Sheikh Zayed Literature Award 2014
“Al- Mahmoudi” is the only Egyptian that won one of Sheikh Zayed Book Awards for 2014, that include 8 categories, for which tens of writers across the Arab world compete.The novel addresses the social texture, the topographic nature, and the anthropological features of the Egyptian village in 1940s. It’s inspired by the classical and original international narrative conventions. It is an incarnation of smartness of narration, smooth sequence of events, and accuracy of portraying characters from childhood until elderliness. In addition, this novel is distinguished by an accurate depiction of the narrative world, drawing spaces, analyzing characters in their transitions between hope and disappointment, and combination of reality and legend in one frame.”In (After Coffee)”novel, there is a long epic style, through a journey extended for four consecutive decades. It displays the life of its expatriate hero, who was born in one of North Egypt villages, and had his early education in Ismailia, one of the canal cities. Then, he moved to Europe in a long diplomatic business trip in the city of classical music and world symphonies, Austria, the native country of Beethoven and Mozart.The writer was outstanding in playing on the relationship that ties the hero to his fevered and great fondness of music, the matter that will get the events develop in line with the interest in food, methods of cooking, and its different ways, as being one of the manifestations of cultural and anthropological diversity among populations. The writer did so in such a manner that presents the idea of intertextuality with another well-known novel for the Mexican experienced novelist “Laura Esquivel” in her marvelous novel “Boiling”, whose chapters are based on recipes and their ingredients. The novel (with its epic style and attribute) is derived also from the folklore and Arabic and world legendary heritage, in such a manner that invokes the great recitals and immortal legends that created the sentiment of mankind and that have an everlasting role of forming the creative and artistic consciousness of man all over ages. The writer implied in his novel hints that Youssef story refers to many things, that will take every ounce of your concentration when you discover the startling surprises that are always derived from multiple cultural resources. Youssef Story- in addition to the Egyptian folklore- includes explicit or implicit references to the three heavenly books, the Greek legends, especially what was mentioned in the Illiad and Odyssey works by Homer, in particular the story of the loss of Odysseys during his journey back home after his war on Troy, and a number of immortal world novels such as “TheBrothers Karamazov” by Dostoevsky and”Faust” by Thomas Mann.