Lebanon, Libya
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Meet the 2 Arab Finalists For the Man Booker International Prize 2015

The Man Booker International Prize announced last March 24 it’s 10 writer finalists for its sixth edition, including Lebanese author Hoda Barakat and Libyan writer Ibrahim al-Kony.

Barakat, a Lebanese author currently residing in France, previously won the Naguib Mahfouz medal for literature for her third novel Harit al-miyah (The Tiller of Waters). “She is a lyrical novelist, who also writes about deep political trauma in the recent history of Lebanon. It’s a mix of poetic language, which starkly confronts the facts,”  Edwin Frank, chair of the jury, told The Guardian.

A 66-year-old writer and journalist, Al-Koni who authored over 60 books, some of which have been translated to 35 languages. “He’s a Tuareg, from a Libyan desert tribe, and is also interested in Sufism. These are mythic narratives, testing the limits of humanity, with symbolic animals who are also very real,” Frank said. His work has won him several prizes in the Arab world, including the Mohamed Zefzaf Prize for the Arabic Novel in 2005 and the 2008 Sheikh Zayed Award for Literature.

Announced at a press conference at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the finalists include six nationalities that have never before been nominated: Libya, Mozambique, Guadeloupe, Hungary, South Africa and Congo. The recognition, awarding literary excellence with a£60,000 cash prize, will be announced on May 15, 2015.

For more information: Visit the Man Booker International Prize‘s website.

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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