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Famed Egyptian satirist Ali Salem dies at 79

Salem’s writings included 15 books and 25 plays, including his most famous play “School of the Troublemakers”

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Ali Salem, a famed Egyptian satirical writer whose works include one of the Arab world's most popular comedic plays, died Tuesday in his home in Cairo of natural causes, Egypt's state-run Middle East News Agency said. He was 79.

Salem's writings include 15 books and 25 plays. His most famous work was "School of the Troublemakers," a 1971 comedic play about a class of riotous teenagers reformed by a female teacher.

Other than fiction, Salem was also a noted political commentator with hundreds of articles published over the years. He was known for speaking on Egyptian’s international affairs with the Arab world and the West.

In 2008, Salem won the Civil Courage Prize from the U.S.-based Train Foundation, which said he was a "voice for peace and reason in the Middle East." The ceremony was co-sponsored by London-based Chatham House.

In later years Salem spoke in support of the protest movements against former President Husni Mubarak — years before the 2011 uprising that ended Mubarak's 29-year rule.