When I was a child – at this magical age when you discover avidly the richness of life – I was fascinated by Uncle Chafik. He was a great artist ad an excellent shot; he had a gift for guns as well as for pencils and paintbrushes. This unusual and unexpected combination was bound to fire my young imagination, and I would stand there observing him for hours, speechless with admiration. I still remember him painting passionately in his studio in Helwan or shooting pigeons at the Shooting Club. But the reason why I wished to contribute towards the publishing of this catalogue of his work, is also to keep a promise I had made to my mother: “You write many books, but I would like you to find the time to publish the last volume of the History of Egypt which your grandfather wrote, and I also wish you would publish a book about your uncle Chafik’ paintings”.
My mother was very concerned with the cultural and artistic influence of her family, perhaps because of the political repute of her husband’s family.
The fourth part of the History of Egypt, “El Kafi”, was published in 1999, and today I am proud to present this book about the paintings of my uncle Chafik. I would like to thank Yehia and Marion who helped me list the main paintings of their father. My thanks also go to Dominique Roussel, Curator of the Museum of Soissons, who signed this book, and to all those – friends and institutions – who contributed to its publication.