10 October 1928, Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
13 February 2017, Alexandria, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt
Mostafa Abdel Hamid el-Abbadi (Arabic: مصطفى العبادي; October 10, 1928, Cairo – February 13, 2017, Alexandria) was a prominent historian of Greco-Roman Egypt and an Egyptian public intellectual. Most recently Emeritus Professor in Classics at the Alexandria University, he was credited with proposing the revival of the ancient library of Alexandria, a project embraced by UNESCO in 1986 and completed in 2003. He was later critical of some of aspects of the project as realized by the Egyptian government, telling the New York Times that the library was at risk of becoming “a cultural center” rather than fulfilling its “promise as a world-class research center.”
A recipient of the Order of the Nile, El-Abbadi is a member of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Culture (SCC), Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), and l’Institut d’Égypte. He also serves as President of the Archaeological Society of Alexandria and is an advisor to UNESCO. Educated in Egypt and the United Kingdom, El-Abbadi holds a BA from the Alexandria University and a special BA and PhD from the University of Cambridge. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).
He died February 13, 2017 in Alexandria at the age of 88.
- What happened to the ancient Library of Alexandria? Leiden: Brill (2008).
- The Life and Fate of the Ancient Library of Alexandria. Mayenne, France: Imprimerie Floch (1990) & Paris: UNESCO (1992 and 1999).
- Alexandria: The Site and the History. New York: NYU Press (1993).