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United Arab Emirates: Libyan novelist Ibrahim Al Koni named ‘cultural personality of the year’ for SIBF 2023 – News

Al Koni is one of the most prominent contemporary Arab novelists and has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature on several occasions.



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Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2023, 2:55 p.m.

Last update: Wednesday, October 18, 2023, 2:56 p.m.

Acclaimed Libyan writer and novelist Ibrahim Al Koni has been named “Cultural Personality of the Year” at the 42nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) announced on Wednesday.

Recognized for his profound impact on the Arab and global cultural and literary spheres, Al Koni has produced literary works that have impressed the world. His writings have been translated into more than 40 languages, finding a place in the curricula of universities around the world, including those in Europe, America, Japan and beyond.

Al Koni’s selection for this award aligns with the SBA’s mission to honor distinguished individuals in the fields of thought, literature, history and the arts.

“The authority believes that honoring cultural and literary figures is an important step in building the cultural identity of any civilization and nation,” said Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, executive director of the SBA.

“This recognition introduces younger Arab generations to a prominent figure who has a significant and influential presence on the Arab and global cultural scene.”

Al Koni’s portfolio includes more than 80 books in the fields of novels, literary studies, criticism, linguistics, history and politics, which serves as a source of inspiration and pride for Arabs, he added.

“They are a testament to his strength and ability to compete in the fields of knowledge and culture, obtaining great recognition as one of the most prominent influencers in the Arab cultural landscape and one of the most recognized Arab authors in the world” .

Remarkable life, literary legacy.

Al Koni was born in Ghadames, Libya, in 1948. He is among the most prominent contemporary Arab novelists and has been a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature on several occasions.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in literary and critical sciences in 1977 at the Maxim Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow. He has worked in various journalistic and diplomatic roles around the world, most recently as diplomatic advisor at the Libyan Embassy in Switzerland.

Al Koni is fluent in eight languages, including Tamasheq, Arabic, Russian, English, Polish, German, Spanish and Latin.

The prolific Libyan writer is the author of 81 books in various fields and has been translated into more than 40 languages. He was selected by the French magazine Lire as one of the world’s 50 best contemporary novelists and received wide praise from cultural, critical, academic and official circles around the world. Al-Koni has received numerous regional and international awards, including the Sharjah Prize for Arab Creativity in 2008.



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