Journalist and writer Mohamed Mustafa Abu Shama has announced the launch of an annual award presented for the first time in Egypt and the Arab and Islamic world in the field of research on "renewing religious discourse," in the name of late writer Taha Hussein, known as the Dean of Arabic Literature.
The winner is announced every year on 15 November on Hussein’s birthday anniversary.
The announcement came during the activities of the first cultural salon of the Egyptian Society for the Spread of International Knowledge and Culture (ESSIKC), opened by the civil work pioneer Hossam Badrawi, the society’s chairman of the board, a few days ago.
Present were a number of participants including the Islamic thinker Tharwat El-Kharabawy, controversial writer Fatema Naaout and researcher Islam El-Beheiri, as well as engineer Osama El-Sheikh, former president of the Radio and Television Union.
This salon is the first cultural event to be broadcasted directly on the internet in Egypt. It allows the electronic audience to fully interact in real time with the event at the association’s headquarters. The event had about 12,000 viewers through a number of electronic accounts on social media.
The event, titled ‘The Best I Read’, discussed the book ‘On Pre-Islamic Poetry’ by Taha Hussein, and during his moderation of the discussions, Abu Shama emphasised that the book's admirers do not represent a single intellectual current, but rather different spectrums united by their sincere belief in freedom of thought and scientific research.
The award on renewing religious discourse represents a distinct and unique cultural event, which carries the name of "Taha Hussein", who was a pioneer in this field with his research and writings in developing and understanding the Islamic religion.
Earlier, Badrawi announced that a monthly seminar will be held on the first Wednesday of every month at the ESSIKC’s headquarters on the Nile Corniche in Garden City.
Badrawi also promised more cultural events that reinforce the crucial cultural role of the society, which is considered one of the oldest cultural institutions in Egypt. It started its activities in the field of translation and publishing in 1952.