December 17, 2023

Jeddah Book Fair: Seeking Booker Prize for Arabic Fiction

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Jeddah Book Fair 2023 witnessed interest in novels nominated for the longlist of International Booker Prize for Arabic Fiction for the year of 2024. The longlist, announced on 15th of Dec 2023, includes 16 novels, with a prize value of $50,000. The selection was made by a judging panel chaired by Syrian writer Nabil Sulaiman. And comprised of Frantisek Ondrash, a Czech academic. In addition to Hamour Ziyada, a Sudanese writer and journalist; Mohammed Shaeer, an Egyptian critic and journalist. And Sonia Namr, a Palestinian writer, researcher, and academic.

The current edition of the award has seen the nomination of writers who have previously reached the prize final stages. Among them are Raja Aalam, a joint winner in 2011; Mohamed Abdel Nabi (longlist 2013, shortlist 2016). In addition to Rashid Al-Daif (longlist 2012); and Amin Al-Zawi (longlist 2013, 2018), who served as a judge in 2020.

The longlist includes two novels from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: “Bahbal” by Raja Aalam and “Ain al-Hada’a” by Saleh Hamad. Other novels featured are “Khateem Suleimah” by Syrian writer Rima Bali, “Foumbi” by Omani writer Badria Al-Badri, “Qanah Bilawn al-Sama” by Palestinian writer Basem Khandaqji, “Qare’at Nihj al-Dibaghin” by Tunisian writer Soufian Rajab, “Al-Asnam” by Algerian writer Amin Al-Zawi, “Samie’t Kull Shay” by Iraqi writer Sarah Al-Sarraf, “Al-Wajh al-Akhar lil-Zill” by Lebanese writer Rashid Al-Daif, “Kull Yawm Taqreeban” by Egyptian writer Mohamed Abdel Nabi, and “Dayrat al-Tawabil” by Emirati writer Saleha Obeid.

Additionally, the novels “Sama’ al-Quds al-Sabi’a” by Palestinian writer Osama Al-Issa, “Akhfi al-Hawa” by Tunisian writer Dura Al-Fazaa, “Muqamirah Ala Sharaf al-Lady Mitsi” by Egyptian writer Ahmed Al-Mursi, “Asifah Ala al-Juzur” by Algerian writer Ahmed Munawwar, and “Al-Fasifasi” by Moroccan writer Issa Naseri are also on the list.

It is worth noting that the Jeddah Book Fair has seen the participation of over 1,000. Local, Arab, and international publishing houses distributed across 400 booths. The event concludes on Saturday after ten consecutive days of presenting literature and knowledge.

Source: Okaz

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