The Al-Multaqa Prize for the Short Story has announced its inaugural longlist, for collections published in 2015-2016 and it has four Africans. They are Anis Rafii, Saber Ben Abdasameea, Issa Jpayla and Mohammad Rafi.
The Al-Multaqa Award is unique as this is a prize as it offers $20,000 and translation into English for the best short story for a writer in Arabic. This is nowhere near the richest prize in the world for a short story at 30,000 pounds but it reflects quite well. The five judges for this year’s awards are Ahmed al-Madeeni (chair), Ezzat al-Qamhawi, Dr. Ali Ajail al-Anezi, Dr. Fadia Faqir, and Salma Saleh.
The writers who entered the prize came from what is called the “Arab region” which is Africa and the other part of Africa separated by the Suez Canal (erroneously called the “Middle East” by many). There were 189 short stories and 15 nationalities who entered for this award and they were all whittled down to 10. They are;
- Ahmed Omar’s “Hudhud fi Zujaja” (“Hoopoe in a Bottle”) (Syria)
- Anis Arafai’s “Masahat al-Dumi” (“Clinic for Dolls”) (Morocco)
- Haider Abdelmohsen’s “Qutat Aareya” (“Naked Cats”) (Iraq)
- Khadija Al-Nimr’s “Al-Afkar al-Sabeha Bayn al-Sama’ w al-Ard” (“Ideas Hanging Between Earth and Sky”) (Saudi)
- Ziad Khadash “Asbab Rae’a lel Buka’” (“Wonderful Reasons to Cry”) (Palestine)
- Abdel Samea bin Saber “Al Skabandu” (Morocco)
- Issa Jabli “Ka’an Amdi Khalf Juthati” (“As If I Went Behind the Bodies”) (Tunisia)
- Lutf al-Sarari “Al-Raja’ Adam al-Qasf” (“Please Don’t Bomb”) (Yemen)
- Mazen Maarouf, “Nokat al-Musalaheen” (“Jokes for the Gunmen”) (Palestine-Iceland)
- Mohamed Rafie, “Asal al-Nun” (Egypt)
The announcement of the winner will be made on November this year.
We wish our fellow Africans good luck in this very rich award. We thank Arablit for this story which made us aware of this award.