Held in Abu Dhabi, the IPAF, also known as the "Arab Booker," awarded Madhoun with a $50,000 prize for his amazing literary work and a guaranteed translation of his winning novel, which would ultimately lead to an increase in book sales and international recognition. Out of 159 entries from across 18 countries in the Arab world, Madhoun's novel was chosen as the "best work in fiction" published within the last 12 months.
Born in Palestine and currently living in London, Madhoun's family emigrated after the 1948 nakba exodus. In his novel, Madhoun takes that experience and transforms it into a literary legend examining Palestinian life during occupation and exile. His book is written in four different parts in which he looks at the holocaust, the Palestinian exodus from Israel in 1948 and the Palestinian right to return.
“I cannot remember and express all my feelings at this moment, I have spent many years talking to the Palestinians of 1948 … Today I received several messages from other Palestinians wishing me the best, and Palestinians who just wanted to have some joy,” he said, according to Gulf News .
Originally launched in 2007, the IPAF has grown to become one of the most prestigious literary awards in the region, showcasing the best of Arabic fiction. One of the main aims of the IPAF is to encourage the translation of Arabic literature into other languages. In the past seven years, the Prize has secured translations for most of its winners.