Palestine Book Awards 2014 honours diversity
The third annual Palestine Book Awards, one of MEMO's flagship events, celebrated this year's publications on Palestine yesterday evening.
Seven books were shortlisted from the 22 entries in this year's competition. The admissions covered a range of genres including politics, poetry, memoirs and Palestinian cookery. Authors of the shortlisted books were awarded prizes.
And the 2014 winners are:
- General Award: Ali Abunimah - The Battle for Justice in Palestine
- Academic Award: Diana Allan - Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Exile
- Memoir Award: Salim Tamari & Issam Nassar - The Storyteller of Jerusalem: The Life and Times of Wasif Jawhariyyeh
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Salman Abu Sitta
Regarding the variety of entries and authors, the chair of the judges Victoria Brittain said: "Last year the two prize winners made a big thing in their speeches about how the ownership of the Palestinian narrative must be Palestinian, so it is great that we had very, very good memoirs this year."
The event, held at a central London hotel, attracted leading figures from the political, academic and literary community. Attab Haddad, a renowned oud player, regaled guests with music from the Arab world.
This year's Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr Salman Abu Sitta, a veteran Palestinian cartographer whose work has been invaluable in the protection of Palestinian memory and history.
"They took our geography - but we memorised it and preserved our history," Abu Sitta said during his acceptance speech.
Entries for the awards included books which were published between June 2013 and June 2014.
To submit a book for consideration for next year's ceremony, keep an eye on the Palestine Book Awards' website where the opening dates will be listed.
Photographer: Ihsan Abdullah