Cairo, Egypt : The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development has celebrated the closing ceremony of the 17th edition of the Sawiris Cultural Award, on Saturday the 8th of January, at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilizations. The ceremony was attended by a large number of public figures, ministers, ambassadors, and Egyptian role models including intellectuals, artists, creators, and politicians. They witnessed the honoring of 16 established and emerging writers, who received the awards, out of 1,304 submitted literary works.

The ceremony commenced with the distinguished guests of honor, Actress Hend Sabry, who steered the welcoming remarks, and applauded the award for its impact on supporting and motivating the creative industry in Egypt. Dr. Mohamed Abu Al-Ghar, Member of the Broad of Trustees of the Sawiris Cultural Award, also gave a speech on the most important developments of the competition for the year 2021, such as the competition’s newest category addition, Best Book for Children Under the Age of 12, and the amendment of the Literary Criticism category to include Non-fiction works. Moreover, Eng. Naguib Sawiris, Founder and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Sawiris Foundation, has delivered his opening speech by emphasizing on the Sawiris Foundation’s commitment to support the development of the cultural and creative initiatives in Egypt.

The ceremony was led by the remarkable TV Presenter, Jasmine Taha, and a large number of eminent figures in the fields of arts and culture have participated in handing out the awards to the winners. Further, the attendees of the event also witnessed a singing performance by Nouran Abu Talib, and a screening of a scene from the play, “Bab Eshk”, which won the 1st place award for this category.

Eng. Samih Sawiris, Founder and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sawiris Foundation, and Patron of the Sawiris Cultural Award, carried out the ceremony’s closing speech, by congratulating all of the winners, and thanking the members of the jury for their efforts in the 17th edition of the competition.

Winners of the Sawiris Cultural Award – Edition 17

The Best Novel Award for Established Writers, went equally between the writers, Adel Asaad Al-Miri, for his novel “Kheyot Akmeshat Alzat – Strings of Self Fabric”, published by Ibidi Publications, and Muhammed Abu Zaid, for his novel “Ankaboot Fel Qa lb – Spider in the Heart”, published by the General Egyptian Book Organizations. Additionally, the Best Short-Story Collection for Established Writers also went equally between Osama Habashi, for his work “Hawel Ala Tarani – Try not to see me”, published by the General Organization of Cultural Palaces, and Mohamed Abdel Nabi, for his short story “Kan Yama Kan – Once Upon a Time”, published by Dar Al-Ain.

As for the Best Novel Award for Emerging Writers, Areej Jamal, won 1st place for her book “Ana Arwa Ya Mariam”, published by Dar Al- Saqi; which also won the English Translation and Publishing Award. Youssef Nabil came in 2nd place for his novel, “Al-Lekaa Al-Akheir – The Last Meeting”, published by Dar Al-Mahrousa.

Regarding the Best Short-Story Collection Literary Award, Omaima Sobhi has won 1st place, for her short-story collection “Roaa Al Madina Al Mokadasa – Visions of the Holy City”, published by Dar Al-Ain. Amira Badawi came in 2nd place for her short-story “Set Zawaya Lel Salah – Six Corners of Prayer”, published also by Dar Al-Ain. Similarly, Mohamed Abdullah Sami, also won 2nd place for his work “Napoleon wa al Erd – Napoleon and the Monkey”, which was published by Dar Al-Mahrousa.

Best Screenplay Award for Established Writers went to Dina Hamza, for her script “Elag Tabeai – Physical Therapy”, while the award for Best Screenplay for Emerging Writers was won by the Salma Abbas, for her movie script “Arbaat Ayam… Wa Youm –Four Days… and One Day”.

The first-place award for the Best Playwriting, went to the writer, Ibrahim Al-Husseini, for his script “Bab Eshk”, and the second-place award went to El Sayed Fahim for his script “Seeret Bani Fahman”.

Moreover, the award of the Best Work in the Field of Literary Criticism and Non-fiction, was given to Mohsen Al-Balassi for his book, “Rehlet Kamel Al-Talmasani – The Journey of Kamel Al-Talmasani”.

For the first time, the winners of the Best Book for Children Under the Age of 12 have been announced, with Ahmed Toson, winning the award of Best Written Text for Children under 12 years old for the “Man Yoeed Al Defa’ lel Madina – Who brings warmth to the city?”, and Samir Abdel Ghani won the award of Best Drawing for Children under 12 years old, for his work “Ma Kabl Al Bateekh – Before the Watermelon”.

In respect of the selection process, seven jury committees have participated in the evaluation of the submitted works, to select this session’s winners. The committees included a diverse selection of established writers, filmmakers, critics, and drama professors in Egypt.

Members of the Jury

Jury of the Best novel and short story collection - Established Writers : Professor Nabil Abdel Fattah (Rapporteur of the committee), Professor Dr. Amina Amer, novelist Mr. Jar-Nabi El Helou, Ambassador Dr. Laila Bahaa El-Din, and Poet Dr. Najat Ali.

Jury of the Best novel and short story collection - Emerging Writers : Novelist Dr. Muhammed Tawfiq (Rapporteur of the committee), Writer Professor Dina Heshmat, Professor Dr. Lamis Al-Naqash, Novelist Professor Hisham Al-Khashin, and Late Professor Magda El-Gendy.

Jury of the Best Screenplay - Established Writers : Scriptwriter and Senior Director, Mr. Bashir Al-Deek (Rapporteur of the committee), Music Composer, Dr. Rajeh Daoud, Film Critic Mr. Tarek El-Shennawy, Film Director, Mrs. Maggie Morgan, and Film Director Mr. Karim Hanafi.

Jury of the Best Screenplay - Emerging Writers : The great film director, Mr. Ali Badrakhan (Rapporteur of the committee), Director Mrs. Taghreed Al-Asfoury, Mr. Abdel Fattah Kamal, editor Mrs. Mona Rabie, and Director Mrs. Hala Al-Qusi.

Jury of the Best Playwriting : Professor Dr. Iman Ezz-Eldin (Rapporteur of the committee), Theatrical Director Mr. Nasser Abdel Moneim, Professor Dr. Mustafa Riyad, Professor Dr. Najla Al-Hadidi, and Theater Director Mr. Ahmed Al-Attar.

Jury of Literary Criticism and Nonfiction : Professor Dr. Khairy Doma (Rapporteur of the committee), Journalist Writer Mrs. Dina Ezzat, Researcher Mrs. Reem Saad, Writer and Researcher Mr. Kamel Moghith, and the Great Novelist Mr. Mahmoud Al-Wardani.  

Jury of the Best Book for Children Under 12 Years Old : Great Artist, Mr. Helmy El-Tuni (Rapporteur of the committee), Professor Dr. Abla Othman, Writer Mrs. Fatima Al-Madoul, Professor Dr. Lubna Youssef, and Writer Mr. Walid Taher.


About the Sawiris Cultural Award:

The Sawiris Cultural Award is one of the most important programs of the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development; it supports cultural enlightenment efforts, enriches the spirit of the society, and revives it. The Sawiris Cultural Award program was first launched in 2005, to honor the best creative works, by established and young writers, in the fields of novel writing, short stories, film script, theatrical text, literary criticism, literary narratives, and children’s literature. The program, over 17 editions, has successfully created an ideal base to enrich the cultural life in Egypt, by celebrating creativity, and being able to achieve a prominent position among awards; both locally and in the Arab World.

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