Ms Ahdaf Soueif
Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the bestselling The Map of Love (shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999 and translated into 28 languages), as well as the well-loved In the Eye of the Sun and the collection of short stories, I Think of You. Ms Soueif is also a political and cultural commentator. A collection of her essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground, was published in 2004, as was her translation (from Arabic into English) of Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah. She writes regularly for the Guardian in the UK and has a weekly column (in Arabic) in al-Shorouk in Egypt.
In 2007 Ms Soueif founded Engaged Events, a UK based charity. Its first project is the Palestine Festival of Literature which takes place in the occupied cities of Palestine and in Gaza. Ms Soueif has recently edited Reflections on Islamic Art (BQFP: 2011). Her account of Egyptian events, Cairo: my City, our Revolution, was published by Bloomsbury in January 2012.
Ms Soueif is a citizen of Egypt and the UK. She holds a BA from Cairo University and a PhD from the University of Lancaster, as well as three Honorary PhDs from the Universities of Lancaster, Exeter and London Metropolitan. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in the UK and the Lannan Foundation for Cultural Freedom in the US and a Patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Caine Prize for African Literature. In 2010 she became the first recipient of the Mahmoud Darwich Award (Ramallah) and in 2012 was awarded the Constantin Cavafis Prize (Cairo/Athens) and the Metropolis Bleu Award (Montreal).