Owais Awards Go to Al Maqaleh, Wattar, Al Masdi, and Amin

Four men have won this year’s Sultan Bin Al Owais Cultural Foundation Awards: a poet, a novelist, a critic, and Galal Amin. (I’m not sure what to call him. An economist? A cultural commentator? The author of What Ever Happened to the Egyptians?)

Abdel Aziz Al Maqaleh, of Yemen, was the winning poet. His poetry was featured in the most recent Banipal; I particularly enjoyed his “summer sonnets.” He also has a poem online at Marlboro Review.

Algerian novelist Al Taher Wattar was the year’s novelist. I hadn’t known anything of his had been translated into English until I trolled around the web. Lo and behold: The Earthquake, from Saqi Books.

Abdul Salam Al Masdi is a Tunisian critic, and Galal Amin—well, he wrote What Ever Happened to the Egyptians, which was often a bit too much “things were better in my day” pop commentary for my taste. But what do I know about economics? Bikya Masr has more about Amin.

Also: The list of winners, which includes Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak for general something-something mother-of-a-nation something-something.

mlynxqualey