Palestinian Novel on Holocaust, Nakba Wins 'Arabic Booker' Prize

Rabai al-Madhoun won the Abu Dhabi-sponsored prize for a novel about the Palestinian exodus in 1948 and the Holocaust.

Palestinian writer Rabai al-Madhoun holds a copy of his prize winning novel, "Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba," in Abu Dhabi, in a photo released on April 26, 2016.

Palestinian author Rabai al-Madhoun has won the International Prize for Arab Fiction for a novel about the Palestinian exodus in 1948 and the Holocaust.

Madhoun received the $50,000 award, known as the "Arabic Booker," for "Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and Nakba" on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, which sponsors the competition, media reports said.

Nakba, or catastrophe, refers to the exodus of Arabs from British Mandatory Palestine during fighting over Israel's creation in 1948.

Madhoun, 70, was born in British Mandatory Palestine in 1945 and fled with his family to Gaza. He later became a British citizen.

The novel has "stories from five Palestinian cities," Madhoun said after receiving the award, referring to cities now inside Israel, the Digital Journal reports.

Madhoun said the book "took me to my hometown, al-Majdal in Ashkelon. I roamed Haifa. I shouted from Mount Kermel: Oh, how did we lose this country!"

He has written three books. A previous novel "The Lady from Tel Aviv," about a returning Palestinian exile's chance encounter with an Israeli actress, was shortlisted for the same prize in 2010.

Madhoun currently lives and works in London as an editor for Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, The Bookseller says on its website.