Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation Organises Interactive Workshops at Nobel Exhibition 2019

  • The sessions discussed the literature and art of Naguib Mahfouz and step-by-step methods to write books.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) organised a series of workshops as part of the Nobel Exhibition 2019 featuring prominent figures, innovators, and experts specialising in the Nobel Prize in Literature.

MBRF is organising the Exhibition for the fifth consecutive year from February 3 to March 2, 2019, at La Mer Dubai under the slogan “The Nobel Prize in Literature – Sharing Worlds”.

The first of the two workshops was titled “The Life and work of Naguib Mahfouz” and presented by world-renowned Egyptian writer and journalist Mohammed Selmawi, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature on behalf of Naguib Mahfouz back in 1988. Selmawi discussed personal details surrounding Naguib Mahfouz’s personality and the achievements that qualified him for the prestigious Nobel Prize, namely, his literary works, which included 40 novels, more than 350 short stories, and 10 plays.

Mahfouz had great contributions and influence on novel writing, where his works emphasised moral values, and helped outline the entire Arabic novel genre. This, in turn, led international critics to view Arabic novels as an institution on par with Russian and French novels. Naguib Mahfouz’s works established Arabic literature as an international heavyweight, whereby an ever-growing number of Arabic novels are being translated into various foreign languages. Selmawi lauded the Nobel Exhibition, which allows Arab audiences to explore the Nobel Prize in all its categories – particularly, the Arab innovators who won the coveted award.

The second workshop, meanwhile, bore the title “Write Like a Nobel Laureate”, and was presented by Kristian Fredén, author, literary critic and librarian at the Nobel Library in Stockholm, Sweden.  The session shed light on the Nobel Library, where Fredén showcased its history, various sections, and the annual events it organises.

“In its earliest editions, the Nobel Prize in Literature remained Eurocentric,” Fredén said, noting that it began expanding in the 1960s to include authors from around the world. He then went on to discuss his book, which bears the same title as the workshop, and takes a closer look at Nobel Laureates in Literature and their most notable works. “The most remarkable feature setting the works of Nobel Laureates in Literature apart is their tendency to focus on human experiences and dialogue among human beings,” Fredén concluded, urging authors to create their own original literary personality to stand out from other writers.

The Nobel Exhibition 2019 welcomes visitors every day from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays, and from 2:00 pm till 10:00 pm on weekends. Visitors from around the world can take a virtual online tour of the Exhibition through MBRF’s official website:

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