This year's four judges are translator-scholar Roger Allen, a previous winner of the Banipal prize; publisher Rosemarie Hudson; scholar and educator Ronak Husni; and culture-sector consultant Caroline McCormick.
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Organizers announced today that 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation will go to Kay Heikkinen, for her translation of Huzama Habayeb's Velvet.
The shortlist showcases a wide range of titles, from a Moroccan historical novel to an Egyptian thriller to a tender Kuwaiti war story to two novels from Palestine, one written for teens.
"This year's judging chair will be Paul Starkey, who was a judge on the inaugural committee for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, a prolific translator, and a previous winner of the Banipal translation prize."
The winner of the 2018 prize is set to be announced late January 2019, with an awards ceremony to be held in late February or early March 2019.
"This text confronts the translator with extraordinary challenges."