Friday,20 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1299, (9 - 15 June 2016)
Friday,20 July, 2018
Issue 1299, (9 - 15 June 2016)

Ahram Weekly

State awards announced

The 2016 state award winners were announced on Sunday, writes Nevine El-Aref

Al-Ahram Weekly

On Sunday members of the Culture Ministry’s Supreme Council of Culture (SCC) – voting via digital devices, an initiative championed by the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) last year – selected the state award winners in three categories (literature, art and social sciences) and four classes: the Nile (formerly Mubarak) Award (LE400,000); the State Merit Award (LE200,000), or golden medal; the State Distinction Award (LE100,000), or silver medal; and the Incentive Award (LE50,000). The Nile Award, the most prestigious of all, saw the fiercest competition before it went to renowned poet Farouk Shousha in literature, actress Magda Al-Sabahi in arts and politician-author Leila Takla in the social sciences.

Four State Merit Awards in social scienes went to scholars Fathi Abu Ayana, Mohamed Sakran, Ali Barakat and Samih Shaalan, the latter the Dean of the Higher Institute of Theatre. Two were awarded in art, to screenwriter Beshir Al-Dik and actor Ashraf Abdel-Ghafour, while a third was withheld. In literature, the State Merit Award went to novelist Saeed Al-Kafrawi as well as poets Ahmed Suweilam and Salah Al-Rawi

The State Distinction Awards in literature went to poet Zein Al-Abedin Fouad and novelist Bahig Ismail, with a third award withheld. The art awards went to director Samiha Al-Ghoneimi and a second was withheld. In social sciences the awards went to former Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud and Khaled Azab, and a third award was withheld.

The Incentive Awards went to artist Osama Imam for his gigantic ceramic cube, Nagy Farid for his sculpture The Queen, Hossam Shehata for his Concerto I for the violin, Shazli Mahmoud for his play Lail Al-Ganoub (Night of the south), Mohamed Makki for his direction of Tartuffe, Iman Salah for her design of the book Ayel Tayeh (Lost Child) and Ahmed Fahim and Hisham Bahgat for their national housing project in the Lotus District; the awards for full-length film script and revolutionary art were withheld. The novel awards went to Monir Atiba for his series Roh Al-Hekaya (The spirit of the story) and Amr Al-Adeli for Al-Ziyara (The visit). Poet Salem Sweilam won the award for his book Siret Al-Ward (Biography of roses), while a theatre award was withheld. Mohamed Saeed received an award for his translation of Hisham Matar’s Anatomy of a Disappearance and Mohamed Abdel Tawab one for his book on women in children’s literature.

The awards in filmmaking, revolutionary literature, poetic play, education, social science, philosophy, Egypt and the Arab World, unemployment, financial policies, local economy, human rights, fighting racism and media were all withheld.

Mohamed Abul Enein and Lotfi Al-Sherbini won the award in history and science, respectively, while Mohamed Hassanein won the award for his research on the geographic purposes for Egyptian illegal immigration to Europe, Fathi Abdel Samiaa for his book Al-Qurban Al-Badil (Alternative Sacrifice), Mostafa Al-Adawi and Alaa Abdel-Gawad in international law.


Writer Nour Farahat, for one commentator, was not satisfied with the awards, pointing out that Abdel Meguid Mahmoud has previously won the State of Merit Award in social science under Hosni Mubarak and that Neamat Ahmed Fouad deserved the award more than Takkla. “These are state awards and should not be based on personal relations and arrangements,” Farahat wrote on his Facebook page, suggesting that the decision should be handed over to disinterested specialists whose names should be kept secret.

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