U.S. President George W. Bush was saddened to learn of the death of Egypt's most celebrated author and the only Arab Nobel writer Naguib Mahfouz, the White House said on Wednesday.
The work of Mahfouz showed "the deepest insight into the lives of Egyptians and all mankind." His work "will introduce his beloved Egypt to Americans and to readers around the world for generations to come." White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.
"On behalf of the American people, the President and Mrs Bush extend their deepest sympathies to Mr Mahfouz's family and friends and to the Egyptian people for the loss of an extraordinary artist who conveyed the richness of Egyptian history and society to the world," Perino said.
Mahfouz became the first Arab writer to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1988. He died on Wednesday at the age of 94, several weeks after his health suddenly deteriorated.