Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Naguib Mahfouz medal for Syrian author Khalifa
Khaled Khalifa
The 2013 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature went this year to the Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa for his novel ''La Sakakin fi Matabekh Hazehi Al-Madina'' (No knives in the kitchens of this land). The literary prize, awarded by the American University in Cairo, has since its inception in 1996, been given out on 11 December, the day Mahfouz was born, in 1911, (so exactly 100 years ago this year).
Khalifa's novel is about the price that Syrians have paid under the rule of the Baath party, headed by President Bashar al-Assad.
This year's panel of judges included: Tahia Abdel Nasser, professor of English and comparative literature at AUC and granddaughter of late president Gamal Abdel Nasser; Shereen Abouelnaga, professor of English Language, Cairo University; Mona Tolba, professor of Arabic literature,Ain Shams University; Hussein Hammouda, visiting associate professor of Arab and Islamic civilizations at AUC; and Abdo Wazen, Lebanese poet and literary editor of Al-Hayat newspaper.
Unfortunately the writer himself was not able to attend the ceremony, due to the ciorcumstances in Syria.

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