(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The 26th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) opened on Wednesday morning with the announcement of International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) also known as Arabic Booker Prize.
All six shortlisted finalists of IPAF gathered in Abu Dhabi the night before the opening of the book fair for the usual ceremony announcing the winner. A book written as a concerto in four parts Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba written by Rabai Al Madhoun won the award much to the dismay of the 70-year-old Palestinian author. Upon hearing his name Al Madhoun jumped of joy raising his arms in victory an emotional Al Madhoun said:
"Palestine rejoices today as I rejoice." "Another brilliant novel has joined the distinguished list of IPAF winners. Rabai Al Madhoun has been recognised as one of the leading voices of his generation and we hope that this award will take his work to an even wider audience both in the Arab world and beyond" said Professor Yasir Suleiman chair of the Board of IPAF Trustees. The novelist his life his works The Palestine-born Al Madhoun who is now a British citizen lives and works as an editor in London. His family migrated from Ashkelon (now in Israel) to the Gaza strip after the Nakba or the 1948 Palestinian exodus. Leaving Gaza to attend Alexandria University Al Madhoun later became involved with the Palestinian liberation struggle as a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He left activism in 1980 to focus on writing. His previous novel The Lady from Tel Aviv was shortlisted for the 2010 IPAF. Destinies which won the 2016 Arabic Booker Prize on Tuesday night is his third novel. The judges of the award considered it to be a pioneering Palestinian novel written in four parts. Each part representing a concerto movement the novel looks at the Nakba holocaust and the Palestinians right to return to the homeland. The novel portrays the tragic everyday Palestinian life under Israeli occupation as well as exiled Palestinians trying to return to their now-occupied home country. "I believe co-existence is the only way to find an end to the bloody and painful struggle of the last 100 years. I don't think it will happen in my generation but it will happen one day" said Al Madhoun. He will now return home with a cheque for $50000 for winning the IPAF title but more importantly his novel's story will get to be heard by a lot more people worldwide as the story of Nakba and a holocaustis guaranteed an English translation which will increase the book sales. Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba was chosen by the IPAF judges as the best work of fiction published in the last 12 months; and has been selected from 159 entries from 18 countries across the Arab World. All shortlisted finalists were honoured at the ceremony each receiving $10000 including the winner. They are Tareq Bakari (Morocco) for Numedia Mohammed Rabie (Egypt) for Mercury Mahmoud Shukair (Palestine) for Praise for the Women of the Family Shahla Ujayli (Syria) for the A Sky So Close to Our House and George Yaraq (Lebanon) for Guard of the Dead.
Silvia Radan I'm a senior journalist with 22 years experience in all forms of mass media. Originally from Romania I lived and work in Bosnia Uzbekistan England and for the past 10 years in UAE. I specialize in art culture traditions heritage but also environment and the hospitality industry. I'm passionate about jazz and world music cinema mythology and offroading - I'm a marshal with one of UAE's offroading clubs!