The winners of the Sawiris Cultural Awards 2022 were revealed in a ceremony in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, January 8, 2023.
The Sawiris Cultural Award, one of the richest on the continent with winners going home with around 1.5 million Egyptian pounds in total, was founded in 2005. The awards are handed out in the categories of novel, short story collections, books for children under the age of 12, screenplays, playwrights, and in the field of literary criticism and nonfiction.
For 2022, 1,304 literary works were submitted and from these 16 established and emerging writers received awards. The ceremony hosted at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization had many public figures, artists, celebrities, intellectuals, and media professionals in Egyptian society. They included Dr. Nevine El Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity, Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, and Ambassadors of Sweden, Holland, UK, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and the EU, the cultural advisor for Palestine, the assistant Minister of Foreign affairs and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.
The winners were;
Best Novel and short story collections (Established writers)
Jury: 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.
- Adel Asaad Merry, Threads of Self
- Muhammed Abu Zaid, Spider in the Heart
Best Short-story Collection
- Osama Habashi’s Try Not to See Me
- Mohamed Abdel Nabi’s Once Upon a Time
Best Novel and short story collections (Emerging Author)
Jury: 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.
- Areej Gamal, Dear Maryam, I Am Arwa
Best Short-story Collection
- Omaima Sobhi, Visions of the Holy City
Best Book for Children Under the Age of 12
Jury: 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.
- Best text – Ahmed Toson, Who’ll Bring Warmth to the City?
- Best illustrations – Samir Abdel Ghani, What Came Before the Watermelon
Jury: 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.
- Dina Hamza, Elag Tabeai – Physical Therapy
Jury: 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.
- Salma Abbas, Arbaat Ayam… Wa Youm –Four Days… and One Day
Jury: 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.
- Ibrahim Al-Husseini, Bab Eshk
- El Sayed Fahim, Seeret Bani Fahman
Best Work in the Field of Literary Criticism and Non-fiction
Jury: 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.
- Mohsen Al-Balassi, Journey of Kamel Al-Talmasani
There was some controversy when Shadi Lewis rejected the award for best novel. You can read more about that at our friends at Arablit by clicking here.