Syrian Hanna Mina Wins Mohamed Zafzaf Prize for Arabic Lit

I’m a bit late on this as well, but last Wednesday, Syrian author Hanna Mina (his The Sail and the Storm is No. 14 on the “best 105 Arabic books list“) was awarded the Mohamed Zafzaf Prize for Arabic Literature.

The Woman and the Rose by the deceased Mohamed Zafzaf—the “godfather of Moroccan writers” for whom the prize is named—is No. 74 on the list. The Zafzaf prize is worth a hefty $10,000USD and is awarded once every three years.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, the prize did not mention a specific work or works:

Moroccan Ambassador in Damascus Mohammed al-Akhsasi said “The prize given to Mina is recognition of his importance as one of the most prominent pioneers of Arab Literature.”

In his speech at his celebration ceremony, Mina reportedly said:

“The Arab World is a whole cultural unit…I believe in my Arab World. I have taken part in its struggle for freedom. I wrote about and for it,” offering his greeting to Palestine and Iraq.

Mina also apparently expressed pride in the whole of Arabic literature, which he said was achieving presence all over the world.

“We have reached out to the world despite the unjust Israeli siege…We have been able to break it carrying our creativity to the whole world.”

Mina’s The Sail and the Storm is not available in English, so far as I know. But Mina’s Sun on a Cloudy Day was translated by Bassam K. Frangieh. And Fragments of Memory: A Story of a Syrian Family was translated by Olive E. Kenny and Lorne Kenny and published by Interlink in 2004.

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