Is Egypt on the verge of a cultural revolution?

Between Bahaa Taher's first Arabic Language Booker Prize, bloggers’ books, Youssef Zidan's Azazeel's Booker prize, writing competitions on Facebook, the Sawiris Foundation Competitions, and new creative initiatives to nurture new blood, Egypt's literary scene has been revived over the past few years.

Radio Horytna launched a new competition which encourages youth to read, critique, and review a book, Shaymaa El Gammal wrote:

هي مسابقة بعنوان “اكتب .. عن كتاب” .. وكل المطلوب منك أن تكتب لنا عرض عن آخر كتاب قرأته ونال رضاك .. ( لايشترط مجال معين) على أن يشتمل العرض على مميزات هذا الكتاب وأهم أفكاره من وجهة نظرك.
Write … about a book” is a competition that requires us to write a review about a book we read and liked in any field where we have to sum up the main ideas discussed in this book and what makes it so special.

Maha Elenany wrote about the conditions saying:

لا يزيد عدد الكلمات فى العرض على 500 كلمة،الا يكون سنك أكبر من 35 سنة،ألا يكون العرض منقولاً عن أي مصدر آخر بمعنى أن تكون أنت صاحب العرض الأصلي.
The maximum number of words is 500 and you should be 35 or younger. The review has to be originally yours and not copied from any other source.

Shaymaa El Gammal also blogged about another competition

أعلنت وكالة سفنكس بالتعاون مع دار نشر نهضة مصرعن فتح باب المشاركة فى مسابقة “كتاب الزمان”، وذلك منذ بداية شهر فبراير لعام 2009 وحتى نهاية شهر يونيو لعام 2009. …. والمطلوب من المشاركين الإجابة على بعض الأسئلة المذكورة باستمارة الاشتراك، وإرسالها على البريد الإلكترونى الخاص بالمسابقة وسوف يتم إعلان النتيجة فى شهر أكتوبر لعام 2009. المزيد من المعلونات هنا
Sphinx Agency in coordination with Nahdet Masr invited writers to participate in “The Book of Time” competition as of February 2009 until the end of June and the winners will be announced in October 2009. Applicants are required to answer a variety of questions on their application form and mailing it back to the publisher. More information is available here.

1 comment

  • I believe you could very well be on the right track. Bahaa Taher got the first Arabic Booker Prize and Naguib Mahfouz won the Arab world’s first Nobel Prize so Egypt is building a culture of writers and are becoming known outside their own borders. As long as society rewards these strides I think the future will be looking bright in Egypt. Egyptians have a long history and a plethora of cultural icons to draw upon. I look forward to seeing what comes!

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