Galal Amin (Chair) is an Egyptian academic and writer, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the American University in Cairo. He studied law at Cairo University and economics at the London School of Economics. He has written many books in Arabic and English on Egyptian and Arab economic, social and cultural development. Among his better known works are: The Modernization of Poverty (Brill,1974) and Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? (AUC, 2001). He has also written two books of autobiography in Arabic: What Life Has Taught Me (2007) and The Nectar of Life (2010). For several years he has written a weekly column in the Egyptian Arabic daily Al-Shorouk, including some literary criticism.
Sobhi al-Boustani is a Lebanese academic and critic. He is Professor of Modern Arabic literature and head of the Arabic department at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris. He is a member of the National Council of French Universities and executive member of the European Association for Modern Arabic Literature, of which he was Secretary General from 2008 to 2012. He has taught modern Arabic literature at the Lebanese University and Lille University, France, as well as The Sorbonne and The New Sorbonne Universities. He is the author of various academic books and articles on modern Arabic literature, both poetry and prose.
He was physically attacked by the regime in August 2011 because of his criticism of Bashar al-Assad. In 1990, he was awarded a gold medal after being voted the best Arab caricaturist by readers of Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper and he was named one of the five most important artists in the world by the President of the Swiss Union in 1994. He has won the Dutch Prince Claus Award (2002), the European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (2011), and the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award (2012). He was recently named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. His drawings are published by newspapers and magazines internationally and he is the author of A Pen of Damascus Steel (Cune Press, 2005).
Barbara Michalak-Pikulska is a Polish academic. She is the Professor of Arabic Literature in the Arts College of the Jagiellonian University of Cracow. She is head of the department of Arabic Language and Literature and Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies in the Jagiellonian University. She is a member of the governing board of the Committee for European Teachers of Arabic Literature and member of the European Association of Arabists. She is also a board member of the Association for Polish and Eastern Studies and author of numerous books and studies published in Arabic, English and Polish, dealing with Arabic literature in general and Gulf literature in particular. She has edited various publications and research papers in the field of Arabic literature and participated in many international conferences in several Arab and European countries.
Professor Zahia Smail Salhi
Professor Zahia Smail Salhi specialises in two fields: Arabic Literature Classical and Modern and Gender Studies. After a period of 15 years working at the Department of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Leeds, she has been appointed to the Chair of Modern Arabic Studies at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Manchester. She has published extensively in the fields of literature and gender. Her publications include the following: Politics and Poetics in the Algerian Novel (Mellen Press, 1999), The Arab Diaspora: Voices of an Anguished Scream (Routledge, 2006 and 2011), Gender and Diversity in the Middle East and North Africa (Routledge, 2010) and Gender and Violence in Islamic Societies (I.B. Tauris, 2012).