Basim Khandaqji

Basim Khandaqji

Basim Mohammad Saleh Adib Al-Khandaqji, known as “Basim Khandaqji,” is a Palestinian author born on December 22, 1983, in the city of Nablus. He began his education at Al-Amari Elementary School and later obtained his high school diploma from King Talal School.

He enrolled at An-Najah National University to study Political Science but later transferred to the Journalism and Media Department. On November 2, 2004, he was arrested by the occupying forces and sentenced to three life imprisonments.

Basim Khandaqji released two poetry collections from prison: “Rituals of the First Time,” which was printed by Arab Scientific Publishers, Inc, and received praise from many readers, prompting the publisher to reprint it. His second collection, titled “Breaths of a Night Poem,” was also published by Arab Scientific Publishers, Inc, with an introduction by the poet and journalist Zahi Wehbe. Additionally, he published the novels “The Fragrance of Sufficiency,” “The Eclipse of Badr al-Din,” “Narcissus of Solitude,” “Breaths of a Forsaken Woman,” and his latest novel “A Mask, the Colour of the Sky.”

His novel “A Mask, the Color of the Sky” won the International Prize For Arabic Fiction, known as the “Arabic Booker Prize,” in its seventeenth edition on April 28, 2024. The judging panel selected the winning novel from among one hundred and thirty-three novels nominated for the prize in this cycle, considering it the best novel published between July 2022 and June 2023. The publisher of the novel, Rana Idriss, owner of Dar Al-Adab, accepted the award on behalf of the author, Basim Khandaqji.

Basim Khandaqji wrote short stories until his arrest in 2004, when he was 21 years old. He continued his university education from within prison through distance learning at Al-Quds University, where his thesis focused on Israeli studies in political science. Additionally, he continued his writing while in prison, producing numerous literary and political articles. He wrote about Palestinian women who struggled and sacrificed for their cause, as well as about the movement of prisoners inside Israeli prisons.

The spotlight was cast on the name of the writer Basim Khandaqji, the Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, following the arrival of his novel “A Mask, the Color of the Sky” to the International Prize For Arabic Fiction. His name became widely circulated among literature enthusiasts during the months leading up to the announcement of his novel winning the prize, granting his name a new prominence in the world of Arabic literature.

Books Written by Basim Khandaqji