Press, publishers, and authors enter the Small Theater at Cairo's Opera House.

The shortlist for the 2012 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) was announced this morning.

The shortlisted novels were by Egyptians Ezzedine Choukri Fishere (Embrace at the Brooklyn Bridge) and Nasser Iraq (The Unemployed); Lebanese Jabbour Douaihy (The Vagrant) and Rabee Jaber (The Druze of Belgrade); Algerian Bashir Mufti (Toy of Fire); and Tunisian Habib Selmi (The Women of al-Basatin). Three of the authors had been previously shortlisted for the prize—Douaihy, Jaber, and Selmi—and Choukri Fishere had been longlisted for his 2008 novel Intensive Care. A complete story should be up at the Egypt Independent shortly. In the meantime, my photographic outtakes:

From left to right: Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the Board of Trustees; Khaled Hroub, academic and emcee; judges Dr. Hoda Elsadda, Georges Tarabichi (Chair), Maudie Bitar, Dr. Gonzalo Fernandez Parilla, and Dr. Huda al-Naimi; prize administrator Fleur Montanaro

Dr. Huda al-Naimi, Qatari writer and academic (and 2012 IPAF judge)
Judges: Lebanese journalist and literary critic Maudie Bitar and Spanish academic, translator, and researcher Dr. Gonzalo Fernandez Parilla
Judges' chair, the Syrian writer and critic Georges Tarabichi
Khaled Hroub and 2012 judge Dr. Hoda Elsadda, Egyptian academic and women's rights activist
Dr. Youssef Ziedan addresses the committee, not pleased that his book, "The Nabataen," has not made the shortlist.
Coffee after the press conference: Novelists Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, Mohamed Salah Al-Azab, and Mekkawi Said, former Minister of Culture Emad Abou Ghazi, and a number of others were in attendance.
Fatima al-Boudi of Dar Al Ain has a celebratory smoke, pleased that her publishing house's "Embrace at the Brooklyn Bridge" has made the shortlist.