Arabic Booker announces its shortlist including Egyptian Tarek Imam

Mohammed Saad , Wednesday 23 Mar 2022

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction revealed on Tuesday, its shortlisted novels for the 2022 Prize including six novels. All six authors in the shortlist have been shortlisted for the prize for the first time.


The shortlist included Egytptian writer Tarek Imam for his novel Cairo Maquette for the first time.

The list also included Rose’s Diary by Reem al-Kamali, Dilshad by Emarti writer Bushra Khalfan, The Prisoner of the Portuguese by the Moroccan Mohsine Loukili, The White Line of Night by Kuwaiti writer Khaled Nasrallah and Bread on the Table of Uncle Milad by Libyan writer Mohamed Alnaas.

Each of the six shortlisted authors will receive $10,000, with the winner announced on 22 May receiving an additional $50,000.

The shortlist was revealed online by this year’s Chair of Judges Shukri Mabkhout alongside Fleur Montanaro, the prize’s Administrator. They were then joined in a live press conference by Yasir Suleiman, Chair of Trustees.

The shortlisted authors for IPAF’s 15th edition range in age from 34 to 52 and represent six countries. Collectively, the writers address a range of important issues including identity, access to education, poverty, gender roles, fear, revenge and freedom of expression.

The shortlist was chosen by a panel of five judges chaired by Tunisian novelist, academic and previous IPAF winner (The Italian, 2015) Shukri Mabkhout. Joining him on the judging panel are Libyan doctor, poet and translator Ashur Etwebi, Lebanese writer and PEN International board member Iman Humaydan, Kuwaiti poet and critic Saadiah Mufarreh and Bulgarian academic and translator Baian Rayhanova.




Country of origin


Tarek Imam

Cairo Maquette



Reem al-Kamali

Rose's Diary


Dar al-Adab

Bushra Khalfan



Takween - Iraq

Mohsine Loukili

The Prisoner of the Portuguese


Dar Mim

Khaled Nasrallah

The White Line of Night


Dar Al Saqi

Mohamed Alnaas

Bread on the Table of Uncle Milad




Shukri Mabkhout, Chair of the 2022 Judges, commented in his speech: “The six novels represent a strikingly diverse range of topics and forms around identity and freedom. Some of them took us on a journey to the past, inspired by the aspirations and struggles of people living in various regions across the Arab world. They depicted the endeavours of marginalized, oppressed or forgotten individuals throughout history, as they sought to forge and change their destinies. Other novelists on this shortlist portrayed freedom from various angles, such as the freedom of imagination to reconstruct a reality in which fantasy and truth intertwine, the freedom of expression and creativity in the face of visible or hidden oppression, and the freedom of individual identity.”


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