Today at approximately noon Qatar time (or 11 a.m.-ish here in Cairo), the six authors shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF)  2011 will be announced at a press conference in Doha.

The event is being hosted by the Qatari Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage.

The panel of five IPAF judges will also be revealed. The shortlisted authors will not be on hand in Doha (which would sort of kill the surprise, I suppose). But, at 4 p.m. in Doha’s Central Library Villa, literary fans will have a chance to meet the judges and ask questions about the IPAF selection process.

The winner of the IPAF, popularly called the “Arabic Booker,” will be announced on Monday March 14 in Abu Dhabi, on the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

You can watch this space for the shortlist announcement. Meanwhile, you might also check out the IPAF’s completely redesigned website, which is both more information-rich and easier to navigate. And you can read our profiles of all the longlisters:

Egyptian Miral al-Tahawy, longlisted for her Brooklyn Heights

Bensalam Himmich,  for My Tormentor

Fawaz Haddad, for God’s Soldiers

Khairy Shalaby, for Istasia

Raja Alem for The Doves’ Necklace

Renee Hayek for A Short Life

Waciny Laredj for The Andalucian House

Maha Hassan for Secret Rope

Mohammad Achaari for The Arch and the Butterfly 

Maqbul Moussa Al-Alawi for Turmoil in Jeddah

Khaled al-Berry for Middle Eastern Dance

Razan Naim al-Maghrabi for Women of Wind

Fatin al-Murr for Common Sins

Ibtisam Teressy for her Eye of the Sun

Amir Taj Al-Sir f or his The Hunter of the Chrysalises