The Syrian painter Muwaffaq Qat won the “Mahmoud Kahil Award” for the political cartoon category in its sixth session, in which the winners were announced, Thursday, during a press conference in Beirut that was held hypothetically due to the Corona pandemic.
And this year, an unprecedented turnout of women was recorded to compete for prizes bearing the name of the late Lebanese painter Mahmoud Kahil and are awarded in various categories, as part of the “Moataz and Rada Al-Sawwaf Initiative for Arab Videos at the American University of Beirut”, while the number of countries to which he belongs has increased. The participants.
Muwaffaq Qat, 66, “a cartoonist and animated filmmaker, is currently working for himself in the field of political cartooning in several Arab newspapers and magazines.” He was previously awarded the 2016 Arab Journalism Prize, according to what was known by a book about the competition.
Egyptian Mai Karim won the Graphic Novels Prize, and her compatriot Muhammad Mijo won in the comic strips category, while the Palestinian, Michel Jabareen, won the graphic and expressive drawings prize, and Diala Bursli from Syria was awarded the children’s book drawing prize.
As for the honorary “Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievements” award, which is given in recognition of those who have spent a quarter of a century or more in the service of this kind of art, it went to the Moroccan artist Brahim Lamhadi, who is considered “one of the first artists who laid the foundation for caricature in Morocco.”
The head of the initiative that awards these prizes, Rada Al-Sawaf, said during the virtual press conference that the applicants for the competition this year came from “an additional number of Arab countries,” compared to previous sessions, noting that they belong to 14 countries.
Al-Sawwaf encouraged women to “join the political caricature category more,” noting “the creative women who increased their number in graphic novels.”
As for the director of the initiative at the American University, Lina Ghaibeh, she said, “This year we have witnessed more graphic novels that were submitted for the award, and the largest number of women participating, as well as a wide participation of Palestinians and Yemenis compared to the previous six years.”
The head of the Lebanese Press Syndicate, Awni Al-Kaaki, who participated in the conference, said that the initiative “establishes for a further cultural and artistic advancement and contributes to the restoration of Lebanon as a transit bridge between the Arabs on one side and the world on the other.”
The conference featured a virtual exhibition of the most prominent artworks participating.
The late Lebanese artist Mahmoud Kahil was one of the most prominent caricature pioneers in the Arab world.