Khalil Sweileh

Literature - 2013
A Syrian novelist and journalist. Born in Al-Hasakah District, he studied literature at the Damascus University. He has worked for a number of cultural publications in various capacities and has published several novels since 1995. In 1996, he experimented with writing for television in collaboration with some of Syria’s foremost actors and directors.  Sweileh received the Naguib Mahfouz Medal in 2009 for his novel Warraq Al-Hub or The Scribe of Love. In his acceptance speech, Sweileh mentioned that as a village boy, his chance discovery of a tattered copy of Mahfouz's novel, Khufu's Wisdom, was partly responsible for inspiring his love of literature. His previous novels include Bareed ‘Ajel or Express Mail (2004), D’ ‘Anka Lowmi or Do Not Blame Me (2006), and Zuhur, Sara, and Nariman (2008). Sweileh's novels are honest explorations of the relationship between cultural practitioners - novelists, playwrights, actors - and the societies in which they live. His latest novel, Saya’teek al-Ghazal (The Gazelle will Come to You), won an AFAC literature grant and was published in 2011. He was selected to participate as a literary Juror for AFAC in 2013.