Even our cultural events have to get political.
The Cairo International Book Fair has wrapped up and thankfully all the rumours of threats were not actualised. The rumours did have an effect, however, as the fair saw a decrease in attendance but the real controversary came from internal politics. Out of nowhere, Kuwait was announced as this year's guest of honour. Not a country to shy away from spending. Kuwait announced doubling the number of award winners and the prize money at the closing ceremony. This likely explains why a special prize was granted for the first time to a Kuwaiti book series Alam Al-Marifah, as well as giving an award to Kuwaiti writer Talib Al-Rifai.
If that wasn't enough, for some inexplicable reason the list of judges on the panel were left undisclosed which is counter to the fair's tradition. The final piece of controversy comes with fact that one of the winners, Egyptian author Medhat El-Adl, won a prize for a collection of poems that haven't even been published yet.
We're not sure exactly how a book fair can have so much controversy, but leave it to Cairo to find a way.
Here is the full list of winners:
Sobhy Moussa, Asatir Ragol Altholathaa (The Myths of the Tuesday Guy), released from GEBO
Ashraf El-Ashmawy,The Bar Man, released from Al-Dar Al-Masirah Al-Alubnaniah.
Galal Amin Saleh, Ahla Alhouwla (The Best Jewelry)
Ahmed Abdel-Kaarim, Nozom Tasmim Al-Funoon Al-Basaria (Organising Visual Arts Systems).
El-Sayed Hanafy, Al-Idara bi ltag Al-Marifa (Managing Production of Knowledge)
Mohammed Khalil El-Hakim, Ashams Kinz (The Sun is the Treasure of Renewable Energy)
Short story collection:
Mekkawi Said, Al-Lamrioun (The Invisibles)
Mansoura Ezzeddin, Nahw Al-Gonoon (Towards Madness)
Medhat El-Adl, Rasif Nemra 5 (Platform No 5)
Fatma El-Morsi, Robaiyat Bel-Balady (Oriental Robaiyat)
Ahmed Khaled Tawfiq, Ketab El-Hawadeet (The Book of Tales)
Fatma Sharaf Eddin, Abgad Hawaz (ABC).
Shehat Seyam, Tan’neth El-Deen (The Femininity of Religion)
Mohammed Younis, Tagdid El-Khitab Al-Islamy (Renovating Islamic Discourse)
Ahmed Zakaria El-Shalq, Hawliat Al-SIyasa AMasriya (Periodicals of Egyptian Policy)
Abu Yacqoub El-Masry, Fiqh AlShafie (Al-Shafie Sharia Law)
Salah El-Laqani, Marj Al-Bahrain (Mixing Seas)
Ibrahim Abdel-Fattah, La Shai’ Yahmel Esmak El-Qadeem (Nothing Looks like Your Old Face)
Mohammed Zaki, Okasha for Hadith El-Nesowr (Hawks Talk)
Abdel-Sattar Meligy, Ekhtitaf Thawra (Kidnapping a Revolution)
Kalimat Publishing House