Naguib Mahfouz, the renowned Egyptian author and Nobel laureate, has died. He was 94-years-old.
Mahfouz was hospitalized in Cairo earlier this month after suffering a head injury in a fall.
The Egyptian author is the only Arab writer to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
He was known mostly for his Cairo Trilogy, the story of an Egyptian family that lived in the winding streets of old Cairo, where Mahfouz grew up.
World leaders expressed condolences Wednesday. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Mahfouz introduced Arab literature to the world.
A White House statement says President Bush was saddened to learn of Mahfouz's death.
French President Jacques Chirac called Mahfouz a great figure of world literature and a man of peace.
The author will be buried on Thursday according to Islamic tradition.
Mahfouz wrote about 50 novels. His Children of Gabalawi was banned in Egypt, because it was viewed as criticizing Islam.
In 1994, Mahfouz, who championed tolerance and openness, was stabbed in the neck by an Islamic militant, but the author continued to write after that.
In awarding the Nobel Prize, the Nobel committee said Mahfouz's works were rich in nuance. It said he formed an Arabian narrative that applies to all mankind.
The author's style has been compared to the French writer Honore de Balzac.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.