Saad A. Albazei
Saad A. Albazei (Chair of Judges) is a Saudi Arabian critic. He earned his B.A. in English language and literature from the University of Riyadh (now King Saud University) in 1974 and went on to obtain a doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from Purdue University in the USA. He currently works as a member of the Saudi Arabian Shura Council, having been a lecturer at the King Saud University in Riyadh for 30 years. He has published a number of books on Arabic Literature including studies of fiction, poetry, literary theory, terminology and contemporary thought. His book Languages of Poetry: Poems and Readings won the Book of the Year Prize of 2011, awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Information. He edited the Global Arabic Encyclopaedia in 30 volumes.
Ahmed Alfaitouri is a journalist and writer, born in Benghazi in 1955. He is currently the owner and editor-in-chief of al-Mayadin, a Benghazi weekly newspaper first published in 2011. His career in journalism began in 1973, when he co-founded the Al-Ahli Theatre group and was the editor of its magazine, al-Ra'id. He went on to establish and edit the cultural page of al-Fajr al-Jadid newspaper – entitled Cultural Horizons - Writings of Young Authors - from 1976-77, and in 1978 became editor-in-chief of The Cultural Week, the first weekly Arab newspaper specialising in culture. He spent ten years (1978-1988) as a political prisoner; whilst in prison, he worked on the seasonal publication of al-Nawafir (Fountains) magazine, written by all the inmates on cigarette papers and produced as a single copy which they could all read. In 1990, he co-founded No magazine, editing several editions as well as contributing anonymous articles. He has published six books including novels, a play and a number of critical works.
Zhor Gourram is a Moroccan novelist, critic and academic. She holds a state doctorate in the analysis of narrative discourse. She is Professor of Higher Education at the Ibn Tofeil University in Kenitra, Morocco, where she is also head of the research laboratory for language, creativity and new media and a director of academic projects and PHD research units. She has previously judged both the Owais Award and the Moroccan Book Prize, awarded by the Moroccan Ministry of Culture, as well as a number of other prizes. She is on the academic advisory boards of numerous Moroccan and Arab journals and is a member of reading committees for several Arab publishers. She has organised Arab and international conferences and events. She was awarded the Royal Sash (for National Merit) at the Casablanca Book Fair in 2012, chosen from a list of 14 candidates from Moroccan and overseas.
Abdullah Ibrahim is an Iraqi academic and critic specialising in narrative and cultural studies. Born in Kirkuk in 1957, he obtained a doctorate in Arabic Literature from the University of Baghdad’s College of Arts in 1991 and from 1991-2003 worked as a Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies in universities in Iraq, Libya and Qatar. From 2003 -2010, he was the coordinator of the International Qatar Prize. He currently works as cultural consultant to the Qatari royal court in Doha. He has published 23 books and is a contributor to the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature. He has won several prizes, including the Shoman Award for Arab Researchers (1997), the Sheikh Zayed Prize for Critical Studies (2013) and the International King Faisal Prize (2014).
Mehmet Hakki Sucin
Mehmet Hakkı Suçin is a Turkish academic, translator and Arabist. He is the Director of the Arabic Language Department at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey. He holds an MA in Arabic literature and a doctorate in Arabic-Turkish translation. He was head of the committee responsible for preparing the current Arabic language curriculum in Turkey and the curriculum for non-native speakers of Arabic in Europe. In 2006, he worked as visiting fellow at The Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester. He also runs annual workshops in Istanbul on literary translation between Arabic and Turkish. Amongst others, he has published translations of works by Elia Abu Madi, Gibran Khalil Gibran, Youssef al-Khal, Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayati, Muhammad al-Maghut, Mahmoud Darwish, Adonis, Ahmad al-Shahawi. His studies focus on Arabic literature, translation studies, teaching Arabic to non-native speakers, and creative drama. Among his published works are: To Be in Another Language: Equivalence in Translation between Arabic and Turkish, 2013; Translation into Arabic: Past and Present, 2012; Active Arabic, 2008; Turkish Grammar for Non-Native Speakers, 2003.