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Egypt State Awards recognises Hegazi, Hijab, Amin and Abdel-Sayed
The prestigious annual awards, managed by the Supreme Council for Culture, represents the highest honour for leading contributors in the arts, literature and social sciences
Published in Ahram Online on 26 - 08 - 2013

Egypt's prestigious 2013 Nile Award in the arts was awarded to Mahfouz Abdel-Rahman, acclaimed author and writer for film and television. The Nile Award for literature went to renowned poet Ahmed Abdel-Moati Hegazi, and in social sciences was awarded to Mostafa El-Abaadi, professor of archeology and Greco-Roman studies at the University of Alexandria.
Ahmed Abdel-Moati Hegazi is a well-known poet and critic. He studied and taught Arabic poetry in France, before returning to Egypt to lead a number of publications dedicated to literature and creativity, such as Ibdaa magazine, published by the General Egyptian Book Organisation.
He has also released a large number of poetry collections, including, 'City Without a Heart', 'Home of the Return' and a collection of his early works. In addition, Hegazi has published a number of books on poetry and criticism, such as 'Khalil Moutran', and 'Poetry My Companion'.
The State Appreciation Award in the arts went to renowned director, Daoud Abdel-Sayed, established actress, Mohsena Tasfiq and visual artist, Ahmed Nawwar.
Renowned Egyptian director, Daoud Abdel-Sayed, is the man behind a number of masterpieces in Egyptian cinema, such as Kit Kat, which is adaptation of the story by late renowned author Ibrahim Aslan, and Land of Fear, which he himself wrote.
Abdel-Sayed started out as an assistant director, working with established names of Egyptian cinema history such as Youssef Chahin and Kamal El-Sheikh, but eventually started his own path preparing social documentaries, and to end up directing remarkable movies of Egyptian cinema, the latest of which is Letters of the Sea in 2010.
State Appreciation Award in literature was awarded to distinguished Egyptian poet Sayed Hijab, theatre writer and critic Nihad Seliha, and writer Said Salim.
Sayed Hijab is famous for his colloquial poetry and songs, which have adorned many movies and television productions. Hijab studied engineering at Cairo university in 1958, but his passion for poetry led him to publish his first collection of poems in the mid-1960s. Since then, he has written a number of songs for adults and children, as well as musical works for television.
Nihad Seliha studied theater in the United Kingdom following her studies at the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. Specialising in theater studies, she worked as professor of drama and criticism at the Higher Institute for Art Criticism and has published a number of books about Egyptian theatre. She has received a number of awards, including State Excellence Award in literature in 2004.
The State Appreciation Award in social sciences was received collectively by social scientist Faisal Younes, scholar Galal Amin, historian Assem El-Dessuki, and anthropologist Mohamed Hafez Diab.
The 2013 Excellence Awards in the arts were awarded to theatre director Essam El-Sayyid, and writer and scenarist Karam El-Naggar.
Essam El-Sayed is the current head of the department of theatre at the Egyptian Organisation for Cultural Palaces.
Originally a graduate from the Faculty of Literature in 1974, El-Sayed went on to study theatre and was appointed to various positions within the culture management in Egypt. He has directed a number of major productions for both public and private theatre, the most famous of which is the comedy, 'Hello Sirs', and 'Zaki at the Ministry'. His works have received worldwide renoun at Arab and International festivals, as well as being popular throughout Egypt.
Karam El-Naggar has been a writer and scenarist for various television and cinema productions since the late 1960s. His last famous work was a series during Ramadan 2010 titled, 'Papa Nour'.
Mohamed Nagui and Nessim Megally won Egypt's State Excellence Award in Literature in 2013.
Mohamed Nagui, a remarkable Egyptian writer and novelist, is the author of several well-known novels, including 'Al-Affendy', 'Morning Song' and 'Travel Night'. His latest book was published in 2011, 'Prayers of Forgetting', in which he writes in a poetic language about his personal journey with cancer.
Nessim Megally is a translator and critic. A graduate of the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University in 1960, Megally went on to study theater and criticism. He has written ten books, the latest of which is about Botrous Ghaly, published in 2010, and a theater play published in English, titled, 'Jesus Crucified in Palestine', published in 2009.
His most famous work of analysis is a book about Egyptian intellectual and historian, Louis Awad, in which Megally details Awad's debates and battles. He has also translated twelve books into Arabic, including theatre play, 'Socrates's Trial', as well as a volume about the history of the Christian Church.
Excellence Awards in literature last year were bestowed on journalist and writer Hala El-Badry, and poet Hassan Teleb.
State Excellence Awards in social sciences were received by professor and media expert Hassan Emad Mekkawi and ex-head of The National Council for youth, Safi El-Din Kharboush. A third award was withheld.
Hassan Emad Mekkawi is the Dean of the Faculty of Mass Media at Cairo University, and media expert at a number of institutes and universities. He has published several research papers on media, in particular on television and new technology, as well as media ownership and management.
Safi El-Din Kharboush is a Professor of Political Science at Cairo University and the previously Head of The National Council for Youth during the Mubarak era. He has been an active member of the now-dissolved National Democratic Party and was a member of its political bureau.
The 2012 Excellence Awards for social sciences were given to political analyst and researcher Ammar Ali Hassan, and economist Ahmed El-Sayed El-Naggar. Historical winners of this award include Said Tawfiq, current secretary general of SCC, and previous minister of culture Shaker Abdel-Hamid.
This is the 50th term of The State Awards
Total Sum of the Awards: 52 Prizes worth 7 Million EGP (1$ Million Approx.)
32 Encouragement Awards of 50,000 L.E.
7 Excellency Awards of 100,000 EGP, plus a silver medal
10 Appeciation Awards of 200,000 EGP, plus a golden medal
3 Nile Awards of 400,000 EGP, plus a golden medal
Members of the SCC voted on 52 prizes, which were divided into four sections. These were comprised of 32 Encouragement Awards, divided as follows: eight for the arts, eight for literature, eight in social sciences, and eight for law and economic research. Each prize was worth 50,000 EGP.
Seven Excellency Awards were divided as follows: two for the arts, two for literature, and three for social sciences. Each prize was worth 100,000 EGP as well as a silver medal. Also the vote includes ten Appreciation Awards divided as follows: three for the arts, three for literature, and four for social sciences.
Each prize is worth 200,000 EGP and a golden medal in addition to the highest honor. Finally, three Nile Awards were divided as follows: one for the arts, one for literature, and one for social sciences. Each prize is worth 400,000 EGP and a golden medal.
The State Awards were launched in 1958 and have only been cancelled once, in 1967, during the Six Days War between Egypt and Israel.
The Encouragement Award is granted every year to the best works in the fields of the arts, literature, social sciences and law and economic research. Each field has eight prizes, each worth 50,000 EGP.
The Excellency Award is granted every year in the fields of the arts, social sciences and literature, with each prize being worth 100,000 EGP and accompanied by a silver medal. Political analyst Ammar Ali Hassan and economy expert Ahmed El-Naggar were among the winners of the prize last year.
The Appreciation Award is granted in the fields of the arts, literature and social sciences, with each field offering three prizes, except for the social sciences, which offers only two. Each prize is worth 200,000 EGP and is accompanied by a golden medal.
This award was granted for the first time in 1999. Novelists Khairy Shalaby, Gamal El-Ghitani, poet Mohammed Afifi Mattar and critic Gaber Asfour are among prize winners in previous years.
The Nile Award is granted every year in the fields of the arts, social sciences and literature. Each prize is worth 400,000 EGP and is accompanied with a golden medal. Nile Prizes were granted for the first time in 1999.
The Nile Award was briefly named the “Mubarak Prize,” but this was changed in the aftermath of 25 January Revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak from power on 11 February 2011.
Poet Abderrahman El-Abnoudi, writers Bahaa Taher, Ibrahim Aslan, and Waheed Hamed, and cinema director Youssef Shahin are the most prominent figures to date who have won the Nile Award.
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