Culture Minister Helmy Al Namnam – Photo courtesy of Sawiris Cultural Awards official Facebook page
CAIRO – 11 January 2018: The winners of the 13th edition of the Sawiris Cultural Awards were announced on Monday, crediting young rising talented writers at the opening ceremony held at the Cairo Opera House. The ceremony witnessed the attendance of prominent renowned figures including Egyptian actor and guest of honor, Ahmed Helmy.
Emerging writers and scriptwriters were awarded for their novels and short stories. The competition also featured other categories such as the Best Playwright and Literary Criticism.
Egyptian novelist Youssef Rakha won “Best Novel for Established Writers” for his novel “Paulo” which was published by Dar Tanweer. Rakha was known for his first novel “Kitab at-Tugra: Gharaib at-Tarikh fi Madinat al-Marrikh” which was released after the Egyptian revolution in 2011 and has been translated to English by Asymptote magazine. Saad Abd El-Fattah won the same prize for his novel “Herb” that was published by Kotob Khan.
The category “Best Novel for an Emerging Writer” was a very strong contest between four novels. The first prize was split between Ali Sayed for his novel “Ontha Mwazeia” (A Parallel Woman) which was published by General Egyptian Book Organization and Mohamed Abdel Naby for his novel “Fi Ghorfat Al-Ankabout” (Inside The Spider’s Room) which was published by Al-Ain publishing house. The category’s second prize was split as well between Ahmed Shawky Ali’s novel “Hekayet El-Hosn Wal Hozn” (The Tale of Beauty and Sadness) and Mina Hany’s novel “Maqam Gheyabek” (The Rank of Your Absence).
The award for “Best Short-Story Collection for Established Writers” went to two authors including Said Nouh for his short-story collection “Koshk El-Awram” (The Kiosk of Tumors), and Samar Nour’s “Fi Bayt Masas Al-Dima” (In the House of a Vampire) which was published by General Egyptian Book Organization.
Four short stories took part in the competition for “Best Short-Story Collection for Emerging Writers”. The first award was split between Amir Zaki’s “Khat Intihar” (Suicide Line) which was published by Kotob Khan and Mohamed Alaaddin’s collection “Mawasem Al-Hijra Li Arcadia” (The Season of Immigrating to Arcadia) published by Merit publishing house.
The second prize was also split between Marc Amgad’s collection “Nashid El-General” (Anthem of The General) which was published by Al-Thaqafa Al-Jadida and Sherin Fathy’s “Al-Batala La Yageb An Takoon Badeena” (The Star Shouldn’t Be Fat) which was published by Dar Kilma.
The Sawiris Cultural Award also hosted a competition for scriptwriters including Islam Azizi for “A’nha” (About Her) and Rasha Ezzat’s “Akher El-Mahican” (The Last Of The Mahicans).
The first prize in the category “Playwright Awards” went to Elissa Gamal’s “El-Din Asaa Al-Akhera Fi Hayat Al-Colonel” (The Last Hour of the Colonel’s Life), and the second prize was split between Tamer Abdel Hamid’s “Kan Ya Manikan” (Once Upon A Time a Mannequin) and Yasmine Imam’s “Farda Wahida Tattasia Lel Gameea” (One Pair of Shoes Fits All).
First prize in the “Critics Awards” was split between Mahmoud Ahmed Abdalla for his book “Al Mowatan fil Rewaya El-Masreya” (The Citizen in the Egyptian Novel: Edwar El-Kharrat as an Example) which was published by General Egyptian Book Organization and to Reda Attiya Eskandar’s book “Al'Aish Fil Sard” (Living in Narration) that was published by General Egyptian Book Organization.
The Sawiris Cultural Awards was established in 2005 to support and encourage young emerging writers of different genres including novels, short-stories, playwrights, scripts or even criticizing books, and honoring established writers who influence readers and the society.
The festival’s committee of judges dedicated nearly seven months to determine the winners of one of the most prestigious literature awards in Egypt.