Naguib Mahfouz (1911 – 2006) Naguib Mahfouz/نجيبمحفوظ Nobel prize winner in literature in 1988. His books were banned in many Arab countries; Children of our Alley, a masterpiece in my opinion, accused of blasphemy, was banned until recently in many countries including his native Egypt.
Many of Mahfouz's novels were adapted into films. Youssef Chahine collaborated with Mahfouz and adapted two of his scripts.
Youssef Chahine (1926 – 2008) Youssef Chahine/يوسفشاهين Award winning filmmaker - recognized at the CANNES Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, César & the Berlin Film Festival.
He contributed to two anthology films alongside numerous internationally renowned directors: Chacun son cinéma ou Ce petit coup au coeur quand la lumière s'éteint et que le film commence (2007) & Eleven Minutes, Nine Seconds, One Image: September 11 (2002).
Abdel Rahman el Abnoudy (1938 - ) Abdel Rahman el Abnoudy /عبدالرحمنالأبنودي Most notably known for his life's work, Al Siyra Al Hilaliyah (Story of Bani Hilal), based on the saga of a the bedouin tribe Banū Hilāī as they migrated from the Hijaz to Tunisia travelling through the Arab countries in North Africa.
El Abnoudy wrote for many notable Middle Eastern singers like Warda, Abdel Halim Hafez, Shadia and Sabah but most importantly (to me) he wrote (and still does) the majority of Mounir's songs.
Mohamed Mounir (1954 - ) Mohamed Mounir/محمدمنير And now onto my personal favourite. I'm semi speechless. Not out of a shortage of things to say, but rather, out of an inability to do him justice.
Mounir, like Mahfouz, Chahine, and el Abnoudy, before him, has drawn from (primarily but not exclusively) Egypt's cultural, political, religous, geographical and most notably folkloric history to infuse his work.
Last, but not by any means least, Mounir is said to be Chahine's "voice in cinematography". That is to say, he's collaborated with him in several of his films in his capacity as an actor and singer (for his soundtracks).