If you're a subscriber to the Banipal magazine (which I happen to be) then you will have received an email announcing the winner of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize. A prize awarded to translators in recognition of their contribution to the literary world.
The winner of the 2012 award (the ceremony takes place on Feb 4) is Roger Allen for his translation of 'A Muslim Suicide' by Moroccan Bensalem Himmich published by Syracuse University Press.
Runner-up is Humphrey Davies for his translation of 'I Was Born There, I Was Born Here' by Mourid Barghouty, published by Bloomsbury
As stated in the Banipal email, the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation is an annual prize of £3,000, awarded to the translator(s) of a published translation in English of a full-length imaginative and creative Arabic work of literary merit published in the thirty-five years prior to submission of the translation and first published in English translation in the year prior to the award. Entries are judged by a panel of four distinguished authors, critics and literary experts, two of whom read and consider both the Arabic original and the English translation.
The prize is administered by the Society of Authors in the UK, as are other prizes for literary translation into English from European languages. The Award Ceremony is hosted by the British Centre for Literary Translation, the Arts Council, and the Society of Authors. The Saif Ghobash-Banipal entries can have been published anywhere in the world but must be available for purchase in the United Kingdom, either via a distributor or on-line.
The prize, the first worldwide for a published work of English literary translation from Arabic, was established in 2005 by Banipal, the magazine of modern Arab literature in English translation, and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature. It is wholly sponsored by Omar Saif Ghobash and his family in memory of his father, the late Saif Ghobash, a man passionate about Arabic literature and other literatures of the world.
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