Interviews with the Authors Longlisted for the 2016 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Over at the International Prize for Arabic Fiction website (, organizers have posted interviews with six of the fifteen longlisted authors ahead of the Feb. 9 shortlist announcement:

IPAFFrom the interview with Hamed al-Nazir about The Prophecy of Saqqa: “Part of this novel is about people who are coming to the Farij al-Murar market in Dubai city from Ethiopia, Eretria, and Sudan. …”

From the interview with Mahmoud Shukair about Praise for the Women of the Family: “I was interested in entering the lives of the Bedouin men and women who represent an overlooked segment of Palestinian society, and whose presence would enrich the Palestinian novel and throw light on a new aspect of the Palestinian people’s general experience.”

From the interview with Shahla Ujayli about A Sky So Close To Our House: “Usually, the idea for a new novel comes while I am engrossed in writing the novel before it. I was inspired to write it by the difficult circumstances which my country Syria is going through at this point in its history.”

From the interview with Tarek Baqari about Numedia: “The novel took about three years to write and when I completed it, I was living in a small village perched in the Rif mountains in the north of Morocco, on the outskirts of the city of Hasima.”

From the interview with Ibrahim Farghali about The Temple of Silken Fingers: “I think that the acts of confiscating Arab works, the repeated banning and confiscation of literary and intellectual works and the ongoing intimidation of Arab writers, as well as social censorship practiced by ordinary individuals on one another in Arab societies were the main inspiration.”

From the interview with Mahmoud Hasan al-Jasim about Mariam’s Journey: “The plight of my country Syria was the inspiration for this work. Its tragic reality left its mark on my heart and psyche as it would on any Syrian living abroad, but who is still affected by the plight of his/her country.”

1 Comment

  1. hiya, i ll get to read once i m finished writing my books,but thank you,i was not sure how a fiction would do, out of my projects,,just a way to give syrians or others who have lost it all to get a beautifull hope somewhere, so ,fiction in Syria can be on, yep, you never know with cultures and science fiction, and i do not want anyone doing war on my case, i guess Mariam’s journey must be emotional, and this has me thinking that getting people actually involved in a story taking the memories with a futur there and heritage somehow of old grany ways to make a nighmare go away, a song mothers sing to put to sleep, a flower scent in those lovely streets before they were bombed to fuck, i mean, it could be magic somewhere…working on it …only reading articles,i have to say, i started writing non stop a year ago,i can only read articles en science by chunks….not been able to read a book…is it the beginning?

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