Who was Mostafa El-Abbadi? Google Doodle celebrates Egyptian scholar

Search homepage opens with an illustration of historian and the Great Library of Alexandria

A Google Doodle for Mostafa El-Abbadi's 94th Birthday. Photo: Google
Powered by automated translation

Google has paid tribute to Egyptian historian Mostafa Abdel-Hamid El-Abbadi in its latest signature Doodle, celebrating what would have been his 94th birthday.

El-Abbadi, a professor who specialised in Greco-Roman studies, died on February 13, 2017.

The illustration features the scholar in a library reading a book with drawings of the second great library of Alexandria, a place he was crucial in helping revitalise. It can be seen on the search homepage in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, as well as in Greece, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Iceland and the UK.

Who was Mostafa Abdel-Hamid El-Abbadi?

El-Abbadi was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1928. His father was the founder of the College of Letters and Arts at the University of Alexandria, which sparked his interest in academia. At 22, he graduated with honours and was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge.

After El-Abbadi completed his degree, he returned to the University of Alexandria where he would later become a professor in classics. During his tenure, he had a special interest in the Great Library of Alexandria. He would go on to become a leading author on the topic, giving lectures about it around the world. His findings and research led to his critically-acclaimed book, Life and Fate of the Ancient Library of Alexandria.

In his lectures, he often encouraged a modern recreation of the great universal library. He eventually convinced the Egyptian government and Unesco to support his project. Nearly 15 years after its conception and construction, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina opened its doors in 2002.

The library is home to more than eight million books on seven floors in four museums, and also includes a planetarium. It also functions as a research institute that’s open to the public.

What are Google Doodles?

Google Doodles feature sporadically throughout the year, transforming Google's traditional logo into an animation to pay tribute to an important figure or moment in history.

The doodles can also mark seasonal or celebratory events, such as International Women's Day, for example.

Scroll through our gallery below to see other regional Google Doodles from the past

Updated: November 15, 2022, 3:55 AM