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Hammour Ziada is an award-winning Sudanese author and journalist, born in Khartoum in 1977. He has worked for charitable and civil society organisations, and was a journalist for Sudanese newspapers, including Al-Mustaqilla, Ajras al-Horriya, and Al-Jarida. He was Chief Editor of the cultural section of the Sudanese Al-Akhbar.
He is the author of several works of fiction: A Life Story from Omdurman (short stories, 2008), Al-Kunj (a novel, 2010 and 2015), Sleeping at the Foot of the Mountain (short stories, 2014).
His second novel, The Longing of the Dervish (2014), won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2014 and was shortlisted for the 2015 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). It is excerpted in Banipal 52 – New Fiction with the agreement of IPAF, and was published in Engish translation by Jonathan Wright with Hoopoe Fiction in 2016 as part of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal award. It was reviewed in Banipal 57 – Syria in the Heart (2016).
Hammour Ziada's latest novel is Al-Gharaq (The Drowning), was published by Dar al-Ain, Cairo at the very end of 2018.
Hammour Ziada has become a well-known and respected author, invited to many countries to talk about his novels and about the situation in his home country of Sudan.
Sudanese film director Amjad Abu Alala was inspired by Hammour Ziada's short story Sleeping at the Foot of the Mountain (the title story of his short story collection) to adapt it to film. The film –You Will Die at 20 – was screened in September 2019 at the 76th Venice International Film Festival and received the Lion of the Future (Luigi de Laurentiis) Award for Best Debut Feature.
Hammour Ziada has been awarded the 2020 Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship and St Aidan's College and the Fellowship team are waiting to welcome him as soon as his visitor visa comes through. In October 2018 he was awarded the 2019 Fellowship, but for reasons known only to themselves since the reasons given publicly were demonstrably false his visa application was refused. The Fellowship team released this statement at the time https://www.banipal.co.uk/news/index.cfm?newsid=279
A furore followed about this "appalling discrimination against a well-known and respected international author" shown by the refusal. The Fellowship team decided to insist on offering Ziada the Fellowship, with a change of date to the 2020 Fellowship, determined to overturn the unjustified refusal. In the meantime, in July 2019, Hammour was invited to participate in the London-based Shubbak Arabic cultural festival and was granted a visa for that visit.
Below are the front covers of Hammour Ziada's Arabic novels: Al-Kunj, Shouq al-Darwish (The Longing of the Dervish), and Al-Gharaq (The Drowning). So far, only The Longing of the Dervish has been translated into English.