Back to Winners

Cultural Personality of the Year 2022

Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghathami

Saudi Arabia

The SZBA Scientific Committee and its Board of Trustees chose Dr Al-Ghathami for his efforts in the fields of cultural criticism, women’s studies, poetry and critical thinking. Since the mid-1980s, he has spearheaded a major shift in the Arab critical discourse. The series of books he authored – notably, Al-Khatee’a wal Takfeer (Sin and Atonement); AlNaqed Al Thaqafi fee Qera’at Al Ansaq Al Thaqafiya (Cultural Criticism and the Reading of Arab Cultural Discourses); Tashreeh an-Nass (Anatomy of a Text); Al-Mawqif min al-Hadatha (The Attitude Towards Modernity), and Al-Kitaba Did al-Kitaba (Writing Against Writing), among others – helped strengthen the foundations of modern Arab literary and cultural criticism, opening new paths to discuss poetic heritage and modern creative Arabic works by reinterpreting them from a critical perspective. Dr Al-Ghathami was one of the pioneers of a form of modernity that does not advocate a break in knowledge, but rather stems from a belief in rereading heritage works with a critical methodology that enriches it and sheds light on its creativity.

About the Cultural Personality of the Year

Abdullah Al-Ghathami is a prominent Arab critic and scholar, born in Unaizah, Qassim province, in Saudi Arabia in 1946. Al-Ghathami undertook the task of critical enlightenment starting from the mid-1980s, starting with his book "Sin and Atonement". Since then, Al-Ghathami continued his scientific, critical, and philosophical methods that made a qualitative leap in the Arab critical discourse, as it contributed to the transfer and localization of modern literary criticism curricula in translation and application. He led the Arab academic criticism to broad horizons. Afterward, his critical studies have highlighted women's studies, ushering feminist studies in the Arab world. His studies then led to the establishment of cultural critical discourse in the Arab world by launching cultural criticism and critical discourse in the Arab academic arena. Al-Ghathami also has scientific and cultural interests in the fields of philosophy and reason. He has authored a large number of books and studies in these fields. He contributed to creating a state of consciousness in the humanities and the foundations of enlightenment in a careful scientific manner. Al-Ghathami’s intellectual works are marked with boldness, clarity, and sound application. His dissertations, thus, are characterized by novelty in the various scientific fields in which he has composed. Al-Ghathami’s academic influence extends to conferences, seminars, social media, and media outlets.

Interview with

Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghathami

Play Video