International Prize for Arabic Fiction announces 2024 longlist and judges


Today, 14 December 2023, the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) – the most prestigious literary prize in the Arab world - has revealed the longlist of 16 novels in contention for the 2024 prize, which will award $50,000 to the ultimate winner next April. 

The list has been chosen from a total of 133 books published in Arabic between July 2022 and June 2023 by a panel of five judges, chaired by Syrian writer Nabil Suleiman. Joining him are Palestinian writer, researcher and academic Sonia Nimr, Czech academic František Ondráš, Egyptian critic and journalist Mohamed Shoair, and Sudanese writer and journalist Hammour Ziada.

The selection includes four authors who have been previously recognised by IPAF: Raja Alem, joint winner of the Prize in 2011; Mohammed Abdel Nabi, longlisted in 2013 and shortlisted in 2016; Rashid al-Daif, longlisted in 2012; and Amin Zaoui, longlisted in 2013 and 2018, and also a former judge (2020). The full 2024 longlist, listed in alphabetical order by author surname, is as follows:



Country of origin


Mohammed Abdel Nabi

Nearly Every Day


Markez al-Mahrusa

Badriya Albadri



Dar Al Saqi

Raja Alem

Bahbel: Makkah Multiverse 1945-2009

Saudi Arabia

Dar Tanweer - Lebanon

Sara Alsarraf

I Heard Everything


Dar al-Hikma

Rima Bali

Suleima's Ring


Tanmia Publishing

Rashid al-Daif

The Other Face of the Shadow


Dar Al Saqi

Osama al-Eissa

The Seventh Heaven of Jerusalem



Dorra al-Fazi'

I Hide Passion



Saleh al-Hamad

Eye of the Kite

Saudi Arabia

Dar Rashm

Basim Khandaqji

A Mask, the Colour of the Sky


Dar al-Adab

Ahmed Menour

Storm Over the Islands


Dar al-Tanweer Algeria

Ahmed al-Morsi

Gambling on the Honour of Lady Mitsy


Dar Dawen

Eissa Nasiri

The Mosaicist



Salha Obeid

Spice Circle



Sufyan Rajab

Reader of the Tanners' Alley



Amin Zaoui

The Idols


Editions Daliman Algeria


The novels take readers from a racecourse in 1920s Cairo, to a rare book market in Tunisia; from the ancient houses of Baghdad, to a famine in 1970s Jerusalem. We also see customs and traditions of territories new to Arabic literature, such as the Comoros islands and the Belgian Congo. Transitional periods in history are deconstructed to answer questions about the current moment, and to explore the impact of socio-political conditions on both individual identity and interpersonal relationships. A number of the books reflect on the act of creation, while other recurrent themes include war, exile, and impossible love.

Nabil Suleiman, Chair of the 2024 judges, said:

The longlist for this year’s prize cycle comprises rich and varied narratives. A broad range of Arab countries are represented, resulting in the exploration of diverse experiences, settings, and characters. The list presents fictional characters who face complex societal issues, some old and others new, and topics such as the role of the arts, women’s rights, and cross-cultural interaction. Some novels explore individual, and others national, consciousness. They open up new perspectives by interrogating history to connect past and present struggles, particularly in places rocked by despotism, persecution, wars, uprisings, expulsions and exile. Each offers compelling and original narratives, and considered together, the list has a distinctly epic feel in scope and range.

Professor Yasir Suleiman, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said:

The longlist for this year’s prize cycle displays a larger than usual variety of voices from different parts of the Arabic speaking world, some of whom are newcomers to the world of the novel. Rooted in their local environments, some works provide unsettling narrations of the situations they encounter, to reveal the entrenched social and political ills pervading those environments. Returning to a mythic and ancient past, others use this history to provide counter-intuitive readings of the present. Some titles meanwhile use experimental modes of narration to weave parallel storylines to display fracture and complexity. At a profound affective level, a good proportion of the novels on this list will chime with the dark mood that is gripping the Arab world at this alienating moment in history.