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Emirates News Agency – Announcing the long list and the names of the jury for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2022

ABU DHABI, 26th January/WAM/ The International Prize for Arabic Fiction has announced the novels nominated for the long list in its 2022 session, with a prize value of 50,000 US dollars. Among the 122 novels submitted for the award.

The award’s longlist includes writers from 9 countries, aged between 30 and 65, whose novels address diverse issues, from artists’ struggle for survival as they confront wars, to the relationship between East and West, issues of freedom, motherhood and notions of gender.

The long list’s novels emphasize the social, ethnic and religious diversity of Arab societies, while condemning the exploitation of the region’s crises to amass illicit wealth. The novels give voice to Arab and African women, as two novels among the list tell the stories of two women who lived in the shadow of two famous Western writers.

The long list was chosen by a jury of five members, headed by the Tunisian academic critic and novelist Shukri Al-Mabkhout, who won the award in 2015 for his novel “The Italian”, and the membership of Iman Humaidan, a Lebanese writer and member of the board of directors of the International PEN Club; Bayan Rehanova, Professor of Arabic Literature, Sofia University, Bulgaria; Ashour Al-Tuwaibi, physician, poet, and translator from Libya; and Saadia Mufreh, poet and critic from Kuwait.

The current cycle of the award witnessed the arrival of two writers to the long list who had already reached the final stages of the award, namely Ezz El-Din Shukri Fisher (nominee for the long list in 2009 for the novel “Intensive Care Room”) and for the short list in 2012 for the novel “A Hug at the Brooklyn Bridge” /, and Haji Jaber Shortlisted in 2017 for the novel “Black Foam”. There are two writers who participated in the award symposium (a creative writing workshop), namely Tariq Imam and Reem Al Kamali.

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The current cycle of the award witnessed the arrival of writers for the first time to the long list, namely, Nizar Agri, Tariq Imam, Boudin Belkabir, Mohamed Tofik, Bushra Khalfan, Rushdi Radwan, Dima Al Shukr, Mona Al Shammari, Yarob Al Issa, Bilal Fadl, Reem Al Kamali, Khaled Al Nasrallah, Muhammad Al-Naas and Mohsen Al-Wakeli.

Shukri Al-Mabkhout, Chairman of the Jury, said: The novels nominated by Arab publishing houses in this session were distinguished by the abundance of good works, a quality that confirms, once again, the revival and development of the Arab novel, made by the literary genre best able to express the concerns of Arab peoples today in their various local environments. This long list presents to the reader and follower of the Arabic novel a rich, rich literary feast that represents different models of the jurisprudence of Arab novelists in the past year. It was characterized by diversity, wit, innovation, and cognitive and aesthetic efforts, whether its owners sought to tighten the art of plots, to empirical plots, and to scrutinize them in the construction and refinement of them. What is important is that the reader finds it difficult, after he finishes reading, to forget attractive, complex, carefully drawn characters that have an undisputed human thickness.

For his part, Yasser Suleiman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said that the topics of the novels of the long list for this session vary, expressing the immersion of the contemporary Arab novel in its environment from a critical point of view, through which it attempts to reveal some of the secrets of this environment, or to delve into the problems of the relationship that binds the Arab self , with all its tones, with the other. This diversity of subjects parallels a diversity of structures, some of which reflect the state of marginalization and marginalization that the Arab human feels in his local environment, or in his position in the world. These novels reflect a trend towards abstraction and renewal by a group of Arab novelists who have emerged on the literary arenas in their countries, sculpting texts and characters capable of destroying borders. To address the Arab reader everywhere throughout the Arab world and beyond.

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The award aims to promote the Arabic novel at the global level, as the award funds the translation of the winning works into English.

WAM/ Ahmed Al Nuaimi/ Emad Al Ali