An esteemed literary critic and scholar

Prominent Iraqi scholar Basim Abdul Hamid Hammoudi dies at 87

BAGHDAD — Basim Abdul Hamid Hammoudi, an esteemed critic and scholar in heritage, passed away early Friday at the age of 87. His death was confirmed by the General Union of Iraqi Writers and Authors, marking the end of a prolific career that enriched Iraqi cultural and academic life.

Born in Baghdad in 1937, Hammoudi was a cornerstone of the Iraqi literary movement and a leading figure in 20th century journalistic circles. He began his publishing career with his first article in 1954, going on to graduate from the history department at the College of Education in 1960.

Throughout his career, Hammoudi held several influential positions, including editor-in-chief of Folk Heritage Magazine, published by the General Directorate for Cultural Affairs. He also worked as a teacher and held various editorial positions at notable publications including Al-Aqlam, Foreign Culture, and Al-Ruwad Magazine.

Hammoudi authored numerous books and articles focusing on popular literature and folklore. Among his notable works are: “The Popular Biography and the Arab Self,” “Customary Justice Among Arabs: A Glossary of Terms,” “The Critic and the Story of War: An Analytical Study,” “The Third Face of the Mirror,” “The Exile of Khafaji Amer the Iraqi,” “Diwan of Pens,” “A Journey with the Iraqi Story,” “Rashid Street,” “Customs and Traditions of Iraqi Folk Life,” “In the Drama of the War Poem: A Critical Variation on the Fao Poem,” “In the Details of the Event: The Margin in Iraqi History,” “Mahmoud Al-Abtah: An Iraqi Folklorist Passes 1920-1986,” “The Magic of Truth: Personalities, Books, and Studies in Folk Heritage,” “Meryl Streep,” and “The Iraqi Dr. Dahesh in the Box of States.”

His contributions to literature and heritage were recognized with several awards, including the Creativity in Literary Criticism Award from Iraq, the Folk Heritage Medal from Lebanon, and recognition by Mansoura University in Egypt. In 1990, he was honored by the Jordanian Ministry of Culture and served as a judge for the Jordan State Award in the field of folk heritage.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa’ Al-Sudani mourned Hammoudi’s death in a statement calling him a distinguished national and cultural figure and extending his condolences to Hammoudi’s family and admirers.