Salman Rushdie Honored with Disturbing the Peace Awards

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author renowned for groundbreaking works such as ‘The Satanic Verses,’ took attendees by surprise at the Vaclav Havel Center’s award ceremony. During the event on November 14, Rushdie received the inaugural ‘Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award,’ while Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah was simultaneously honored with the ‘Disturbing the Peace Award for a Courageous Writer at Risk.’

Unanticipated Appearance of Salman Rushdie

The presence of Salman Rushdie was shrouded in secrecy, known only to a handful of the 100 attendees. Recently bestowed with the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Rushdie humorously pondered the implications of this new accolade, questioning which side of “the fence” it placed him on. The event also marked the unveiling of Rushdie’s latest book, titled ‘Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder.’

Salman Rushdie’s Onstage Ordeal

On August 12, 2022, while delivering a lecture in New York, Salman Rushdie experienced a distressing onstage attack. Enduring 15 stab wounds, the 75-year-old author was airlifted to a hospital and required ventilator support for about a day. This incident draws attention to the ongoing threats Rushdie has faced since the publication of ‘The Satanic Verses’ in 1988.

Salman Rushdie’s Literary Journey

Salman Rushdie, celebrated for his diverse and impactful literary contributions, has crafted a notable body of work. Here is a list of some of his prominent novels:

No.Novel Title
2Midnight’s Children (Booker Prize Winner, 1981)
4The Satanic Verses
5Haroun and the Sea of Stories
6The Moor’s Last Sigh
7The Ground Beneath Her Feet
9Shalimar the Clown
10The Enchantress of Florence
11Luka and the Fire of Life
12Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
13The Golden House

Disturbing the Peace Award for a Courageous Writer at Risk

Alongside honoring Rushdie, the Vaclav Havel Center presented the ‘Disturbing the Peace Award for a Courageous Writer at Risk’ to Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah. Despite being imprisoned, Abdel-Fattah stands as a symbol of resistance against Egypt’s authoritarian regime. Acclaimed author Adhaf Soueif, Abdel-Fattah’s aunt, accepted the award on his behalf, emphasizing his appreciation for the award’s name, “Disturbing the Peace.”

Alaa Abdel-Fattah: Icon of Resistance

Approaching his 42nd birthday, Abdel-Fattah gained international recognition during the 2011 pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. His recurrent imprisonments under Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s presidency serve as a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle against autocratic rule in Egypt. The award not only acknowledges Abdel-Fattah’s personal sacrifices but also signifies solidarity with the broader cause of promoting human rights and free expression.

In a night filled with unexpected revelations and acknowledgments, the Disturbing the Peace Awards underscored the enduring impact of individuals who bravely confront oppressive forces in the pursuit of truth and justice.


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