In today's modern day and age, globalization has made our world a small village of easily transferred ideas and cultures. In such an environment, Western pop culture has dominated the global cultural stage, influencing young people everywhere around the world.
Young people in the Middle East and the Arab world are no exception. Increased cultural globalization and a bitter history of colonialism have caused many to lose touch with their own heritage, especially when it comes to their native Arabic language.
That's why it's both refreshing and inspiring to see modern and successful Arab writers writing in their native language, adding their contributions to the long and glorious history of Arabic literature. These 10 writers are proving that Arabic still matters.
1. Ahmed Mourad
Mourad is a famous Egyptian writer and one of the most successful modern Egyptian novelists. Mourad's four novels "Vertigo", "The Blue Elephant", "Diamond Dust" and "1919" were all critically acclaimed, in addition to being huge commercial successes. "The Blue Elephant" was turned into a successful film in 2014 and "Vertigo" was turned into a TV series.
2. Shukri Mabkhout
Mabkhout is a Tunisian writer and literary critic who heads the Manouba University in Tunisia. His first novel "The Italian" won the highly regarded International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) in 2015.
3. Ahmed Saadawi
Saadawi is an Iraqi writer, poet and screenwriter who wrote the poetry volume Anniversary of Bad Songs (2000) and three novels, "The Beautiful Country", "Indeed He Dreams or Plays or Dies" and "Frankenstein in Baghdad" which won the (IPAF) in 2014.
4. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik
Tawfik is a prominent and influential Egyptian writer who is considered the first modern Arab writer to write in the horror and science fiction genre and the first ever to write in the medical thriller genre. His 2008 novel "Utopia" was incredibly successful as well as highly acclaimed critically.
5. Saud Alsanousi
Alsanousi is a Kuwati writer whose debut novel "The Prisoner of Mirrors" won the fourth Leila Othman Prize and his short story "The Bonsai and the Old Ma" won a competition organized by Al-Arabi magazine and BBC Arabic. In addition, his novel "The Bamboo Stalk" won the (IPAF) in 2013
6. Rabee Jaber
Jaber is a prominent Lebanese writer who is also the editor of Afaq, the cultural supplement of Al-Hayat newspaper. He has written more than 15 novels including "Master of Darkness" which won the Critics' Choice Prize in 1192 and "The Druze of Belgrade" which won the (IPAF) in 2012.
7. Mohamed Sadek
Sadek is an Egyptian novelist who is relatively new in the literature scene but has already written four novels including the widely successful romance novel "Hepta" in 2014, which stayed at the top of bestseller lists in Egypt for weeks and is still on the lists.
8. Joumana Haddad
Haddad is a Lebanese writer and poet who was selected as one of the world’s 100 most powerful Arab women in 2014 by CEO magazine Middle East. She founded Jasad, a quarterly Arabic-language magazine, and was selected as one of Beirut39's most promising Arab writers under the age of 39.
9. Raja'a Alem
Alem is a Saudi writer and playwright who won the Arabic Women’s Creative Writing Prize in 2005 and the Lebanese Literary Club Prize in 2008. In addition, her novel "The Doves' Necklace" won the (IPAF) in 2011.
10. Youssef Ziedan
Ziedan is a prominent Egyptian writer and scholar who is also director of the Manuscript Centre and Museum of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. His bestselling novel "Azazel" won the (IPAF) in 2009 and he has worked with many international organizations to preserve Arabic heritage including the UNESCO.