Libyan Mohamed Alnaas wins the International Prize for Arabic Fiction

The author and journalist Mohamed Alnaas, won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) on May 22, 2022. This award, given in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, has both honorary and material value.

A question about gender

The 2022 winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), (link in English) Mohamed Alnaas is a daring writer. In his novel, “Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table”, the author challenges cultural norms on gender, virility and the couple through the story of a man and his passion. Its main character, Milad, is mocked in his village because he does not live like the others and does not follow a traditional pattern where roles are already defined between men and women. These topics are rarely addressed in Arabic fiction. This is his first novel written against a backdrop of instability and a pandemic.

“I lived in the outskirts of Tripoli, with power cuts that lasted for hours. You could hear the sound of guns and shelling and there were news of deaths from disease and war. The novel was my refuge from madness.”

Mohamed Alnaas, Libyan author

International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF)

A price that matters

At 31, Mohamed Alnaas is the youngest writer and the first Libyan to win this prestigious award, launched in Abu Dhabi in 2007. Inspired by British Booker Prize, each year it rewards a contemporary Arab author and gives him international visibility by translating his work into English. The winner also receives $50,000. The five other shortlisted authors also receive financial assistance of $10,000 each.

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The 2022 edition of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction was marked by novels that question questions of cultural identity and individual freedoms, as highlighted by the president of the jury, the Tunisian Chokri Mabkhout, former winner of the prize. .

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