Announcement of the winners of the seventh round of the Sawiris Cultural Awards will take place on Monday evening at the Cairo Opera House Small Hall. Expectations point to two prominent figures among the winners: Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid, for his nominated novel, In Every Week There's a Friday, and Ahmed El-Khamisi, for his latest short stories collection, Canary. The celebration will have the theme of "The Year of the Revolution and Naguib Mahfouz Centennial."
Abdel-Meguid's novel reflects on the temptations of online confessions by a group established on cyber space, mingling reality with characteristics of the virtual world in an intricate jumble of characters all of whom admit to their worst sins online. Abdel-Meguid is a renowned Egyptian novelist and winner of various awards, including the Mahfouz Medal for Literature from AUC press.
El-Khamisi's collection comprises 20 short stories that ranges from symbolism to realism. The introduction to the collection by renowned author, Mohamed El-Makhzangy, reflects on El-Khamisi's writings as a unique mix of emotional characterisation of our personal as well as national concerns. El-Khamisi is a journalist and writer with some 12 published books ranging from political analysis to travel literature.
The Sawiris Cultural Award was launched seven years ago, in 2005, as an award for fiction writing, before broadening to include an award for screenwriters and one for playwrights, divided between established and emerging authors. The judging committee prides itself on its transparent process and diversity of its backgrounds. The Sawiris Foundation, which supports the award presented it “with the aim of activating the literary movement in Egypt, encouraging the artistic creativity of its writers and improving the chances of the emergence of new talents.”
Among the winners of the award are late renowned novelist, Ibrahim Aslan, novelist Amina Zeidan, and Mahmoud El-Wardani for a short stories collection. The award was described by Aslan, who died this week, as one of the most important literary awards in Egypt and attributes that to the independence of the judging committee and its good reputation, referring to the fact that names of the judging committees are kept secret until the last minute of the announcement.