It is with much sadness that AUC Press learned of the passing of Khaled Khalifa (1964–2023), award-winning Syrian writer.
Born near Aleppo in 1964, Khalifa wrote screenplays for television and cinema, as well as novels that won many accolades and were widely translated. They include No Knives in the Kitchens of This City (Hoopoe Fiction, 2016), which was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2013, was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2014, and was shortlisted for the American Literary Translators Association’s National Translation Awards in the prose category in 2017.
Tahia Abdel Nasser, assistant professor of English and comparative literature at AUC and chair of the Mahfouz Medal committee that awarded Khalifa the prize, described No Knives in the Kitchens of This City as: “An ode to Syria that powerfully chronicles Aleppo’s story for half a century. This is the novel of contemporary Syria, which explores destruction, death, and desolation so hauntingly.”
Three of his other novels have also been translated into English, most recently No One Prayed Over Their Graves, translated by Leri Price and published earlier this year.
“Khaled Khalifa was a brilliant and courageous writer, and we are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of his death,” said Nadine El-Hadi, Senior Acquisitions Editor of Hoopoe Fiction.
The AUC Press extends its deepest condolences to Khalifa’s family and friends at this difficult time.
Watch an interview with Khaled Khalifa in a short film by Lina Sinjab entitled Exiled at Home produced in 2019: