The fifth edition of Katara Prize for Arabic Novel kicked off at Katara Cultural Village this Sunday, 13 October, attended by several Arab novelists, critics and academics. The event will run until this Tuesday.
Inaugurating the event, Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara Cultural Village, said that the Katara Prize for Arabic Novel has become an important event in the Arab literary calendar and its popularity is increasing every year.
Katara has become an incubator of Arab literary talent and creativity. The world is noticing our initiatives and we are making constant efforts to promote Arab novels and creativity. The huge increase in the number of entries for the prizes is proof of the increasing popularity and acceptance of the award in the Arab world.’
This year, the number of entries reached 1,850, an increase of 30% over the fourth edition, which received 1,283 entries.
Prizes are given in five categories: fiction in published category; fiction in unpublished category; Qatari fiction; young adult fiction; and literary research and criticism. The winners of this year’s prizes will be announced on Tuesday.
During the kick off, Dr Al Sulaiti presented Dr Mohammad Abdel Rahim Kafoud, former Education Minister of Qatar and a linguistics expert, with the Al Dhad Shield in recognition of his contributions to Arabic language.
Dr Al Sulaiti also reiterated Katara’s full commitment to create the right environment to achieve the vision and objectives of the Prize, through their commitment to the values of independence, transparency and integrity at all stages of the award, starting from the opening of nominations and the selection of the members of the jury, to the announcement of the winners.
A seminar was also held focused on the late Tunisian novelist Mahmoud Massadi. Al Massadi was chosen as ‘Person of the Year’ for the fifth edition. Al Massadi was one of the most influential writers of Tunisia in the modern era, because of the intellectual depths of his writings.
A signing ceremony of books was held for the winners last year. Thirty-one published books were available for signing by the authors.