Doha, The Gulf Observer: The Katara Festival for Arabic Novel opened yesterday and will run until October 20.
The opening was led by Prof. Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Cultural Village Foundation, Katara; Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ould Omar, Director-General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO), a number of Their Excellencies ministers, ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions, a large number of writers, intellectuals, media professionals, and the public.
Katara has also announced the winners of the Katara Prize for Arabic Novel in its ninth session. In the category of published Arabic novels, the winners are: Ashraf Al Ashmawy from Egypt for his novel The Secret Society of Citizens, and Rasha Adly from Egypt for her novel You Shine, and Muhammad Al Yahyai from the Sultanate of Oman for his novel The War. The value of each prize is $30,000, in addition to the translation of the winning novels into English and French.
In the unpublished novels category, Rami Raafat from Egypt won for his novel Komala, Son of Fire… and His Journey in the Kingdoms of the Titans, Muhammad Turki Al Dafais from Syria for his novel A City Inhabited by Madness, and Mustafa Bouri from Algeria for his novel The Final Rehearsals. The value of each prize is $30,000, and the winning works will be printed and translated into English and French.
In the category of studies concerned with novel research and criticism, three critics won: Said bin Lahcen Aoubou from Morocco for his study On the Culture of the Contemporary Arab Novel, Dr. Mohamed Zidane from Egypt for his study, The Rhetoric of the Contemporary Novel Text, and Dr. Nahla Raheel from Egypt for his study, Identities Reconciling, Intersectionality of Gender and Race in Feminist Autobiography. The value of each award is $30,000, and the award committee is responsible for printing, publishing and marketing the studies.
As for the boys’ novel category, Ahmed Tousson from Egypt won for his novel The Tissue Seller, Abdel Majeed Hussein Zaraqit from Lebanon for his novel The Strange Journey Sons of the Moon, and Farid Al Khammal from Morocco for his novel The Centipede.
In the published Qatari novel category, Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Salem Al Kuwari for his novel Semedra.
Prof. Dr. Al Sulaiti in his speech considered the Katara Prize for Arabic Fiction, and the spread and good reputation it has achieved, in addition to the International Novel Week (from October 13 to 20 of each year), as Katara’s gift to the Arab world, which is in dire need of introducing its literature and culture to the outside world, through translating the winning novels in each edition into English and French, in support of rapprochement and dialogue between civilisations and cultures.
For his part, Prof. Dr. Omar, praised the joint cooperation between the organisation and Katara, which culminated in Katara’s funding of the World Vision Week initiative adopted by Unesco and celebrated during the second half of October each year. Its first edition was launched during the second half of October 2022 at Unesco headquarters in Paris.