Elias Khoury (Lebanon). He was born in Beirut in 1948. He is a novelist, playwright and academic critic, and is considered one of today’s leading Arab intellectuals. Author of 11 novels translated into more than 13 languages, including Hebrew, his literary works draw on history and deal with basic questions of human existence. His most celebrated novels are Gate of the Sun (1998), Yalo (2002) and As Though She Were Sleeping (2007).
João Baptista de Medeiros Vargens (Brazil). He is a publisher, author, translator, lexicologist and professor of Arabic language and civilization. Primarily interested in the influence of Arabic on Portuguese, J. B. de Medeiros has devoted himself to highlighting the presence of the Arab-Muslim civilization in Brazil and in Portuguese-speaking countries at large.