Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Members of the Jury of Ibn Rushd Prize 2015

Mohammed Achaari

Moroccan poet and writer, born in 1951. Contributed to the political and trade union struggle for years and this experience led him to assume leadership responsibilities and then to parliamentary work through his participation in the first political experience of parliamentary government, led by left-wing party. Prior to that he worked in journalism and chaired the Writers Union of Morocco. He published several collections of poetry, short stories and novels. For his novel "The Arch and the Butterfly" he won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2011. Some of his works have been translated into other languages. He currently lives as a full-time writer in Rabat.

Razan Ibrahim

Associate Professor of Modern Literature and Literary Criticism at the University of Petra in Jordan. Main publications: Imagination in the world of Wasini Al-Araj the novelist. Questions on aesthetic and thematic achievements; ideological and artistic meaning in Wasini Al-Araj's novel "Jamlakiyyat Arabia"; The historical novel between dialogue and monologue; The poetry of loss: the Dialectic of Life and Death in the Poetry of Khansa; The Arabs’ reception of Modernity and Post-Modernity; Discourse of Renaissance and Progress in the Contemporary Arabic novel, in addition to a range of research papers published in scientific journals. Razan Ibrahim participated in many national and international conferences and cultural events.

Khaled Khalifa

Syrian novelist and screenwriter, born in 1964 in the city of Aleppo. He studied at Aleppo University and earned a bachelor's degree in law in 1988. He wrote poetry and was a member of the literary forum at the university there. As a screenwriter, Khalifa has written several television dramas Including "Rainbow" (Qaus Qasah) and "Memoirs of Al-Jalali" (Sirat Al al-Jalali - A Portrait of the Jalali Family), documentaries, short films, and the feature-length film "The Shrine Door "(Bab al-Maqam). His first novel "Haris al-Khadi'a" ("The Guard of Deception") was published in 1993. His second novel, "al-Qurbat Dafatir" ("The Gypsy Notebooks") was suppressed by the Union of Arab Writers for four years after its publication in 2000. Khalifa spent thirteen years working on his third novel "In Praise of Hatred (Madih al-karahiya), which shows how the lives of one family are affected by the battle between the Syrian government and the Muslim Brotherhood. It what published in Damascus in 2006 but was banned by the Syrian government when it was re-published in Beirut. "In Praise of Hatred" was a finalist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (2008). His fourth novel "La sakakin fi matabikh hadhihi al-Madina" (No Knives in this City's Kitchens) was published in Cairo in 2013. It won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature and what shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (2014).

Samia Mehrez

Samia Mehrez obtained her BA and MA from the American University in Cairo (AUC) and completed her PhD at University of California at Los Angeles; her dissertation focused on the works of the Egyptian writer Gamal al-Ghitani. Before joining AUC, she taught at Cornell University from 1984-1990 in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. She currently teaches modern Arabic literature in Arabic and in translation, as well as courses on translation studies and theory in the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations. She is the founding director of the newly established AUC Center for Translation Studies. She has published numerous articles in the fields of modern Arabic literature, postcolonial literature, translation studies, gender studies and cultural studies. She is the author of "Egyptian Writers between History and Fiction: Essays on Naguib Mahfouz, Sonallah Ibrahim and Gamal al-Ghitani", AUC Press, 1994 and 2005 and "Egypt’s Culture Wars: Politics and Practice", Routledge 2008, AUC Press 2010. She is the editor of "A Literary Atlas of Cairo: One hundred Years in the Life of the City" and "The Literary Life of Cairo: One Hundred Years in the Heart of the City", for which she translated the works of numerous Egyptian writers, published by AUC Press 2010, 2011 and will soon be appearing in Arabic by Dar Al-Shorouk, Cairo. She is currently working with a group of scholars on an edited volume titled "Translation, Gender and Knowledge Production".

Samuel Shimon

Samuel Shimon was born into Assyrian family in 1956 in Iraq. He left his country in 1979 to go to Hollywood and become a film-maker, and got as far as Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Nicosia, Cairo and Tunis. In 1985 he settled in Paris as a refugee. In 1996 he moved to London, where he has lived ever since. He co-founded Banipal, the renowned international magazine of contemporary Arab literature in English translation. In 2000, he and his wife Margaret Obank edited A Crack in the Wall, poems by sixty contemporary Arab poets. He is the founder (in 2003) and editor of the popular literary website in Arabic www.kikah.com. In 2005 he published his bestselling autobiographical novel "Iraqi fi Paris", several editions in Beirut, Cairo and Casablanca. It also appeared in English “An Iraqi in Paris”, and in French, Swedish and Kurdish. In April 2010 he edited Beirut39, an anthology of new Arabic writing, published by Bloomsbury in UK and USA. Samuel Shimon was the Chair of judges for the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008 (known as the Arabic Booker prize). His second novel will be published in January 2016.