The International Prize for Arab Fiction from the City of Jerusalem announced the names of candidates on the short list of the prize.
Every year, the international competition chooses an Arab city to advertise the list, usually in Rabat, Amman and Beirut.
This time, the committee chose Jerusalem but kept it secret if the Israeli authorities involved in the event did not enter the country.
"The announcement from Jerusalem will be a surprise even to the writers and Romanists participating in the competition," said Florent Montanaro, the prize coordinator, before the press conference.
"The majority of the members of the committee were excluded from participating," says Fleur, the co-director of the prize in collaboration with the London Booker Prize Foundation.
Yasser Sulaiman, Chairman of the International Prize Board, said: "Our party on this list is the opportunity to announce it from East Jerusalem, its ancient cultural history, which has allowed it to become involved in the Arabic literature of all time."
Khalil Amer, director of the Palestinian National Theater – Hakawati in Jerusalem, praised the importance of this event in the BBC and pointed out that Palestinian cultural institutions in the city of Jerusalem are facing increasing harassment. He believed that the competition's decision to announce the short list of Jerusalem is a great support both at cultural and political levels.
4 authors on the menu
This year's competition was precedent. Four women arrived on the list, including books from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Iraq.
"There is no doubt that the leading women's voices in this list for the first time in the Arab prize history give it a dignified leadership," said Yasser Sulaiman, chairman.
The shortlist was composed of Huda Barakat (on the short story at Night Post), Sufa al-Zu & # 39; bee (cool white sun), Shahla al-Ajili (summer with the enemy) and Anamat Kaji al-Nabeitha, Went the sin away?).
Each of them gets a $ 10,000 prize. The winner of the first prize in Abu Dhabi, worth $ 50,000, is scheduled to be announced in April.
Sharafuddin Magdolin, chairman of the judging panel, described the six stories on the list as very different in their themes, styles and aesthetic choices, combining the family's novel with disappointment, exile and migration, as well as various local problems, especially from various Arab countries.
The board annually appoints a jury consisting of five people, critics, short stories and academics from the Arab world. In order to maintain the integrity of the prize, the identity of the members of the jury is not notified until the final list is announced. As committee members could not attend, they used the Skype video application to address the audience at the Hakawati theater in Jerusalem.
Program Coordinator Flor Montanaro said that the prize, in collaboration with the British Council and the World Library, is a series of cultural events in the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem in recognition of Palestinian literary creativity known for its progress and depth.