Egyptian author-journalist Ahmed Naji to receive PEN award


NEW YORK (AP) — An imprisoned Egyptian author and journalist is being given the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, presented by PEN America.

Ahmed Naji received a two-year sentence in February for “destroying social values,” an allegation tied to the content of his novel “The Use of Life.” Naji, 30, has written three books and is a contributor to the state-owned Akhbar al-Adab literary magazine.

PEN, the literary and human rights organization, told The Associated Press on Thursday that it will honor Naji on May 16 at its annual gala in Manhattan.

PEN spokeswoman Sarah Edkins told the AP it has not yet been determined who will accept the award on Naji’s behalf.