Sawiris Prizes Announced: Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, Mohammed Salah al-Azab Among Top Winners

Ibrahim Abdel Meguid
Mohamed Salah Al-Azab

The seventh annual Sawiris Cultural Awards were handed out last night, amidst a celebration of “The Year of the Revolution and the Naguib Mahfouz Centennial.”

As predicted, Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid won in the “seniors novel” category with In Every Week There Is a Friday and Ahmed El-Khamissi got the “senior short-story” nod for his collection Canary, issued in December of 2010.

Both writers will receive 100,000 Egyptian pounds.

In the “youth novel” (under 40) category, Mohammed Rabie took first place for his Amber Planet and Beirut39 laureate Mohamed Salah al-Azab took second for Sidi Barani. In the “youth short-story” category, Tareq Imam was recognized for The Story of a Man: Whenever He Dreams of a City, He Dies In It and Sherif Saleh took second for Love Triangle.

The “youth” winners will receive 40,000LE; second prize is 30,000.

The best screenplay (senior award) was withheld, as judges did not like any of the 42 submitted.

But the best youth screenplay went to Mohammed Salah al-Azab (again) for his adaptation of Two-Bedroom Apartment by the late Ibrahim Aslan.

First prize for a dramatic text went to playwright Imad Motawie for “Insomniacs.”

The judges began looking at submitted works in June of 2011. According to the rules, works must be written by Egyptians (in Arabic) and must not have received any previous prize. The award was launched in 2005, and previous winners include Ibrahim Aslan, Reem Basyouni, Tareq Imam, and Mohamed al-Mansi Qandil.

Recently deceased authors Khairy Shalaby, Salah Marei, and Ibrahim Aslan were also honored at last night’s event, which was hosted at Cairo’s Opera House. Sawiris was in attendance, according to Al Ahram. Meanwhile, of course, he’s on trial for blasphemy for a tweet.

In Every Week There Is a Friday, Ibrahim Abdel Meguid (2010)

Ahram Online: Book Review – The Temptation of Confession

GoodReads: Reviews

Canary, Ahmed El-Khamisi (2010)

Ahram Online: New Release – Canary

GoodReads: Reviews

Ahram Online: Tugging at the closed door – On the discourses of national unity and Ahmad El-Khamisi’s anti-sectarian project

Amber Planet, Mohammed Rabie (2010)

From Youssef Rakha: E-cards for Mohammed Rabie 

GoodReads: Reviews, including this: “It’s very surprising to find a “boring” topic turned into an interesting read.”

Sidi Barrani, Mohamed Salah Al-Azab (2010)

Daily News Egypt: Sidi Barrani among Best Books of 2010 

Jadaliyya: On Writing and Revolution – An Interview with Mohamed Salah Al-Azab

Ahram Online: Book Review – ‘Tales of Sidi Barrani’

GoodReads: Reviews

Also: Alice Guthrie translated a section of the novel for the worthy collection Nadwa 1: Emerging Arab Voices.

The Story of a Man: Whenever He Dreams of a City, He Dies In It, Tareq Imam (2011)

Al Masry Al Youm – Best Books of 2011 (chosen by Mahmoud Khiralla)

GoodReads: Reviews