Egyptian renowned poet Ahmed Fouad Negm has been awarded the Principal Prince Claus Award in recognition for "speaking truth to power, refusing to be silenced and inspiring more than three generations across the Arabic-speaking world."
Negm is scheduled to be handed the award on 11 December during the annual ceremony of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.
The fund described Negm as being “celebrated on the streets of Cairo and across the Arab world for giving voice to the spirit of the people’s movement for social justice."
His poetry showed originality and sarcasm, echoed by the constant struggle of Egyptians for the sake of justice and freedom over the years, said Radio Netherlands.
Negm published his first poem in the 1950s and since then has never shied from "cynical and bitter criticism of political systems and political elites in Egypt for their hypocrisy, corruption and abusing of authority,” the station claimed.
The 84-year-old poet writes in colloquial Arabic, which makes him more accessible to Egypt's working-class.
The same prize had been awarded to a number of notable Arab intellectuals, including Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Syrian intellectual Sadiq Al-Azm, Sudanese painter Ibrahim al-Salhy and Egyptian playwright Lenin al-Ramly.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm