This year, journalists (and the public) had a chance to question several of the IPAF judges---including chair Fadhil al-Azzawi---at an afternoon press conference in Doha.
Mohammad Achaari, while known primarily as a poet, also writes fiction and administers culture. He was born in 1951 in Moulay Driss Zerhoun, Morocco.
As predicted, this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction ("Arabic Booker") longlist has more women than in previous years. This year's longlist is nearly 50-50, with 7 women and 9 men.