13 Oct 2017 - 0:35
Winners get $575,000 Katara Arabic novel prizes
By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula
The third edition of Katara Prize for Arabic Novel culminated on a high note last night with the awarding of prizes worth $575,000 to winners in various categories.
The awards were divided into four categories including Published and Unpublished Novels,Unpublished Research-Literary Criticism and a new addition this year which is the Young Adult Unpublished Novels. Five awardees for each category were chosen to receive prizes.
For the Published Novels section, the awardees, who each received $60,000, comprised Said Khatibi for his novel titled Forty Years Awaiting Isabel, Sameha Kheres (Fostoq Abeed), Shaker Noori (Khatoon Baghdad), Hoshank Osi (The Plight of the Questions and the Lust of Imagination), and Mohamed Barada (Mawt Mokhtalif).
Winners for the Unpublished Novels bagged $30,000 each, including Husein Al-Sakaf (False Face Statue), Taha Mohamed Taha (The Apple Tree), Abdelwahab Eisawi (Safar Amal Al-Manseyen), Mohamed Al-Meer Ghalib (Shahd Al-Maqaber), and Mona Al-Shimi (Watan Al-Jeeb Al-Khalfi).
The top five Unpublished Research-Literary Criticism category, who were each awarded $15,000, were Dr. Al-Basheer Dayfallah, Dr. Khalid Ali Al-Yas, Dr. Abdelhamid Al-Hossami, Dr. Mostafa Al-Nahal and Dr. Youssef Youssef.
As for the Young Adult Unpublished Novels category, the winners comprised Ahmad Shehata (Jabal Al-Khorafat), Ghamar Mahmoud (Babel’s Mirror), Kauther Al-Gondi (Seren’s Notebook), Moneera Al-Darwai (It is not a Condition to be a Superhero to Succeed), and Nasr Sami (Al-Taer Al-Bashari), each of whom received $10,000.
The annual Prize was launched with the aim of adding value to the Arab novel scene. Over a short period of time, it has become a highly reputed and recognized platform where Arab creative writers and intellectuals meet, share experiences and get their works celebrated.
In this edition, the number of participants reached 1144, comprising 550 submissions in Unpublished Novels, 472 in Published Novels, 38 Unpublished Research-Literary Criticism and 84 in the Unpublished Young Adult Novels.
Addressing the event, Katara General Manager Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti underlined the importance of the Prize in the Arabic novel path, “that ideally deserves the festive celebrations that Katara is undertaking today in a noble aim to honor novelists and literary critics while motivating and pushing them towards literary creativity.”
He lauded the importance of Katara’s strategic partnership with the Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), as well as the role of the jury from various nationalities, for their transparency and objectivity as they judged the novels without knowing the participants’ names, nationalities and other information. Khalid Al Sayed, General Supervisor of Katara Prize for Arabic Novel, said that the literary initiative this year integrated fiction with the fine arts as it witnessed the participation of Qatari artists who made customized book covers for the winning novels.
Other events were organized on the sidelines of yesterday’s awards, including the opening of “Al-Tayeb Salih… The Genius of Arabic Literature” exhibition at Building 18, which presented the biography of the Sudanese novelist often described as the ‘genius of the modern Arab novel’ by literary critics.
There was also a signing ceremony, in which last year’s winners in the Published and Unpublished Novels category signed their novels to be translated into English and French.
“The Secret War”, a play based on Algerian writer Waciny Laredj’s novel “The Butterfly Kingdom” was staged at Katara Drama Theatre yesterday.