By Nidal Chebbak
By Nidal Chebbak
Morocco World News
Fes, May 23, 2012
Nawal El Saadawi, one of the Arab world’s most controversial female authors, received the Stig Dagerman Award 2012 of Literature in Sweden in recognition for “her role in the Egyptian revolution”, her work and struggle for women’s rights in Egypt and other Arab countries.
Nawal El Saadawi is an Egyptian writer, doctor and feminist whose writings, beliefs and thoughts stir much controversy in the Arab and Muslim world. Her books particularly deal with the position of women in Islam and Arab cultures. She is a renowned activist for women’s rights. She is a vocal opponent of female circumcision, a practice that is still practice in some areas in Egypt, and which has nothing to with teachings of Islam. She is founder and president of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founder of the Arab Association for Human Rights.
El Saadawi’s views and works ranked her on the top of the death list of Egypt’s Islamist groups who publicly sent her death threats, which forced her to flee Egypt and settle in the US in 1988. She went back to Egypt in 1996. Her books have also been widely banned in several Arab countries.
Last year, she participated in the Egyptian revolution joining protesters in Tahrir square and calling for the abolition of religious instruction in Egyptian schools.
Among her books: Memoirs of a Woman Doctor (1960), Searching (1968), The Death of the Only Man in the World (1974), Woman at Point Zero (1975), The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World (1977), The Circling Song (1978), Death of an Ex-Minister (1980), She Has No Place in Paradise (1979), Two Women in One (1983), The Fall of the Imam (1987), Memoirs from the Women’s Prison (1984), The Innocence of the Devil (1994), A Daughter of Isis (1999), Love in the Kingdom of Oil (2000).
The Stig Dagerman award is a Swedish award given since 1996 which holds the name of the famous Swedish author Stig Dagerman who committed suicide when he was only 31 but his work outlived him throughout Europe. The prize is awarded to distinguished authors and activists in Literature and peace all over the world to encourage the humanistic value of their works and productions.
The Stig Dagerman award recipients over the years:
1996 John Hron, young victim of hate crime in Sweden
1997 Yasar Kemal, Turkish writer
1998 The Swedish Public (“People’s”) Library
1999 Ahmad Shamlou, Iranian poet
2000 Roy Andsersson, Swedish filmmaker
2001 Elise Johansson, Swedish writer
2002 Gitta Sereny, British historian and journalist
2003 Lukas Moodysson, Swedish filmmaker
2004 Elfriede Jelinek, Austrian writer
2005 Göran Palm, Swedish writer
2006 Sigrid Kahle, Swedish journalist
2007 Lasse Berg, Swedish journalist
2008 Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, French writer
2009 Birgitta Wallin, translator, and editor of the intercultural Swedish magazine “Karavan”
2010 Eduardo Galeano, Uruguyan writer, poet, journalist and activist
2011 Judit Benedek/SOS Romer
2012 Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian writer