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The Cultural Circle & AUK Launch the Cultural Circle Prize for Arabic Short Story (AlMultaqa)

The Cultural Circle, in partnership with the American University of Kuwait has launched the Cultural Circle Prize for Arabic Short Story (AlMultaqa). The Prize initiative aims to promote and encourage writers to pursue and master the art of writing Arabic short stories. Writers and publishers, from this region and around the world, will be recognized for their creative contributions to Arabic short stories.

The annual Prize will recognize an exceptional writer or publisher who has creatively contributed to Arabic short story writing. The winner will receive USD 20,000, a trophy, a Certificate of Recognition, and an opportunity to have their winning piece translated to English for further publication. A jury comprised of accomplished writers, critics, and professors will review the submissions and determine the winner of the Prize.

During the launch event, AUK President, Professor Nizar Hamzeh gave a speech where he affirmed the reason for the University's involvement with the Prize, claiming, "The role of the American University of Kuwait not only includes providing our students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers and prosper in communities, but to also encourage students to participate in cultural and creative initiatives. As such, we are honored to partner with the Cultural Circle to launch the Kuwaiti, Arab and global AlMultaqa Prize for Arabic Short Stories."

The founder of the Cultural Circle and Head of the Al-Multaqa Prize acknowledged the value of this initiative, saying, "I must admit that the Al-Multaqa Prize would not see the light without the kind support of Shaikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Kuwait. It is the first time that an international prize has risen through cooperation between an academic institution (AUK) and a local, cultural circle to promote and celebrate the art of Arabic short story writing in the Gulf and Arab world. After 35 years of being a short story writer, I am proud and honored to be a part of such a significant initiative with AUK to represent Kuwait on a global level in celebrating literary and cultural achievements."

The Prize will start accepting submissions from 1 January to 31 March, 2016.

Prize Name:
Cultural Circle Prize for Arabic Short Story in Partnership with the American University of Kuwait (ALMULTAQA Prize)

Prize Ceremony Venue:
American University of Kuwait, State of Kuwait

Founders of the Prize:

Cultural Circle and the American University of Kuwait

Objectives of the Prize:

  • To launch a literature award from Kuwait that encourages Arabic short story writing.
  • To highlight the production of Arabic short stories on a regional and international level, and promote reading.
  • To recognize writers of Arabic short stories on a regional and international level.
Prize:
The author of the winning short story will receive USD 20,000 (Twenty Thousand US dollars), a trophy and a Certificate of Recognition, as well as a grant towards the translation of the prize-winning short story into English. The winning writer or publisher will communicate with the translator and arrange for publishing the story with foreign publishers.

Board of Trustees:
All the members of the Board of Trustees are volunteers selected through consultation between the Cultural Circle and the American University of Kuwait. All nine members of the Board of Trustees are from Kuwait and are expected to serve for two-year terms.

The Board of Trustees is comprised of the following:

  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees - Founder and Director of the Cultural Circle
  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees - President of AUK
  • Rapporteur of the Board of Trustees - Vice President for Admissions and Public Affairs of AUK
  • The Chair of Arabic Language & Foreign Language Department at the College of Arts & Sciences, AUK
  • Five members from Kuwait who are experienced in the fields of story writing, culture, media and social work.
The Board of Trustees will meet two or three times per year, or when the need arises.

The main duties of the Board of Trustees:

  • Discuss the bylaws and rules of the award.
  • Recommend ideas that will help improve and promote the Prize
  • Appoint the jury.
  • Ensure a strong presence and status on an international scale.
 

Advisory Council:

In order for the Prize to gain more support, presence, and status, an “Arab and International Advisory Board” shall be formed for two years, consisting of 10 innovators, critics, publishers and media figures.
The members of the Advisory Board will meet in Kuwait once a year; during the Prize ceremony.



The Jury:

  • The Board of Trustees will appoint a jury panel composed of five individuals who are Arabic speakers.
  • Every session will have its own jury.
  • Jury members will discuss the submissions via confidential correspondence through e-mail.
  • The jury will shortlist ten stories, determined by the majority, which will be published on the competition website, the AUK website, and in local, Gulf and Arabic, newspapers on 15th October of each year.
  • The jury will then choose 10 short stories collections as determined by the majority. The longlist will be published on the AlMultaqa website and the AUK website, along with the names of the chairperson and members of the jury committee, in October of each year.
  • The jury will then choose 5 short stories collections as determined by the majority. The shortlist will be published on the AlMultaqa website and the AUK website, in November of each year.
  • The jury will select the winner of the Prize, as determined by the majority. The winning collection of short stories will be published at the Prize website and the AUK website in December of each year.
  • The winner will be invited to join the jury at the Prize ceremony, which will be held during the month of December of each year.


Prize Rules and Conditions:

  1. Cultural Circle Prize for Arabic Short Story (Al Multaqa) is an annual award granted to a collection of short stories published in hardcopy in the Arabic language.
  2. The application window for the competition is open annually from 1 January to 31 March.
  3. The names of the Jury members will be announced at the end of March of each year.
  4. Applications are accepted from the author or from the publisher, with the author’s written approval.
  5. Every publisher may participate with two collections of short stories from two different writers.
  6. Any writer may apply for the Prize by submitting one previously published collection of short stories.
  7. Publishing houses may apply for the Prize with no more than two collections of short stories.
  8. Only short stories published in the year of the competition, or the previous year, will be accepted.
  9. Applications and submissions of short stories s for the Prize must be uploaded in PDF format through the online form available at the AlMultaqa website.
  10. The collections of short stories applying for the Prize must abide by the principles of intellectual property and copyrights. The author and publisher shall be responsible for the violation of any such principles or rights.
  11. The applicant, whether a publisher or an author, must complete the application form for each collection of short stories and upload all required documents via the Prize website www.auk.edu.kw/almultaqa
  12. Each collection of short stories applying for the Prize must have an ISBN.
  13. The short stories will be officially considered for the Prize when the writer or publisher receives a reply from the organizer’s e-mail address confirming the receipt of the participating collection of short stories.
  14. Short stories which were written by more than one person will not be accepted.
  15. Short stories written for children are not eligible to participate in AlMultaqa Prize.
  16. The Prize management reserves the right to reject collections of short stories that do not meet the conditions stated above.


Prize Ceremony:
The Prize ceremony will be held annually in Kuwait, with the presence of a number of Arab and international intellectuals, and representatives from local, Arab, and international media.

Board of Trustees
Cultural Circle Prize for Arabic Short Story (AlMultaqa Prize)
In partnership with the American University of Kuwait

Taleb Al-Refai, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Founder and Director, Cultural Circle

Prof. Nizar Hamzeh, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
President, American University of Kuwait

Amal Al-Binali, Secretary
Vice President, Admissions and Public Affairs, AUK

Dr. Suleiman Al-Shatti - Trustee
Professor of Arabic Literature, Kuwait University

Ismail Fahad Ismail - Trustee
Writer and Literary Critic

Dr. Saud Al-Anezi - Trustee
Deputy Chief Editor,
Al Jareeda Newspaper

Dr. Raymond Farrin - Trustee
Department Chair, Arabic & Foreign Languages - AUK

Mr. Manaf AlHajeri - Trustee
Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait Financial Centre SAKC

Reem Al-Mayi'i - Trustee
Journalist & Writer  

Nada Faris - Trustee
Writer & Poet 

Advisory Board
Cultural Circle Prize for Arabic Short Story (AlMultaqa Prize)
In partnership with the American University of Kuwait

Ibrahim M. ElMoallem - Egypt
Vice President of International Publishers Association
 
Mohammed Achaari - Morocco
Writer & Former Minister of Culture

Dr. Kaoru Yamamoto - Japan
Academic, Translator & Researcher

Dr. Ghalia Al-Saeed - Oman
Professor of Literature, Literary Critic & Author

Mohammed Al-Abbas - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Literary Critic

Jonathan Wright - United Kingdom
Journalist and Literary Translator

Sayed Mahmoud - Egypt
Journalist & Chief Editor, Cairo Newspaper

Samuel Shimon - United Kingdom
Writer & Co-founder, Literary Magazine Banipal.

Dr. Iskandar Habach - Lebanon
Journalist, Poet & Literary Translator

Dr. Layla Al-Maleh - Kuwait
Professor of English Literature, Kuwait University



Al Multaqa Board of Trustees




Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 13th December 2015

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2015



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