At the 2013 MEMO Palestine Book Awards held at the London Hilton Paddington prizes were awarded to honour outstanding authors who have written on Palestine over the last year. The judges for this year’s prize were Victoria Brittain, Ibrahim Darwish, Haifa Zangana, Peter Clarke and Ahmad Khalidi.
The finalists gathered in London, along with many guests from the literary, publishing and media worlds to hear Prof Rashid Khalidi being announced as the winner of this year’s academic prize, presented to him by Dr Ghada Karmi, for his book Brokers of Deceit.
The 2013 General Prize was awarded to Penny Johnson and Raja Shehadeh and accepted by Susan Abulhawa, one of the contributing authors to Seeking Palestine. Victoria Brittain described the book as a “unanimous choice” for the judges.
The sponsors of the MEMO prize have decided, with warm support from Raja, that the prize money this year will go to Defence of Children International in Palestine, specifically for their work today in the Silwan and Ras Khamees areas of Jerusalem where new home demolitions are under way with many more under imminent threat of demolition.
Prominent Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his journalistic and literary work. Atwan stepped down as editor in chief of Al Quds Al Arabi earlier this year.