Concerto Qurina Eduardo

Najwa Binshatwan

A coming-of-age novel about a young girl in Libya, her extended family, and how their lives are affected by politics and war, in a narrative rich in characters and perspectives. She belongs to a family with Greek origins, an ethnic minority who have their own distinctive culture in multi-ethnic Libyan society. Through her eyes, we view the changes which occurred in Libya from the 1970s until the revolution which overthrew Gaddafi in 2011 and the civil war in 2014. The novel describes her father’s killing during a period known as the ‘cultural revolution’ in Libya, the nationalization of the family’s factory, and the impact of this huge economic change upon them. Binshatwan weaves together complex themes including the experience of Libyan Jews, and their emigration or expulsion in the 1960s; the civil war and its effects on the social fabric of society; the smuggling of ancient artefacts and mistreatment of Libyan cultural heritage; and the cultural and ethnic exchanges between Mediterranean peoples. 


Takween - Iraq


2023 Shortlist