Farouk Shousha, Magda El-Sabahy and Mubarak-era attorney general win Egypt's State Awards

Mohammed Saad , Sunday 5 Jun 2016

From Left, Laila Takla, Farouk Shousha, Magda El-Sabahy and Abdel-Meguied Mahmoud

Egypt's Highest Awards in the fields of Literature, Arts and Social Sciences for the year 2016 were announced Sunday after being voted on by the members of the Supreme Council for Culture.

The Nile Award, the highest honour, was awarded today to three winners: the Nile literature award went to poet Farouk Shousha, the Nile Award for Arts went to Actress Magda ElSabahy, and the Nile Award for Social Sciences went to Professor of Law at Cairo University Laila Takla.

The Nile Award is the highest honour and is worth 400,000 EGP and a Golden Medal.

The three Appreciation Awards in literature have gone to novelist Said El-Kafrawy, poet Ahmed Sweilam, and Salah El-Rawy, professor of folklore.

Appreciation awards in art went to actor Ashraf Abdel-Ghafour, scenarist Beshir El-Deek, with the third award withheld.

Appreciation Awards in social sciences went to Professor of Fine Arts Abla Hanafy Othman, Mostafa ElSaid and historian Ishaq Twadros, with the fourth being withheld

The State Awards for Excellency are given for three different categories: literature, arts and human sciences.

The Excellency Awards in Literature went to vernacular poet Zein El-Abedin Fouad and playwright Baheeg Ismail.

The Excellency Awards in Arts went to director Samiha Al-Ghonaimy, with the second and third awards being withheld.

The Excellency Awards in Social Sciences went to historian Khaled Azaband and Abdel-Meguied Mahmoud, the former general prosecutor and the last Mubarak-era attorney general. The third award was withheld.

Fact Box:

52 prizes worth EGP 7 million total (around $1 million), divided into four sections:

32 Encouragement Awards of EGP 50,000

7 Excellency Awards of EGP 100,000 and a silver medal

10 Appreciation Awards of EGP 200,000 and a gold medal

3 Nile Awards of EGP 400,000 and a gold medal

The 32 Encouragement Awards are divided as follows: eight for the arts, eight for literature, eight in social sciences and eight for law and economic research.

Of the seven Excellency Awards, two are for the arts, two for literature and three for social sciences. Political analyst Ammar Ali Hassan and economy expert Ahmed El-Naggar were among the winners of the prize last year.

The vote also includes 10 Appreciation Awards: three for the arts, three for literature and four for social sciences. This award was granted for the first time in 1999. Novelists Khairy Shalaby, Gamal El-Ghitani, poet Mohammed Afifi Mattar and critic Gaber Asfour are among past winners.

Finally, the three Nile Awards are divided as follows: one for the arts, one for literature and one for social sciences. The Nile Award was originally named the Mubarak Award but was changed in the aftermath of 25 January 2011 revolution that ousted president Hosni Mubarak from power.

Poet Abdel-Rahman El-Abnoudi, writers Bahaa Taher, Ibrahim Aslan and Waheed Hamed, and cinema director Youssef Chahine are the most prominent figures to date who have won the Nile Award.

The State Awards were launched in 1958 and have only been cancelled once, in 1967, during the Six Days War between Egypt and Israel.

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