Interview with 2018 IPAF Winner Ibrahim Nasrallah


In the days preceding the winner announcement you participated in a few events with the other shortlisted authors in Abu Dhabi. How did you find that experience?

It was an important experience to meet readers after the novel reached this stage in the prize and to get direct feedback from the public here in Abu Dhabi. I truly cherish the reading clubs here in UAE and consider them to be a true gauge of accurate, deep, loyal readership of fiction, and particularly women’s reading clubs. So I got new and important reactions in which I take pride.

© Khéridine Mabrouk / IPAF 

What were you thinking as you were walking towards the stage to receive your prize?

I was happy that this new genre of fiction is breaking ground with the prize, because this is the first time a science fiction novel wins the prize. That was the first thing that came to mind.

What advice would you give a young Arab writer?

To read and live, because unless they do both, they won’t be able to produce literature that we would be able to experience while reading.

Have you celebrated yet or are you waiting until you’re back home?

I’m waiting until I go back, but yesterday, after the winning ceremony when I went back to the hotel room, I felt that a huge prize awaits me at home. When I checked social media I found a touching and sincere happiness. I found people celebrating to an indescribable extent. Perhaps this was the most touching moment for me; to see this huge number of people celebrating my win.