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Palestinian author Huzama Habayeb’s Mukhmal (Velvet) won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature Award 2017, an annual literary award for Arabic literature by the American University in Cairo (AUC) Press, in recognition of its ‘poetic prose and skilful deployment of vocabulary choice… and because it addresses Palestinian people, who live their lives without being noticed and whose stories are never told’, as the jury members described it.

Published in 2016 by the Arab Institution for Research and Publishing in Beirut and Kul Shee Library in Haifa, Mukhmal is the author’s third novel after Asl Al Hawa (The Origin of Love) and Qabal An Tanam Al Maleka (Before the Queen Falls Asleep). Habayeb has also written four short story collections and a poetry collection.

The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature Award is hosted annually by AUC Press on December 11, birthday of Nobel Prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz. The winning book is translated into English and published by AUC Press.