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Salman Rushdie Honored With First ‘Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award’


World-renowned author Salman Rushdie, celebrated for groundbreaking works like ‘The Satanic Verses,’ received the inaugural ‘Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award‘ from the Vaclav Havel Center. Simultaneously, Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah was honored with the ‘Disturbing the Peace Award for a Courageous Writer at Risk’ during a ceremony held on November 14.

Unveiling the Mystery Guest

Rushdie’s presence at the event was unexpected, with only a handful of the 100 attendees aware of his attendance. Having recently received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Rushdie humorously pondered on which side of “the fence” this new accolade placed him. Recently, Rushdie unveiled the publication of his latest book titled ‘Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder.

Salman Rushdie’s Onstage Attack: A Harrowing Incident at the Chautauqua Institution

On August 12, 2022, while delivering a lecture in New York, Salman Rushdie was subjected to an onstage attack. The 75-year-old author endured 15 stab wounds and was subsequently airlifted to a hospital. He required ventilator support for approximately a day. Notably, Rushdie faced death threats for several years following the publication of ‘The Satanic Verses’ in 1988, a book he wrote around 35 years ago.

Salman Rushdie’s Novels


Novel Title
1 Grimus
2 Midnight’s Children (Booker Prize Winner, 1981)
3 Shame
4 The Satanic Verses
5 Haroun and the Sea of Stories
6 The Moor’s Last Sigh
7 The Ground Beneath Her Feet
8 Fury
9 Shalimar the Clown
10 The Enchantress of Florence
11 Luka and the Fire of Life
12 Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
13 The Golden House
14 Quichotte

The Disturbing the Peace Award to a Courageous Writer at Risk

The Vaclav Havel Center also bestowed the ‘Disturbing the Peace Award to a Courageous Writer at Risk‘ upon Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah. Despite being imprisoned, Abdel-Fattah remains a symbol of resistance against Egypt’s authoritarian regime. Acclaimed author Adhaf Soueif, Abdel-Fattah’s aunt, accepted the award on his behalf, highlighting his appreciation for the award’s name, “Disturbing the Peace.”

Alaa Abdel-Fattah: Symbol of Resistance

Turning 42 soon, Abdel-Fattah gained international recognition during the 2011 pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. His repeated 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 recognizes Abdel-Fattah’s personal sacrifice but also signifies solidarity with the broader cause of promoting human rights and free expression.

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