Winner Hannah Khalil on receiving The Arab British Centre Award for Culture 2017

14 July '17

I’m beginning to bore people with my insistence that I’m shocked to have been given the Arab British Centre’s Award for Culture 2017. But it is true. When you are nominated alongside luminaries like Reem Kelani, Ahmed Masoud, Issam Kourbaj and Elhum Shakerifar you don’t expect to be taking home a prize. I showed up for the interesting conversations I was bound to have at such an event and the Zaytoun products in the goodie bag we were given when we left.

But when I did go my bag was anchored with a heavy trophy, my eyes filled with (happy) tears that kept coming and my heart was higher that a kite. To think that the judges deemed my writing – in which I’ve always aimed to redress the balance of how Arabs and in particular Palestinians are portrayed in the media – was achieving something worthy of recognition. I’m moved and feel energised and excited by this honour.

I’m also looking forward to spending the generous travel grant from the British Council, which I’m planning to use to travel to the Arab Theatre Festival in Tunis in 2018, where I hope to be inspired by theatre from the Arab world and meet other artists and potential future partners. None of my work has been translated into Arabic yet so I hope that possibility may arise also.

Again my thanks and gratitude to the Arab British Centre for creating these important awards, and my congratulations to Arts Canteen who are so deserving of the Organisation prize.