Book Prize 2021 – Judges

The judging panel for the 2021 Peter Mackenzie Smith Book Prize is as follows:

Dr Noel Brehony (Chair).

Dr Omniya Abdel Barr is an architect specialised in Islamic art and architecture. She has experience in urban conservation, monument restoration and cultural heritage documentation and digitisation. She is currently the Barakat Trust Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum, leading the digitisation project on K.A.C. Creswell’s photographic collections. In Cairo, she is working with the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation on projects dedicated to rescue Historic Cairo’s architectural heritage and preserve traditional crafts.

Professor Doris Behrens-Abouseif is Egyptian, studied in Egypt and Germany and held the Nasser D Khalili Chair of Islamic Art and Archaeology at SOAS (University of London) from 2000 to 2014. Her list of publications covers a wide range of subjects from the early period to the 19th century with focus on Egypt and Syria, the history of Islamic architecture and urbanism, cultural history, concepts of aesthetics, material culture and the decorative arts. She has been member of the Academia Europaea since 2006. She has published over seventy articles and a dozen books including Beauty in Arabic Culture (Princeton 1999), Cairo of the Mamluks (London and Cairo, 2007), The Minarets of Cairo (London and Cairo, 2010), Practising Diplomacy in the Mamluk Sultanate: Gifts and Material Culture in the Medieval Islamic World (London, 2014 and 2016), The Book in Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250-1517). Scribes, Libraries and Market (Leiden and Boston, 2018).

Dr Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist, writer and broadcaster and author of Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt (London, 2018) and Egyptologists’ Notebooks (London, 2020). He has presented numerous television documentaries, including The Man Who Discovered Egypt (BBC4 2012), Secrets of King Tut’s Treasures (Channel 5, 2018) and Egypt’s Lost Pyramid (Channel 4, 2019). He is currently Director of the Robert Anderson Trust, was Director (CEO) of the Egypt Exploration Society from 2012 to 2016 and President of the International Association of Egyptologists from 2015 to 2019.

Anthony Sattin is a journalist and broadcaster, and the author of several highly acclaimed books of history and travel in Egypt. These include Lifting the Veil, a history of travellers in Egypt from 1768 to 1956 and A Winter on the Nile, an account of parallel journeys to Egypt made in 1849 by Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert, which was a book of the year in the FT, Telegraph, Independent and other publications. Anthony’s award-winning journalism on culture and travel has appeared regularly in the Sunday Times, Financial Times, Conde Nast Traveller and publications around the world. His literary criticism has featured in a range of publications from the TLS and Spectator to the Wall Street Journal and the Sunday Times, for whom he contributed a book column for ten years. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of the Royal Society of Literature, editorial advisor on Geographical Magazine, contributing editor on Conde Nast Traveller, a member of the Egypt Exploration Society and a founder-member of ASTENE (the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East). Jan Morris described him as ‘‘our premier Egypto-litterateur.’

Noel Rands, Secretary of the British Egyptian Society will act as administrator for the Prize.