Award-winning Syrian novelist Hanna Mina, known in his war-torn country as the father of the modern novel, died on Tuesday aged 94, state media said.
The prolific author died “after a long battle with illness”, state news agency SANA said.
Mina wrote around 40 novels, many inspired by the sea and his coastal hometown of Latakia, where he was born in 1924.
His most famous novel, entitled “The Road and the Storm” in Arabic, was set in French mandate Syria during the Second World War. It was adapted to film in 2012.
He was one of the founders of the Syrian Writers’ Association and the Arab Writers’ Union in Damascus in the 1950s.
Among other awards, Mina in 2006 received the Naguib Mahfouz Prize for Arabic Literature, named after the late Egyptian novelist and Nobel laureate.
In Syria, the culture ministry each year awards the Hanna Mina Prize for Literature.
On Tuesday, the ministry hailed Mina as “one of the greatest Arab novelists”, SANA said.
He leaves behind more than 44 novels, many of which were translated into numerous languages and adapted into movies and Syrian television series.