Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bensalem Himmich wins 2009 Naguib Mahfouz award

On Friday, the Egyptian Writers' Union announced that the 2009 Naguib Mahfouz award will be granted to the Moroccan writer and intellectual Bensalem Himmich for his contribution to literature.

Bensalem Himmich

The 10,000-dollar award will be presented to Himmich on September 8 in Cairo.

Mohamed Sayed Aid, President of the jury, said that the Moroccan writer used his knowledge of his Moroccan heritage to address topical issues.

Professor of philosophy at the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Bensalem Himmich writes in both Arabic and French, producing both literary and philosophical works.

Bensalem Himmich won the prize of the critics (1990) for his novel "le fou du pouvoir", a book elected by the Arab union of writers as one of the hundred best books of the 20th century.
He previously won the Charika prize for the Arab culture from a jury composed of UNESCO and well known literary personalities.

Ben Salem Himmich also won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for his book Al-'Allamah 2001; "The Polymath" a book about the great Arab writer Ibn Khaldoun.

The Naguib Mahfouz award was established in 1996 and awarded for the best contemporary novel published in Arabic. The winning work is translated into English and published in Cairo, London, and New York. The jury is comprised of noted writers and critics under the supervision of the Egyptian Writers' Union.

Bensalem Himmich has published 26 books, both literary and scientific works, in Arabic and French. As a liberal philosopher, Himmich is concerned with matters including ideological education in Islam. He advocates the division of church and state and deals with the conflicts that Morocco faces today.

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