UK writers award for former Guantanamo Bay detainee

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has been honoured at the annual _Muslim Writers Awards 2008′ for his book chronicling his time in the US detention centre and his return back home to Britain. Begg was awarded the _Published Writer of the Year’ award for his book, _Enemy Combatants: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantanamo and Back’. Giving a powerful acceptance speech, Begg, who owns a bookstore in Birmingham recalled how faith and prayer strengthened the bond between the “Enemy Combatants” during the abuse and humiliation meted out to them by their captors. Eight awards were presented at a ceremony in Birmingham, following a review of 10,000 entries by a panel of independent judges.

The Muslim Writers Awards

The Muslim Writers Awards ceremony saw Jermaine Jackson, former Jackson Five member and brother of Michael Jackson, presenting awards to budding writers in Birmingham this week with over a 1,000 people attending the event. Organised by Innovate Arts, the events host. Birmingham Mail blogger, Faraz Yousufzai was reported to say: “The atmosphere was electric and people remarked about the quality, diversity and the scale of the event. “It was fantastic having Jermaine Jackson there and had he not given his support from the beginning I do not think we could have done what we did in such a short space of time. “In 12 months we managed to get 10,000 submissions of work which showed us there is an ocean of untapped Birmingham talent that Innovate Arts is starting to discover.” Faraz said the event had helped to build a network of artistic people. “We have been able to build up such a network of writers from across the business,” he said.

Muslim Writers Awards recognise Britain’s literary talent

The annual Muslim Writers Awards will recognise the breadth and quality of literary talent within the UK’s Muslim community tomorrow at the ICC in Birmingham. The Awards have already attracted support from the Prime Minister, local government and celebrity advocates like Jermaine Jackson and James Caan (Dragon’s Den). The ceremony will be broadcast live to millions of viewers across the UK, Europe and the Middle East by Islam Channel. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged his support for the awards, stating: “This is a wonderful opportunity to bring excellent writing by Muslim writers to new audiences, and increase the mutual understanding of the people of Britain. Through literature we can learn about disparate cultures and widen our perspectives of the world. I would like to congratulate all of the participating writers and the winners of this year’s awards.” The Muslim Writers Awards initiative is now in its second year, and is organised by Innovate Arts – a non-profit body. MWA 2008 will recognize the work of 26 writers across eight categories, with the prestigious “Writer of the Year” awards being presented by Jermaine Jackson at the glittering Awards gala.