The American University in Cairo Press will announce the winner of the 2015 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature on Saturday, 12 December at 6:00pm, in a ceremony at AUC’s Oriental Hall, on the anniversary of the Egyptian Nobel laureate’s birth in 1911.
The Mahfouz Medal is awarded every year by a distinguished panel of judges, and consists of a silver medal, a cash prize of $1,000, and an English translation and publication of the winning novel by the AUC Press in Cairo and worldwide.
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, yet this year the prize will be delayed a day since December 11 falls on a Friday.
In welcoming the annual award when it was inaugurated in 1996, Naguib Mahfouz said: “The announcement of this award honoring writers and literature of the Arab world is the most pleasing event on my birthday.”
This year’s panel of judges for the Mahfouz Medal consists of Tahia Abdel Nasser, Shereen Abouelnaga, Mona Tolba, Humphrey Davies, and Rasheed El-Enany.
To date the Mahfouz Medal has been awarded to many prestigious writers. Last year it was awarded to Sudanese writer Hammor Zaida and in 2013 it was awarded to Syrian Novelist Khaled Khalifa while it was awarded to the Egyptian writer Ezzat El-Kamhawi in 2012. In 2011 the prize was exceptionally awarded to "the revolutionary literary creativity of the Egyptian people during the popular uprising that began on 25 January.”
It was also awarded to Egyptian Miral Al-Tahawy, Brooklyn Heights in 2010, Khalil Sweileh in 2009, Hamdi Abu Golayyel in 2008, Amina Zaydan in 2007. Among those who were awarded this honor is Egyptian late novelist, Edwar El-Kharrat, who passed away last week, along with late renowned writer, Yusuf Idris, Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, the late Latifa al-Zayyat, and Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti.
The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature is sponsored by the AUC Press, which is the publisher of some 50 Naguib Mahfouz English-language editions, and has contracted more than 600 other foreign-language editions on behalf of the Nobel laureate in 40 languages. As the region’s leading English-language publisher, the AUC Press issues up to 60 new books annually and carries around 1,000 titles in print, including 200 works of Arabic literature in translation.