The International Prize for Arabic Fiction announced yesterday the shortlisted novels in its 14th session, namely, “Notebooks of Warraq” by Jalal Barjas, “Longing for the Neighbor” by Habib Salmi, and “File 42” by Abdul Majid Sabata, and “Ain Hammurabi” by Abdel Latif Ould Abd Allah. , “Coming down to Dar Al Akaber” by Princess Ghoneim, and “Tattoo of the Bird” by Donia Michael.
Each of the six shortlisted candidates will receive $ 10,000, and the prize winner will receive an additional $ 50,000. The award-winning novel will be announced on May 25.
The short list was announced on the award’s official Facebook page, where the head of the jury, Shawqi Bazih, revealed the nominated novels in the presence of the award’s coordinator, Flor Montanaro. A press conference was also held after the announcement, in which Shawki Bzeih, Flor Montanaro, Yasser Suleiman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Award, and members of the jury participated.
The short list of the award cycle includes 14 elite writers, ranging in age from 31 to 70 years, from Tunisia, Jordan, Algeria, Iraq and Morocco. Their novels address important issues related to the reality of the Arab world today, from crimes against humanity committed against the background of wars and conflicts, to the homeland and human relations, to memory and identity. The short list also highlights the sustainable impact of literature on the lives of both the reader and writer. The short list was chosen by a jury consisting of five members, headed by the Lebanese poet and writer Shawqi Bzeih, and the membership of each of Safaa Gibran, Professor of Arabic Language and Modern Arabic Literature at the University of São Paulo, Brazil; Mohamed Ait Hanna, Moroccan writer and translator, teaches philosophy at the Regional Center for Education and Training in Casablanca. Ali Al-Maqri, a Yemeni writer who twice made the award’s long list in 2009 and 2011, is Aisha Sultan, an Emirati writer and journalist, and vice-president of the Emirates Writers and Writers Union. Two writers who had previously been nominated for the award reached the short list for this year, namely: Jalal Barjas and Al Habib Al Salmi.
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