IPAF 2016: Judging Panel
Amina Thiban(Chair) is an Emirati poet and academic specialising in literature and forms of narrative, in particular the modern Arabic novel, who has also worked in journalism. She has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and a PhD in Modern Arabic Literature, both from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After graduating, she studied English at Cambridge and Comparative Political Poetry in Cyprus and America. She is the author of Transformation and Modernity in the Desert: Tribal Saga in "Cities of Salt" (2005), The Discourse of Contrast and Irony in the Works of Emile Habibi (1993) and Flower of Blood (2013), as well as numerous studies focusing upon the Arabic novel, modern Arabic feminist discourse and academic criticism.
Sayyed Mahmoud is an Egyptian journalist and poet, born in 1969. He is currently editor of Al-Qahira newspaper, issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, and has edited the cultural sections of a number of publications including Mu'asasa al-Ahram al-Masriyya and several independent Egyptian papers. In 2001, he won a prize awarded by the Union of Egyptian Journalists for the best literary coverage, and he has worked as a literary editor and freelance correspondent for several Arab newspapers, such as Al-Hayat (London), Al-Akhbar (Beirut), and Reuters. He has served as a judge on the Egyptian Sawiris Cultural Award and the Arab Journalism Award in Dubai (in the Cultural Journalism category), and was honoured for his media work at a conference for Egyptian writers in 2013. He has written several documentary films and is a founding member of the Arab Group for Cultural Politics. He is the author of a volume of poetry, Recitation of the Shadow (2014), and editor of a book of interviews with literary figures by Bahraini poet Qasim Haddad, titled The Temptation of Questioning (2008), as well as A New Page: the young Arab writers' workshop (2005).
Mohammed Mechbal is a Moroccan academic and critic. He is head of the Rhetoric and Discourse Analysis team in the College of Arts of the Abdul-Malik al-Saadi University, Tetouan, Morocco. He has written the following works: Rhetorical Utterances in Poetry Analysis (1993), The Rhetoric of the Anecdote (1997), Secrets of Literary Criticism (2002), Rhetoric and Origins: a study in the foundations of Arab rhetorical thought - Ibn Jani as a case study (2007), Rhetoric and Narration: the controversy of argumentation and imagery in "Akhbar Al-Jahiz" (2010), Rhetoric and Literature: from imagery in language to imagery in discourse (2010), Egypt through Moroccan Eyes (2014), and The Discourse of Morality and Identity in the Letters of Al-Jahiz: a rhetorical argumentational approach (2015). He has also translated The Image of the Other in Literary Imagination (2009), co-translated The Image in the Novel (1995) and Argumentation in Communication (2013), and was one of a team of translators who translated the Oxford Dictionary of Rhetoric (2015).
Munir Mujić is a Bosnian academic, translator and researcher. He received his PhD in Literature from The Sarajevo University. He lectures in Arabic literature and Arabic rhetoric at the Sarajevo University, in the Department for Oriental Languages and Literatures at the Faculty for Humanities and Social Sciences. He has published three books and numerous articles on both classical and modern Arabic literature as well as Arabic rhetoric. His literary translations from Arabic into Bosnian include works by Ghassan Kanafani, Salah Abdel Sabour and the poetry of Khalil Mutran. His scope of interests also includes Arabic manuscripts and he translated a manuscript of Arabic rhetoric by Bosnian author al-Aqhisari. He is a member of the Bosnian Philological Society and of the editorial board for publications of the Faculty for Humanities and Social Sciences.
Abdo Wazen is a Lebanese poet and critic, born in 1957. He is editor-in-chief of the cultural pages of Al-Hayat newspaper. He won the Dubai Press Club's 2005 Cultural Journalism Award, and the 2012 Sheikh Zayyed Children's Literature Award for his novel The Young Man who Saw the Colour of the Air (2011). He has published seven volumes of poetry and two novels as well as works of criticism and translation. His poetic works include: The Closed Wood (1982), The Eye and the Air (1985), Another Reason for the Night (1986), Garden of the Senses (1993), Doors of Sleep (1996), Lantern of Temptation (2000), Fire of Return (2003), A Broken Life (2007) and The Days Are Not for Bidding Them Farewell (2014). His other works include: My Father's Room (2003), Open Heart (2009), Mahmoud Darwish: the Stranger Falls Upon Himself (2006), Poets of the World (2010), An Introduction to Novels of the Lebanese War (2010), and Amin Maaluf, Breaking Boundaries (2012). His poetry has been translated into several languages, including English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. His novel Open Heart was published in French as À Coeur Ouvert (2016) and his poetry volume Garden of the Senses was the subject of an MA thesis at Toulouse Le-Mirail University, France.