27 countries take part in this year’s award Khartoum – Abedalgoum Ashmeag Entries for the annual Tayeb Salih Award for Creative Writing have closed in Sudan ahead of a hotly anticipated Friday awards ceremony in Khartoum. Ali Shamo, chairman of the awards' board of trustees, celebrated the selection of journalist Majoub Mohammed Salih as "person of the year" in recognition of the al-Ayaam newspaper proprietor and editor-in-chief’s “tribute to journalism” over the last 60 years. CEO of Zain Telecommunications Al-Fateh Orwa, whose company sponsors the awards, lauded the “cultural event followed by literary and cultural greats across the Arab world.” The telecom executive joined in congratulating journalist Salih for his decades-long contribution to reporting. “Hundreds of young journalists have moved on from his newspaper and left their indelible mark on the world,” he said. Twenty-seven countries took part in this year's Tayeb Salih Award. The board notably recognised a Palestinian author currently detained in an Israeli prison, who will receive a special award on Friday evening. A concurrent exhibition will follow the awards ceremony, including publications by award winners, competing works as well as photographs, paintings and films of the northern Sudanese village of Karmakol, where Salih was born. Sudan’s Culture and Communication Minister Ahmed Belal Osman described the late author as "an unequivocally cultured" figure in Arab letters, celebrating his work as a novelist, writer and critic. The awards ceremony will be held on Friday evening at the Friendship Conference Hall in Khartoum. Prizes will go to writers of novels, short stories and literary criticism. First Vice President Ali Osman Taha will attend.