You are here

'Arabic Booker' goes to Amman

At the start of the month we travelled to Amman, with the exciting task of announcing the 2014 shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. After a day’s discussion behind closed doors, the judges revealed their six shortlisted titles, chosen from a longlist of 16, announced in January. Two formerly shortlisted novelists, Inaam Kachachi (The American Granddaughter, 2009) and Khaled Khalifa (In Praise of Hatred, 2008), appear on the list, as does a former IPAF nadwa participant, Ahmed Saadawi. Ahmed Mourad, who, having previously worked as Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi's former official photographer, is certainly a man with some stories to tell, makes up the remainder of the list, along with Youssef Fadel and Abdelrahim Lahbibi. Revealed from a different Arab capital each year, the 2014 programme of shortlist events had a very Jordanian flavour, with panel discussions featuring local authors, musical performances from popular band Yarub & the Group and a lecture given by IPAF Chair of Trustees, Yasir Suleiman, on Orientalism and the Translation of Arabic Literature, at Columbia University's Middle Eastern outpost. Working closely with teams at Columbia and the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, where the press conference was held, we ensured that the programme was heavily promoted throughout Amman ahead of our arrival. Posters, fliers and invitations designed by our colleagues in Four’s Digital and Design studio were distributed to bookshops, libraries and cultural venues across the capital. The events proved popular with locals, and guests of honour included a number of ambassadors, a Jordanian princess and leading authors, critics and journalists. Both main events were broadcast live by Al Jazeera and IPAF also live streamed the announcement through its website for the first time - here's the link, in case any Arabic speakers amongst you would like to watch!

You might also like