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LitFest Director appointed IPAF Trustee

Posted on 21 September 2014 by Alice

Dubai, 17 September, 2014:

Isobel Abulhoul, Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, has been appointed a Trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). It is the latest in a host of honours for Abulhoul, who won the Distinguished Culture Award at the 21st Al Owais Creative Award earlier this year. It has also been a successful year for the Festival, which was voted Best Festival for the second time at the Middle East Event Awards 2014.

Isobel Abulhoul embraced the opportunity to focus attention on Arabic literature, saying, “The IPAF is a wonderful initiative and has given a huge boost to Arabic fiction. I am honoured to be a Trustee among such an illustrious group of people from around the world and to do my part in bringing international recognition to the wealth of talent we have in the Arab world.”

Isobel Abulhoul joins a Board of Trustees with an international mix of writers, experts in Arabic literature and translation, and figures from the world of books, publishing, the media and academia, including: Nujoom Alghanem, poet, writer and award-winning UAE filmmaker; Jonathan Taylor, the Chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation, UK; author and journalist Ahdaf Soueif and Margaret Obank, Publisher and Editor of Banipal Magazine of Modern Arab Literature, UK.

Each year, the Board of Trustees selects a panel of judges for the prize from amongst literary critics, writers and academics from the Arab world and beyond. The judges, acting independently, then choose a longlist, shortlist and ultimately a winner from more than 100 submissions and the Prize is awarded at a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi every spring. Shortlisted finalists receive US $10,000 each and the winner receives an additional US $50,000 and guaranteed English translation.

The winner of the 2014 Prize was Ahmed Saadawi’s “Frankenstein in Baghdad”, a novel about a man who sews together the body parts of those killed in explosions in the city, inadvertently creating a new being or Frankenstein, who begins a campaign of revenge against the killers of those whose parts make up his body. Previous winners also include Saud Alsanousi for “The Bamboo Stalk”, Mohammed Achaari for “The Arch and the Butterfly” and Abdo Khal for “Throwing Sparks”.

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction was established in 2007 in Abu Dhabi. It is an annual literary prize modelled on the Man Booker Prize and aims to encourage and reward excellence in Arabic fiction-writing and increase international readership through translation. It is funded by the TCA Abu Dhabi in the UAE and has the support of the Booker Prize Foundation in London.

 The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which is part of the Emirates Literature Foundation, will take place in Dubai from 3 to 7 March 2015 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage. For more details of the Festival please see www.emirateslitfest.com


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