After nearly 4 hours of debate and 8 rounds of voting, the Supreme Council for Culture announced the literature award winners, writer Hala El-Badry and poet Hassan Teleb
Earlier announcements of the art award named Mohamed Abul-Ela El-Salamony and Sameer El-Guindy winners of the Excellence Award in arts.
The jury committee has decided to withhold a large number of State Encouragement Awards due to the low quality of nominated works. In the field of literature, two awards will be withheld and six presented to winners. In the arts field, six of eight awards have been withheld. In the social sciences field, three will be withheld and five awarded. There is general discomfort among members of the SCC for withholding so many awards.
The State Encouragement Award is given to the best works of literature, art, social science and economic and legal science; some 32 awards, eight in each category, worth LE50,000 each, are usually awarded. Last year, writers Adel Esmat and Azza Rashad, and poets Mohamed Khattab Zahran and Ahmed Ibrahim, each received awards.
Of the notable events of the day is first appearance of Ali Eddin Hilal, professor of political science and media secretary of the dissolved National Democratic Party, since the revolution, being part of the committee voting on the State Awards as a member of the SCC.
The judging panel had arrived at the Supreme Council for Culture (SCC) around 11:00am , headed by Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim, who left early to join the President-elect Mohamed Morsi swearing the oath, and Secretary General Said Tawfiq. Among the attending members of the SCC are writer Gamal El-Ghitany, ex-Minister of Culture Gaber Asfour, writer and head of the Union of Egyptian Writers Mohamed Salmawy, writer Al-Sayed Yassin, writer Bahaa Taher, poet Abdel-Moati Hegazy, and journalist Salah Eissa.
Voting will be based on nominations lists put together by official Egyptian cultural bodies.
The State Culture Prizes are: the Nile Award, the Appreciation Award, Award for Excellence, and Encouragement Award, granted in the fields of literature, the arts and the social sciences.
The total number of prizes is 52, divided as follows:
Three Nile Prizes in each field. Winners are granted LE400,000 and a golden medal.
Ten Discretionary Prizes, including three for the arts, three for literature, and four for the social sciences. Winners are granted LE200,000 and a golden medal.
Seven Prizes of Excellence, including two for the arts, two for literature, and three for the social sciences. Winners are granted LE100,000 and a silver medal.
Some 32 Encouragement prizes, with eight in each field. Winners are granted LE50,000.