Amin Maalouf won the literary prize awarded by the French-speaking ambassadors of France (GAFF) for his essay Le naufrage des civilisations which explores the crisis undergone by both the Arab and Western worlds. The GAFF Grand Prize is awarded to a work written in French and covering international relations, political affairs or history, by an author from a member country of the Francophonie.
The ceremony took place at the Institut de France, which houses the Académie française (Maalouf has been a member since June 2011), in the presence of Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, Perpetual Secretary of the Academy.
Amin Maalouf, USJ alumnus, is a member of the Strategic Council of Saint-Joseph University of Beirut (USJ). He worked as a reporter covering many world events, such as the fall of the Ethiopian Monarchy in September 1974 and the last battle of Saigon in March and April 1975. During the Lebanese Civil War, he left for France with his family and immediately resumed his reporting duties, notably at Jeune Afrique, where he became editor-in-chief.
From 1984, he devoted himself to writing and began publishing novels, essays and opera librettos. In 1993, he won the Goncourt Prize for Le Rocher de Tanios. In 1998, he won the European Essay Prize for Les Identités meurtrières. In 2010, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature for his work.
In December 2019, Maalouf was made Grand Officer of the National Order of Merit by French president Emmanuel Macron.