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, this voice advocates the imperative need to develop a genuine ending to the Arab-Israeli conflict and therefore establish a true peace between Egypt, the Arab countries and Israel. Tarek Heggy castigates a large portion of Egyptian and Arab media for their promotion of a hate culture and criticizes this media for reintroducing the radical rhetoric of the 1960s that led many Arab countries to catastrophe.
Tarek Heggy was born in 1950, into the Egyptian upper-middle class and hometown of his parents, Port Said. Both his father and mother were fortunate enough to be highly educated, intellectual people who had been widely exposed to Western culture and civilization. They inculcated within him a love of reading and an appreciation of languages at a young age. As citizens of Port Said, Heggy’s parents were the offspring of the Suez Canal community and of an otherwise unique openness to the outside world.
Tarek Heggy studied law at Ain Shams University in Cairo, followed by Modern Management in the International Management Institute of Geneva University. From 1971 until 1979, he taught at the law schools of a number of North African Universities (Algeria and Morocco).
In July 1979, Tarek Heggy joined “Shell International Petroleum Company” as Oil and Gas Attorney (1979-1985) and Deputy to the Chairman of Shell Egypt (1985-1988). In 1988, he was the first Middle East person to be appointed as Chairman of Shell Companies in Egypt and an assistant/advisor to “Shell International” for the Major Resource Holders (MRH). After eight years of holding these positions, Heggy resigned from “Shell International” on 1st July 1996 to devote his efforts to a wide range of intellectual/cultural activities and in parallel to manage his private company “TANA Petroleum”.
University of Toronto scholarship established in the name of Tarek Heggy for post graduate studies in Comparative Jewish/Muslim relations.
The Arab Mindset
Since April 1978, Tarek Heggy has written 21 books in three languages. In addition, some four hundred published articles in English, Arabic, French, Russian & Hebrew are posted as essays on his website. Heggy's latest book in English "Culture, Civilization & Humanity" was published in the UK and USA by Frank Cass in 2003.
Books in English:
Books in Arabic:
Books in French:
"Tarek Heggy's book is one of the most interesting and important works to come out of the Arab world in a long time. At the very moment when the debate over change or continuity, democracy or dictatorship is at its height, Heggy brilliantly analyses the causes and solutions of Arab problems and paradoxes". Professor Barry Rubin, Director, Global Research in International Affairs Center and Editor, Middle East Review of International Affairs
"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". Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and development at the University of Maryland and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution
“Having discovered that there is no equivalent in the Arabic language, classical or colloquial, for the word “compromise”, Tarek Heggy invented his own “cultural compromise”. This led him to advocate cultural tolerance and acceptance of the “Other”, and to argue for progress as a human product, modernity, the universality of science and knowledge, democracy and civil society. An academic, intellectual, economist and one of the world's top petroleum strategists, he is also a managerial wizard. Many consider his books on management a recipe for curing the ills of Egypt". Adel Darwish
Egyptian intellectual tells 'Post': Political solution only way to avoid further Israel-Hamas clashes. Tarek Heggy: Fundamentalist groups must be given 'fewer playgrounds'
Feb 02, 2009; BRENDA GAZZAR, Jerusalem Post correspondent Jerusalem Post 02-02-2009 Headline: Egyptian intellectual tells 'Post': Political...