February 14, 2024

Raja Alem has made it to the shortlist for the 2024 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Raja Alem Short Listed at International Prize for Arabic Fiction

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The Board of Trustees of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction announced the shortlisted novels for its sixteenth edition during a press conference held today by the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Authority in Saudi Arabia. The prize, valued at $50,000, includes the Saudi novel “Bahbil: Mecca Multiverse” by author Raja Alem, published by Dar al-Tanweer.

The shortlist comprises six novels: “Gambling in Honor of Lady Mitsi” by Egyptian author Ahmed El-Morsi, published by DAWN; “Suleiman’s Ring” by Syrian author Rima Balle, published by Tanmeya for Publishing; “Sky-Colored Mask” by Palestinian author Basem Khandaqji, published by Dar al-Adab; “Seventh Heaven of Jerusalem” by Palestinian author Osama Al-Issa, published by Mediterranean Publications; and “The Mosaicist” by Moroccan author Issa Naseri, published by Miskiliyani.

A total of 133 novels were considered for this edition, published between July 2022 and June 2023. The longlist was chosen by a judging committee led by Syrian writer Nabil Sulaiman, along with members Frantisek Ondrash from the Czech Republic, Humour Ziyada from Sudan, Mohamed Shaeer from Egypt, and Sonia Namr from Palestine.

The current edition of the award witnessed the nomination of authors who previously reached the final stages of the award, including Raja Alam, who jointly won in 2011; Muhammed AbdelNabi (longlisted in 2013 and shortlisted in 2016); Rashid Al-Daif (longlisted in 2012); and Amin Zaoui (longlisted in 2013 and 2018), who served as a jury member in 2020.

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction is an annual award recognizing literary creativity in the Arabic language. It is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre under the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and receives support from the Booker Prize Foundation in London.

Source: International Prize for Arabic Fiction

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