Poet Saadi Youssef wins $10,000 Naguib Mahfouz prize16/06/2012 16:50
BAGHDAD, June 16 (AKnews) - The Public Writers' Union in Iraq sent a welcome letter for the Public Union of Egyptian Writers on the occasion of granting Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef the Naguib Mahfouz award, in honor of the Iraqi literature.
The head of the Egyptian Writers' Union and the secretary general of the Public Union of Arab Writers Mohammed Salmawy sent a letter to the great Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef telling him that the Naguib Mahfouz award will be granted to him in recognition of his remarkable achievements in contemporary Arabic poetry.
The award - $10,000 (11.6m IQD) - is one of the highest awards granted annually by the union for an Arab writer from outside Egypt.
The letter added that the Egyptian Minister of Culture Dr. Saber Arab will hand over the award, along with the head of the Writers Union of Egypt, to Saadi Youssef in a ceremony on the evening of Monday, June 25 at the conclusion of the works of the Permanent Bureau of the Public Union of Arab Writers in the presence of a group of Arab intellectuals.
Spokesman for the General Union of Writers in Iraq Ibrahim al-Khayyat said: "The award honors the literature of Iraq, and it is a sign of the presented poetic work especially in the selection of the prominent Iraqi poet Saadi Yousef, who gave and is still giving a lot for the culture."
Saadi Youssef is an Iraqi poet and translator. He was born in Abu Khusaib area in Basra in 1934 and he completed his secondary education in Basra. He worked in teaching and cultural journalism.
He moved between various Arab and western countries and witnessed civil wars. He knew the reality of danger, imprisonment and exile.
The awards he won in poetry include the Sultan al-Owais award, Italian International award and the Kafavi award from the Hellenic Society. In 2005 he won the Veronia Italian award for being the best foreign author.
He is a member of the editorial board of "new culture", a member of the advisory board of the PEN International Magazine and an editorial contributor for Banipal magazine for modern Arabic literature.
He has lived in the UK since 1999.
By Afrah Shawqi