1991 ).
"When I was taken on a guided tour of the giant establishment he heads I felt I was in one of the most advanced American or European corporations. During our discussion, which lasted for two hours, I felt I was in the presence of an outstanding representative of my generation and my country. I confess that I found myself thinking more than once during this encounter that he was a living example of what Egypt needs. In the midst of a tumultuous rhythm of work and the glaring light of success, he has managed to create a serene oasis of classical music, poetry, literature, art and refined culture. Perhaps that is the secret behind the limpid transparency of his vision." ( Hatem Nasr Farid May Daily 10/5/1991 ).
"in his latest book, Fateful Transformation, Tarek Heggy reflects the pulse of Egyptian intellectual and their consensus on the need for radical change in public life in Egypt as a prerequisite for raising living standards. The book is a cry from the heart against totalitarianism and a command economy, and a defense of freedom and liberalism. The author's deep concern with his country's problems has placed him on a quest for solutions by which they can be overcome." ( Ahmed Bahgat Al-Ahram Daily 15/10/1993 ).
"If a common thread can be said to run through all of Tarek Heggy's book, it is his intense preoccupation with his country's problems and hardships. It is difficult, if not impossible, to deny his passionate love for his country and his deep involvement in all the issues and concerns which affect its well-being and which he dreams, in more than one of his books, will one day vanish so that Egypt can recover its economic vitality and democratic vigor. To this end, he has launched himself forward, with all his strength, on the marathon of progress." ( Helmy Salam Akher Saa Magazine 5/12/1990 ).
"When Tarek Heggy publishes a book, it is read only by a select few
that is to his credit and to our shame." ( Anis Mansour Al-Ahram Daily- 26/10/1993 ).
"Fateful Transformation is a book that should be read by all Egyptians and studied by all intellectuals." ( Abbas El Tarabeely Al-Wafd Daily 26/10/1993 ).
"A widely-read man whose like we have not seen for many generations". ( Mahmoud Abdel Moneim Mourad "Al-Akhbar Daily 14/8/1988" ).
Tarek Heggy, an intellectual who has declared war on totalitarianism, uses reason and logic to defend freedom and democracy in their western parliamentary sense, with all the implications this holds for economic freedom. He is an author concerned with the problems of his country and the cares of his countrymen. His books are quickly out of print, because they quench the thirst of the seekers after truth. ( Abbas Al-Tarabeely "Al-Wafd Daily 20/3/1989" ).
Tarek Heggy is well-versed in economics, politics and literature. He is also a connoisseur of poetry and a partisan of the elegant turn of phrase that qualifies his work as literature. ( Ismail Al-Nakeeb "Al-Akhbar Daily 29/9/1990" ).
Back to "Critique of the Arab Mind" by Tarek Heggy, it is a marvelous, precise book replete with inspiration for all the crackbrained to get rid of insanity and go on in the way of intellectual health and sound meditation. The book, roughly 172 pages, in "Iqra" special series, issued by Dar Al-Maarif. This book, it seems to me, encyclopedic, the concentrated upshot of conscious culture, kaleidoscopic experience and a blueprint, intellectual and spiritual dedicated to the upswing of Egypt . ( Ragaa Al-Naqqash "Al-Ahram 28/5/2000" ).
Tarek Heggy writes with the mentality of a scientist, the style of a literary man and the logic of a philosopher. ( Maamoun Ghareeb "Akher Saa Magazine 9/9/1992" ).
Tarek Heggy takes us back to the golden age of the Arabic Language. ( Salah Labib "Al-Ahram Al-Iktisady (the economist) 15/5/1989" ).
"His quest for knowledge has taken him to the highest reaches of human endeavour in the fields of philosophy, history, drama, poetry, literature and all the branches of economic and social sciences, ancient and modern. Along the way, he read voraciously, and with an enviably retentive memory, most of the works of the Greek and Roman civilizations, works by Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Lucretius, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Virgil, Plutarch, Tacitus, and by tens of the most creative thinkers of these two great civilizations."
He threw himself just as ardently into rich artistic and philosophical legacy of the Renaissance, with a single-minded will toassimilate the best of what western philosophy had to offer, from its early beginnings at the hands of Thomas Aquians, to its highest expression in the works of Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Bergson, Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, Albert Camus, Sartre, Herbert Marcuse, and many, many more.
The same is true when it comes to western literature, where he embarked on a marathon course through the works of the great literary figures spawned by Europe at the peak of its artistic and literary glory, such as Shakespeare, Chaucer, Francis Bacon, Dante, Moliere, Corneille, Racine, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Goethe, Schiller, Flaubert, Balzac, Maupassant, Daudet, Victor Hugo, Pushkin, Gogol, Turguenev, Lermontov, Tolstoi, Chekov, Ibsen, Anatole France, Luigi Pirandello, Franz Kafka, Bernard Shaw, Hemingway, Faulkner, Eugene O'Neil, Steinbeck, Andre Gide, Albert Camus, Moravia, Pasternak, Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Osborne and hundreds of other literary greats.
His journey also took him through the main Arab masterpieces in the fields of poetry, prose and philosophy (including logography, or Islamic theology). He read and memorized hundred of poems from the Jaheleya (pre-Islamic), Omayyad and Abbasid periods, by such legenday poets as Labid, Zoheir, 'Antarra, el-Nabegha, Gareer, el-Farazdaq, el-Akhtal, Bashar, Abu Nawass, el-Bohtory, Abu Tammam, el-Motanabby, Abu Faras el-Hamadani and Abul 'Alaa.
He has also read extensively in the field of prose, where he is familiar with the works of such great Arab writers as ibn-el-Moqafa', el-Jaheth, ibn-Quoteiba, ibn-abd Raddo el-Andalussy, el-Gargany, el-Mobred, Abu Ali el-Qaly, ibn-Khakan, el-Isphahani, el-Tebary, ibn-Taghri Bardi, el-Qualqashani, ibn-Sina (Avicenna), el-Ghazaly, el-Faraby, el-Razey and ibn-Rushd (Averroes). He is equally well-versed in Islamic philosophy- logography- as expounded by Moslem theologians from various schools, like the Asha'era, the Mo'tazala, the Quadareya, the Gabareya, the Gahameya, the Shiite and Sunni groups, the Khawarej and all the sub-groupings which branched out of these main schools.
His erudition extends to the field of contemporary Arabic literature, where he is familiar with all the schools of modern Arabic poetry and prose: el-Baroudi, Ismail Sabri, Shawqi, Hafez, Khalil Motran, el-Manfalouti, Mostapha Sadeq el-Raf'I, Taha Hussein, el-'Aqqad, Ahmed Amin, Zaki Mubarak, el-Mazny, Shoukry, Abu Shadi, Ali Mohamed Taha, Nagui, el-Bayatti and el-Sayyab, as well as with those of later generations, like Naguib Mahfouz, Youssef Idris, Salah Abdel Sabour, Nizar Qabbani, Amal Dongol and tens of other greats of Arabic literature.
His interest in history and philosophy of history in general, and in the history of modern Egypt in particular, is as intense as that of a man who has made the study of history his lifework.
It is clear from all the above that the driving force behind Tarek Heggy's trajectory as a reader is not a desire to know some things, or even many things, but a thirst to know the maximum possible. To this end, he has set himself the Herculean task of not allowing one drop of the vast ocean of human creativity to slip through his fingers. Unfortunately, his thirst is doomed never to be quenched, given the sheer size of the project on which he has embarked". (From Dr. Salah Ads book "A Study on Tarek Heggy's Thoughts" (224 pages), second edition, Cairo , 2000) .