The American University in Cairo has named Sudanese writer Hammour Ziada as the winner of the 19th edition of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for his novel, "Shawq Al Darwish" (The Longing of the Dervish). The winning novel, which was published in Cairo by Dar Ain for Publishing and Distribution, is set in 19th century Sudan at the time of the Mahdi Revolution.
The novel does not celebrate the revolution as much as it celebrates the humane aspect of it. The jury committee, comprised of Dr. Shereen Abouelnaga, Dr. Mona Tolba, Dr. Rasheed El Enany and Humphrey Davies, gave a statement which said: "The award-winning novel masterfully narrates a tale of a world that combines love, despotism and slavery during the Mahdi Revolution in Sudan, painting a vivid multicolor portrait of characters and events of a place and a time that are unfamiliar to the reader." It is worth mentioning that Hammour Ziada is considered the first Sudanese writer to win the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature. He has been living in Cairo since 2009.
His other published works include "Sira Umm Durmaniya" (A Biography from Um Durman); "Al Kung" and "Al Nawm Inda Qadamai Al Jabal" (Sleeping at the Feet of the Mountain). Previous winners of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature include authors Latifa Al Zayyat; Ibrahim Abdel Majid; Khalil Sowaileh; Khaled Khalifa; Mourid Al Barghouti; Ahlam Mosteghanemi; Khairy Shalabi; Edward Al Kharrat and Ezzat Al Qamhawi among others.