The famous Egyptian writer, novelist and political activist, Alaa El-Aswani, was awarded the 2012 Tiziano Terzani Italian literary prize for his book La rivoluzione egizian, Did the Egyptian Revolution Go Wrong?,
which was released in 2011 and translated into Italian by the famous Italian writer and journalist Paola Caridi. The book was published in Italy by
Feltrinelli publishing house.
The judging panel said that El-Aswani earned the award because he was able to give readers who are not experts in Egyptian affairs exactly what they want to know about Egypt's oppression, torture, police state, daily injustice and also the experience of a painful migration to search for better material conditions and a life free of abuse and humiliation.
Angela Terzani, chair of the 10-member judging board made up of other writers, lauded the fact that the book was written in real time by an Egyptian intellectual personally involved in the revolution, giving a very interesting and clear perspective.
The book includes articles by El-Aswani published in indepenedent Egyptian newspapers on the ongoing revolution where he examined the aftermath of the 18-day uprising and the mistakes made during the transitional period following Mubarak's ouster on 11 February 2011. Raising questions about the movements, Aswani also looks at how to sustain the revolution.
Aswani will receive the award officially in a ceremony on 5 May at Udine city in Italy during the eighth edition of the Near/Far festival. El-Aswani will meet his Italian audience after receiving the award.
Alaa El-Aswani, a well-recognised, eminent Egyptian opposition figure during Mubarak’s era, is best known for his internationally-renowned novel Imarat Yaqubian (The Yacoubian Building), 2002. His books have been translated into English, French, Spanish and German among other languages. El-Aswani is the founding member of the Kefaya (Enough) protest movement and was once included in the Jordanian Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre's list of the top 500 most influential Muslims in the world.