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Emile Nasrallah receives Goethe medal

7-9-2017

Lebanese author Emily Nasrallah received on August 28 the Goethe Medal in a ceremony held at Weimar, German hometown of the great German writer and thinker Goethe. The patent of the prize read as follows: “Emile Nasralah, one of today’s best-known authors of the Arab world, has written for children and adults and created a poetic language to describe life in war-torn Lebanon.” Managed by a special committee, the annual award is given to symbols and models from Europe and the World, who have contributed to international cultural exchange and dialogue. Since its inception in 1954, the medal has been awarded to world novelists, including Arabs, like Fouad Rafqa (2010) and Sadeq Jalal al Azm (2015). The theme of the 2017 medal was ‘Language is the key’. Besides Nasrallah, the Goethe Medal for this year was given to Indian publisher, Urvashi Butalia and Russian journalist and human rights activist Irina Scherbakowa. The president of USJ, Professor Salim Dakash, sent a congratulations note to Nasrallah on the occasion, saying: “For over 50 years, your creative writing style has heralded your debut novel, Touyour Ayloul (Birds of September) on Lebanese migration, and since that day, you have scored continued successes. By winning of the Goethe Medal, one of the most prestigious international literary awards, you have enriched Lebanon with another achievement through your memorable presence.” To note, Nasrallah received her MA in 1958 from the American University of Beirut, and worked as a novelist, journalist, freelance writer, teacher, lecturer and women rights activist. She won many prizes throughout her career life in literature and her books have been translated into several languages. (An Nahar, September 7, 2017)

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