On Wednesday evening, Shereen Abouelnaga, judging chair for the 2021 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, announced the winner of this year's prize. It was Ahmed Taibaoui, for his novel "The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody."
Five judges chose the six shortlisted titles from among 270 Arabic novels submitted from around the world.
"With plans for the future of the award already in motion, the decision has been made not to announce a winner for the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature this year."
Mark your Arabic lit-prize calendar for September 16. For the first time since the award was established in 1996, the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature will announce a shortlist for the prize.
"For narrative is a feminine land, and it is a forest . . . hidden behind the likely and the possible."
Unlike most travel literature, al-Khamis's "Voyage of the Cranes over the Agate Cities": "focuses on the role of women in this age: as scholar, scientist, and imam of a mosque."
This year’s judges are Tahia Abdel Nasser, Shereen Abouelnaga, Mona Tolba, Humphrey Davies, and Rasheed El-Enany.
Yet it was in Kanafani’s Men in the Sun, Habayeb says, that she found what it meant to be a Palestinian. “I cried because of this discovery."
"But the broom grows skinnier by the day, just like her."
"'Velvet' begins with Hawwa crossing a narrow street, entering a narrower alley, and turning into countless others. As she passes through the alleys she knows by heart, she ruminates on her family and her frequent trips to the seamstress’s house where she works and has found refuge from the harshness of the refugee camp."
If we allow ourselves to peel off assumptions, biases, “moral lessons,” the sins of ideology, and the lie of the triumph of good and truth over evil and injustice, we will be surprised by the turn of the narrative.
The prize he helped fund, and which is named for him, is now in its twenty-second year, and will be announced later today.