Khaled Khalifa was awarded the Naguib Mafouz Medal for Literature  on December 11th 2013.
This prize, awarded since 1996 is a major award for contemporary Arabic literature.
The award is presented annually on December 11, the birthday of Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, by the President of the American University in Cairo in the presence of the Minister of Culture and many other prominent leaders of Egypt’s cultural life.
Exceptionally, and for the first time, the winner of the prize was unable to receive the award in person. Khaled Khalifa was not given permission to leave Syria by the authorities.
The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature is awarded on the basis of the literary excellence of the work as agreed by a panel of judges. The Award Committee meets in early summer to establish a shortlist of nominees and in the fall the judges make a final decision prior to the award ceremony on December 11 of every year. Previous winners are:
2013: Khaled Khalifa, No Knives in the Kitchens of This City
2012: Ezzat El Kamhawi, House of the Wolf
2011: The Revolutionary Literary Creativity of the Egyptian People
2010: Miral al-Tahawy, Brooklyn Heights
2009: Khalil Sweileh, Writing Love
2008: Hamdi Abu Golayyel, A Dog with No Tail
2007: Amina Zaydan, Red Wine
2006: Sahar Khalifeh, The Image, the Icon, and the Covenant
2005: Yusuf Abu Rayya, Wedding Night
2004: Alia Mamdouh, The Loved Ones
2003: Khairy Shalaby, The Lodging House
2002: Bensalem Himmich, The Polymath
2001: Somaya Ramadan, Leaves of Narcissus
2000: Hoda Barakat, The Tiller of Waters
1999: Edwar al-Kharrat, Rama and the Dragon
1998: Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Memory in the Flesh
1997: Mourid Barghouti, I Saw Ramallah; and Yusuf Idris, City of Love and Ashes
1996: Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, The Other Place; and Latifa al-Zayyat, The Open Door