Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize (Arabic)

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize is an annual award of £3,000 for published translations from Arabic of full-length works of imaginative and creative writing of literary merit and general interest.

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation (into English) was established by Banipal Magazine and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature. The prize is sponsored by Omar Saif Ghobash and the Ghobash family in memory of his father, a passionate bibliophile and is administered by the Society of Authors. 

The 2019 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize, for translations published between April 2018 and March 2019, was awarded to Leri Price for a translation of Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa (Faber and Faber).

The 2020 Shortlist

  • Jonathan Wright for a translation of The Egyptian Assassin by Ezzedine C. Fishere (Hoopoe an Imprint of AUC Press)
  • Sophia Vasalou for a translation of The Old Woman and the River by Ismail Fahd Ismail (Interlink Books)
  • Alexander E. Elinson for a translation of A Shimmering Red Fish Swims with Me by Youssef Fadel (Hoopoe an Imprint of AUC Press) 
  • Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Sue Copeland for a translation of Trees for the Absentees by Ahlam Bsharat (Neem Tree Press)
  • Kay Heikkinen for a translation of Velvet by Huzama Habayeb (Hoopoe an Imprint of AUC Press) 

The winner will be announced on Thursday 11 February 2021

The 2021 prize is now open and will close for submissions on
Wednesday 31 March, 5pm (GMT)

Enter Now


  • Entries must be translations from Arabic into English.
  • Entries must have been published between April 2020 and March 2021.
  • The deadline for both entries and publication for the 2021 Prize is 31 March 2021.
  • Full Terms and Conditions will be listed at the start of the entry form.
  • Presented at a ceremony in 2022.