- 2016/2017 apexart New York City (NYC) Fellow
- 2014 Winner Burt Award for African Literature, Kenya Chapter
- 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing nominee
- Ist Prize, Adult Fiction Category – NBDCK Literary Awards, September 2008 Book Week
2016 Morocco Book Awards Winners Announced
- Written by Moraa Gitaa
Created: 25 March 2016
This is proving to be a great year for novels in translation. The Morocco Book Awards were announced a couple of days ago with winners in six categories, including translation, literature and poetry. Winners were selected from 175 submissions, 36 of which were in the literature category, 37 in poetry, and 35 in translation.
The biggest winner was for his novel which came out last year Morocco Book Award. The novel has also been shortlisted for the 2016 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF).
Numedia is narrated by a Frenchwoman, Julia, and tells the life story of an orphaned Moroccan boy named Murad. Murad is cursed by the people of his village. Ostracised, insulted and beaten, he turns to love in an attempt to take revenge on fate: first with Khoula, who becomes pregnant; then Nidal, his classmate and fellow comrade in resistance; then Julia, seen as the French coloniser, and with his final love Numedia, the mute Berber. The rich story of Numedia unfolds against the backdrop of the real-life historical, political and religious landscape of Morocco. Numedia tells the story of a Moroccan intellectual searching for identity through a series of relationships.
The poetry award went to Abdel Karim al-Tabbal for his collection Nimnimat.
According to Hespress, there was controversy last year over the independence and transparency of the judging committee. This year, the chair of the judging committee, Mohammed Noureddine Afaya, explained how the judging committee had gone about their decisions and said that the books were examined from a “scientific” perspective more than any other. There were no female winners in any of the categories.