Homeless Sudanese writer dies from cold on Cairo street

The writer moved to Cairo two years ago but quickly ran out of money and had to abandon his home

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A homeless Sudanese writer and painter Mohammed Hussein Bahnass, who lived on the streets of Cairo, has died from cold in the Egyptian capital, colleagues and local media reported Thursday.

Bahnass had moved to Cairo two years ago to exhibit his works.

But he quickly ran out of money and had to abandon his home “and sleep on the streets of downtown Cairo,” said Imane Adel, a journalist working with independent Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabea.

He was a regular figure in downtown Cairo, seen even in the iconic Tahrir Square -- the epicenter of protests against longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

The 43-year-old was found dead of cold on a Cairo street but it was unclear when he died.

A fierce winter storm shut down much of the Middle East in the last few days, with Egypt recording unusual low temperatures, rainfall and also snowfall in some areas.

Ahmad Bahgat, an activist who participated in the anti-Mubarak revolt, had befriended Bahnass and realized that he was a capable artist.

Bahnass was “homeless,” Bahgat said in a message posted on the Internet, but he was a good artist “who had had a successful exhibition in France.”

He said Bahnass had drawn several graffitis in central Cairo where murals have cropped up since the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak.

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