The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature - Panel Judges

Introducing the Judging Panel for the 2024 Award

This year’s round of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature is dedicated to recognizing the best contemporary novels published in Arabic (yet to be translated into English) during 2022 or 2023. The submission window, which ran from 15 November to 15 January 2024, saw a significant number of entries.

A committee of distinguished judges, encompassing a wealth of literary expertise, will assess the submissions and announce the shortlisted novels on 30 August 2024.

The winner will be announced on the day of this year’s ceremony, on 11 December 2024, coinciding with the birth anniversary of the Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz.

The chair of the distinguished panel of judges for this round is the accomplished literary translator Sarah Enany, recipient of the Banipal Prize for Literary Translation for her translation of The Girl with Braided Hair (Hoopoe, 2020). Joining the panel is Ahmed Taibaoui, winner of the Best Arabic Novel Prize at the Sharjah International Book Fair in 2023 and winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody (AUC Press, 2023).

Additionally, the panel includes Kay Heikkinen, who is a translator and formerly Ibn Rushd Lecturer of Arabic in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.. She is the translator of Naguib Mahfouz’s In the Time of Love (AUC Press, 2010), and most recently, Huzama Habayeb’s Velvet (Hoopoe, 2019), winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature and the Saif-Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

Also joining this year’s judging panel are novelist, poet, and essayist Youssef Rakha, and Maysa Zaki, a literary and theater critic with over thirty years of experience in the field.

Click here to learn more about the judges.

Since 1996, the American University in Cairo Press has presented this major award in support of contemporary Arabic literature in translation.

AUC Press is recognized as the primary English-language publisher of Naguib Mahfouz, and has published or licensed over 600 foreign-language editions of the Nobel laureate’s works in 40 languages. AUC Press continues to be a driving force in promoting Arabic literature in translation on an international scale.

The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature will continue to be awarded every two years on 11 December.

Previous Winners of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

The 27 winners of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature since its inauguration include 13 Egyptians (2 posthumously), 3 Palestinians, 3 Algerians, 2 Lebanese, 1 Moroccan, 2 Syrians, 1 Iraqi, 1 Sudanese, and 1 Saudi Arabian:

2022: Fatma Qandil, Empty Cages
2020 (awarded in March 2021): Ahmed Taibaoui, The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody
2018: Omaima Al-Khamis, The Book Smuggler
2017: Huzama Habayeb, Velvet
2016: Adel Esmat, Tales of Yusuf Tadrus
2015: Hassan Daoud, No Road to Paradise
2014: Hammour Ziada, The Longing of the Dervish
2013: Khaled Khalifa, No Knives in the Kitchens of This City
2012: Ezzat El Kamhawi, House of the Wolf
2011: The Revolutionary Literary Creativity of the Egyptian People
2010: Miral al-Tahawy, Brooklyn Heights
2009: Khalil Sweileh, Writing Love
2008: Hamdi Abu Golayyel, A Dog with No Tail
2007: Amina Zaydan, Red Wine
2006: Sahar Khalifeh, The Image, the Icon, and the Covenant
2005: Yusuf Abu Rayya, Wedding Night
2004: Alia Mamdouh, The Loved Ones
2003: Khairy Shalaby, The Lodging House
2002: Bensalem Himmich, The Polymath
2001: Somaya Ramadan, Leaves of Narcissus
2000: Hoda Barakat, The Tiller of Waters
1999: Edwar al-Kharrat, Rama and the Dragon
1998: Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Memory in the Flesh
1997: Mourid Barghouti, I Saw Ramallah; and Yusuf Idris, City of Love and Ashes
1996: Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, The Other Place; and Latifa al-Zayyat, The Open Door 

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