Tomas Riad, a Swedish professor of linguistics whose father is Egyptian, was yesterday formally installed as a member of the Swedish Academy, a cultural institution that among other things decides on the Nobel Prize winner in literature.
Riad was installed during a prestigious ceremony held at the old Stock Exchange House in Stockholm, in the presence of King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden.
Born in Stockholm in 1959, Tomas Riad has been a professor at the Department of Scandinavian Languages at Stockholm University since 1992. He has also worked at Stanford University in the United States and the University of Vilnius in Lithuania.
Last spring he became a visiting researcher at the University of Saint-Denis in Paris. Riad is also a violinist, and studied music at the Royal College in London. He worked for a certain period in the 1980s as a full time musician.
The Swedish Academy is an independent cultural institution, founded in 1786 by King Gustav III in order to advance the Swedish language and Swedish literature. Since 1901, the Academy is the institution that decides the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.
Among the Academy’s members is renowned professor Sture Allén, who visited Egypt in October this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nobel Prize laureate in literature Naguib Mahfouz. Allén give lectures in Cairo and Alexandria.