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Omar
El Akkad

Omar El Akkad was born in Cairo, Egypt, and grew up in Doha, Qatar, until he moved to Canada with his family. He is a journalist who has reported on the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantanamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt, and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a recipient of a National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting and the Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Canadian Journalists, as well as three National Magazine Award honorable mentions. El Akkad lives in Portland, Oregon.

Award History

2017 Finalist

Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
for American War

Jury Citation

“Omar El Akkad’s chilling novel grips the reader from its first page and never lets go. After a ban on fossil fuels is imposed by the US government, the South refuses to comply, and America is riven by a second Civil War that grips a continent already shrunken by the effects of climate change. Through the enigmatic character of Sarat, we suffer the indignities of poverty and war, and tread the fine line between terrorist and freedom fighter. By building this nightmarish yet credible world, El Akkad exposes the way the politics of resentment and revenge can fester and self-propagate. American War is a rare beast indeed: it’s a war we wished would never end.” —2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Michael Christie, Christy Ann Conlin, and Tracey Lindberg)

Works recognized by WT