PARIS, FRANCE (Sudanow) - Sudanese writer Reem Osman has won the first prize in the Yousif Idris Short Story contest for her story Hizaa Dami (Bloody Shoe).
About 900 contenders from all over the World have taken part in the contest, held in Paris, France, on March.
The contest is organized by the Paris-based Zourah Center for Studies and Research in collaboration with the Union of Arab Journalists in Europe and under the auspices of the Kol Alarab ‘All the Arabs’ magazine
The 900 short stories were then shortlisted to 126, which then fought for the prize, now in its third edition.
The organizing committee says it has followed strict arbitration mechanisms it laid down in coordination with the Center, in terms of check up, sorting out and correction according to which the Sudanese writer's text won the Award.
“The participating stories were varied with respect to standard, but all of them had tackled the current worries that surround the Arab society like wars, repression of all forms, the ailments of the present political, social and economic situation, expulsion from home countries that no longer tolerate our presence in them, our resorting to a margin that grows narrower by the day where the ruling authority is taking the entire space and ending with that frightened choke: Where can our chronic dreams find countries with more justice, tolerance, freedom and mercy?” stated the organizers.
Ms. Reem’s text has themed one of the chronic, social ailments in the Arab World: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
It has provided an infinite detailing of this operation, conducted on an innocent child who wakes up to share the bread of her friendship with her cousin “Sheema’a” who dies later on from the FGM complications.
Sheema’a had tried to escape the operation but her mother caught her from her white shoe (which will later on be stained with blood), her red skirt (that signals the deep wound to be made in her), the love of her mother (who will torture her out of ignorance and succumbing to traditions) and the black bottom of the shoe (that will shape part of her fate, in particular her future intimacies, specially in wedlock).
The Egyptian Yousif Idris (1927-1991), whose name the award carries, was a short story writer, playwright and novelist. He is recognized as the best short story writer in modern Arabic literature.
The Zourah Center is concerned with Arab national thought and literature. It organizes annual competitions in the different Arab literary branches as well as the Arab cinema festival and in other related areas. Its general supervisor is the Lebanese political expert, writer and journalist Ali Almar’ee.
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