American University in Cairo Press

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American University in Cairo Press
American University in Cairo Press
Parent company American University in Cairo
Status Active
Founded 1960; 60 years ago (1960)
Country of origin  Egypt
Headquarters location Cairo
Distribution Worldwide
Publication types Books
Official website

The American University in Cairo Press (AUCP, AUC Press) is the leading English-language publisher in the Middle East.


The American University in Cairo Press (AUC Press) was founded in 1960. It is an independent publisher with close ties to the American University in Cairo (AUC). Its offices are located in the heart of the Egyptian capital, overlooking the historic downtown landmark, Tahrir Square.

Its first publications in 1961 were K.A.C. Creswell’s A Bibliography of the Architecture, Arts and Crafts of Islam, Otto F.A. Meinardus’s Monks and Monasteries of the Egyptian Deserts, The Rose and the Vine: A Study of the Evolution of the Tristan and Isolt Tale in Drama by Edward B. Savage, and George Scanlon’s A Muslim Manual of War.


Considered “the leading English-language publishing house in the Middle East,” [2] its goals and purposes reflect and support the mission of the AUC in education, research, and cultural exchange, through professional publishing programs and international bookselling services.

Publishing programs

Today the AUC Press publishes books in eight broad categories:

  • Arabic Literature in Translation
  • Archaeology and Ancient Egypt
  • Architecture and the Arts
  • History and Biography
  • Language Studies
  • Politics, Economics, and Social Issues
  • Religious Studies
  • Travel Literature and Guidebooks

It publishes annually up to 60 wide-ranging academic texts and general interest books for distribution worldwide. It also maintains a backlist of more than 900 high-quality scholarly, literary, and general interest publications. Through its own bookstores and other retailers in Egypt, along with its distributors abroad, namely Oxford University Press and I.B. Tauris, the AUC Press sells its books in every major book market around the world and through major online retailers, including Amazon. The AUC Press also sells e-books and licenses foreign editions of its publications in many languages.

Arabic Literature in Translation

In 1978 the AUC Press translated and published a novel, Naguib Mahfouz’s Miramar―his first to be translated into English―thereby launching its new Arabic Literature in Translation program. Today it is a leader in the translation, distribution, and promotion of the best in modern Arabic fiction, [3] bringing over 145 Arabic Literature titles by more than 65 authors from 12 countries, to English-speaking readers, including works of the late Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz and internationally acclaimed author Alaa Al Aswany.

Naguib Mahfouz

In December 1985, three years before Naguib Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize for Literature, [4] the AUC Press signed a comprehensive publishing agreement with the Egyptian writer, thus becoming his primary English-language publisher as well as his worldwide agent for all translation rights, publishing all of his novels in English and licensing numerous editions in other languages. His most translated novel, Midaq Alley, has appeared in more than 30 foreign editions in 15 languages.

Since it first introduced Mahfouz’s novels in English, the AUC Press has published 43 volumes of his writing, including a collection of his Life’s Wisdom, an anthology of his thought and philosophy, Heart of the Night (2011) and Love in the Rain (2011). The AUC Press has also licensed some 600 foreign-language editions of Mahfouz’s works in 40 languages.

The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

As a tribute to the acclaimed Egyptian writer and the rich literary heritage of the region, in 1996 the AUC Press established the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, a major award in support of contemporary Arabic literature in translation.

The award, consisting of a silver medal and a cash prize, as well as the translation and publication of the winning novel throughout the English-speaking world, is presented annually on 11 December, the birthday of Naguib Mahfouz.

Winners of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

The 21 winners of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature so far include 8 women, 12 men; 11 Egyptians (2 posthumously), 2 Palestinians, 1 Algerian, 1 Lebanese, 1 Moroccan, 2 Syrians, 1 Iraqi, and 1 Sudanese:

2014: Hammour Ziada, The Longing of the Dervish

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

Arabic Language Studies

With an expanding collection of more than 30 textbooks for class and self-learning, such as the frequently-used Media Arabic and the Kallimni ‘Arabi series, the AUC Press also has one of the largest selection of Arabic-language textbooks for students of Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Arabic.

Book Awards

The following AUC Press publications won awards:

Moon over Samarqand, a novel by Mohamed Mansi Qandil, translated by Jennifer Peterson (2009), the original Arabic edition won the 2006 Sawiris Foundation Award for Literature

The Lodging House, a novel by Khairy Shalaby (2008), translated by Farouk Mustafa (pen-name Farouk Abdel Wahab), winner of the 2007 Saif Ghobash‒Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation Prize

Desert Songs: A Woman Explorer in Egypt and Sudan by Arita Baaijens (2008), nominated best photo travel book of 2008 by Dutch travel bookshops

The Collar and the Bracelet, a novel by Yahya Taher Abdullah (AUC Press, 2008), translated by Samah Selim, winner of the 2009 Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

Cities without Palms, a novel by Tarek Eltayeb (AUC Press, 2009), translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, runner-up of the 2010 Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

Specters, a novel by Radwa Ashour (AUC Press, 2010), translated by Barbara Romaine, runner-up of the 2011 Saif Ghobash‒Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms on the Nile (2012), “Best Archaeology & Anthropology Book,” PROSE Award by the Association of American Publishers.


In the Spring of 2012, the AUC Press made available two backlist titles in electronic format―George Scanlon’s A Muslim Manual of War and Paleopathology of the Ancient Egyptians: An Annotated Bibliography 1998–2011 by Lisa Sabbahy. Three years on, it offers a large selection of e-books―new and backlist titles, ranging from Arabic literature to travel books.

See also


External links

AUC Press official website

I.B. Tauris official website

OUP official website