tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

National Magazine Awards gala is Friday

This Friday, Canadian magazines will win awards. Guaranteed! The 32nd annual National Magazine Awards gala is June 5. I'll be there.*

Earlier we took a look at 4 Middle East-related articles up for awards this year. Should victory transpire, they'll grab a place in history alongside these other recent NMA winners covering the Middle East:

Last year (the 2007 awards) George Jonas won a Gold award in the Essays category for his 7,600-word, um, essay/saga: "Meditations on Israel" published in Queen's Quarterly. I tried to get through it and failed. Obviously the judges fared better. (I've linked to the article on Jonas's personal website; if you can find the original QQ publication, there are some nice accompanying photographs.)

In 2006, Deborah Campbell won a Gold and a Silver award for "Iran's Quiet Revolution" in The Walrus... fantastic piece on the fabric of Iranian society just as the nuclear issue was first heating up (pun intended). The same year, George Jonas (again) won a Gold award for "The Spielberg Massacre" in Maclean's, in which he ripped the director for messing with his book about the Munich tragedy.

In 2005, it was The Walrus again: A photo essay by Rita Leistner, "Al Rashad"--about an Iraqi psychiatric hospital--won a Gold award in the Words & Pictures category (obviously the captions were great). (Unfortunately the above link doesn't call up the entire photo essay, just the intro.) "The Peace Wager" by Kathy Cook, also in The Walrus, won a Silver award for reporting on the Darfur crisis.

And just so you don't think that every award-winning Canadian magazine article about the Middle East has to be either published in The Walrus or by George Jonas (or in English, for that matter), in 2004 the venerable Michel Vastel won a Gold award for "Ma guerre d'Algérie" in L'actualité, ruminating on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Algerian war for independence, in which Michel Vastel fought. [Find out a bit more on this in the latest Ryerson Review of Journalism's profile of Vastel, who died last year.]

See you at the gala.

* I have to be there; it's the perk of my day job.

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