Last Update 2:22
Syrian Writer Khaled Khalifa wins Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature
Khalifa's winning novel, 'No Knives in this City's Kitchens', about life under Baath regime; writer unable to attend ceremony in Cairo due to ongoing Syrian war
Mohammed Saad, Wednesday 11 Dec 2013
Share/Bookmark
Views: 748
Pubisher Fatma El-Boudy holds the prize(L) with Syrian Writer Khaled Khalifa
Pubisher Fatma El-Boudy holds the prize(L) with AUC Provost Amr Shaarawi (R) (Photo: Ayman Barayez)

Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa has won the 2013 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.

The prestigious literary prize, awarded by the American University in Cairo, was given to Khalifa for his novel La Sakakin fi Matabekh Hazehi Al-Madina (No Knives in this City's Kitchens), released earlier this year by Cairo-based Al-Ain publishing house.

The announcement took place Wednesday at the Oriental Hall at AUC's Tahrir Campus. Since the prize's inception in 1996, the award has always been given out on 11 December, the day Mahfouz was born over 100 years ago.

It is awarded on the basis of a work's literary excellence, as agreed upon by a panel of judges.

This year's panel of judges included: Tahia Abdel Nasser, professor of English and comparative literature at AUC and granddaughter of late president Gamal Abdel Nasser; Shereen Abouelnaga, professor of English Language, Cairo University; Mona Tolba, professor of Arabic literature, Ain Shams University; Hussein Hammouda, visiting associate professor of Arab and Islamic civilizations at AUC; and Abdo Wazen, Lebanese poet and literary editor of Al-Hayat newspaper.

Khalifa's winning novel is about the price that Syrians have paid under the rule of the Baath party, headed by embattled President Bashaar Al-Assad.

Due to the current situation in Syria, however, Khalifa was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Cairo on Wednesday.

Journalist and writer Sayed Mahmoud accepted the award on his behalf, reading a speech written by Khalifa.

The speech discussed the feasibility of writing amidst the atrocities and death in his native Syria.

Khalifa also admitted his debt to Mahfouz, widely known as the most popular Arab author and winner of 1988's Nobel Prize in Literature. Mahfouz died in 2006.

Born in Aleppo in 1964, Khalifa is also the author of Madih Al-Karahya (In Praise of Hatred), one of only four Arab novels included in the website List Muse's best 100 novels of all time.

Egyptians have won the prize more than any other country, claiming the award 11 out of 19 times since its inception.





Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 4000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online. Advertising