Moroccan writer and critic Abdelfattah Kilito received Monday in Riyadh, the King Faisal Prize for Arabic Language and Literature, during the award ceremony for the winners of the 45th edition of this prize, chaired by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Riyadh Region.
The Secretary-General of the King Faisal Prize, Abdelaziz Al-Sabil, said that Kilito, a professor at Mohammed 5 University in Rabat, creatively addressed dimensions of the ancient Arabic narrative that nobody had ever given much thought to, noting that Kilito is one of the prominent Arab critics of the modern era.
Al-Sabil added that Kilito sought the hidden gems of the writings of ancient philosophers and narrators, pointing out that Kilito’s book “Literature and Strangeness” highlighted the Moroccan writer’s distinguished ability to apply modern critical approaches to ancient Arabic literature.
In this regard, Al-Sabil added that “Professor Kilito’s brilliance stood out in the interpretation of several Arabic narratives works through in-depth studies and in the presentation of the Arabic narrative to the average reader in a clear and precise manner.”
Later, the ceremony displayed a video on the Moroccan novelist and critic, holder of a doctorate from the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University, under the theme “the sessions, stories and cultural codes at Al-Hamadhani and Al-Hariri”, in 1982.
Abdelfattah Kilito worked as a professor at Mohammed V University and as a visiting professor at several other universities, including Sorbonne-Nouvelle University, Princeton University, and Harvard University.
For his part, the Moroccan novelist expressed his gratitude for the award, which he considers an encouragement to work harder, recalling with profound emotion the teachers of different nationalities who marked his journey and his cultural project.
The Secretariat of the Prize announced the winners of the 45th edition. The prize for service to Islam was awarded jointly to the Korean Professor Choi Young Kil and the Emirati Shaikh Nasser Abdullah Al Zaabi.
The prize for Islamic studies was awarded to British Professor Robert Hillenbrand, while the prize for medicine was awarded jointly to American Professor Dan Hung Barouch and British Professor Sarah Catherine Gilbert from the UK.
In addition, the prize for science was awarded jointly to Professor Jackie Yi-Ru Ying and Professor Chad Alexander Mirkin, both from the US.
The King Faisal Prize was first awarded in 1979 and has awarded over 290 scholars from 45 different countries, several of which have subsequently won prestigious international awards.