Panel of judges chose Palestinian writer, Atef Abu Saif, a writer and journalist living in the Gaza Strip.

Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), and Delfina Foundation are pleased to announce the winner of the Arab Writer’s Residency program that will take place in London this summer. After careful consideration of more than 150 applications, the panel of judges chose Palestinian writer, Atef Abu Saif, a writer and journalist living in the Gaza Strip whose most recent novel made it on the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) 2015 shortlist.

Supporting QF’s commitment to education and culture, the eight-week residency will provide Abu Saif with the opportunity to research, write and engage with a broad range of cultural practitioners as well as creative thinkers in London.

“We were thrilled with the sheer volume of submissions, and were deeply impressed by the quality, originality and range of the writing samples. It’s very encouraging to see how many writers from the region are eager to cultivate their talent and connect with other artists,” said Thalia Suzuma, Head of English Publishing at BQFP. “Delfina Foundation and BQFP are proud to have awarded the residency to Atef Abu Saif, a talented emerging voice from the region who will be completing his final work in Arabic”.

During the residency, Abu Saif will be developing a body of work which will then be considered for publication by BQFP in both Arabic and English translation.

Born in Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in 1973, Abu Saif currently teaches Political Science at the University of Al-Azhar, Gaza, and regularly writes articles from Gaza for the New York TimesSlate and other major publications. He has also authored five novels, the most recent of which, A Suspended Life, was shortlisted for the IPAF award in 2015. The winner of the award will be announced at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in May.


Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation (BQF) is owned by Qatar Foundation and managed by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc in London. BQF is based in Doha, Qatar, and has four core aims:

  • Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing: To publish books of excellence and originality to the highest editorial, design and production standards, in Arabic and in English. The list ranges from board books for babies, children’s books, fiction and non-fiction for adults, information and reference, and academic monographs.
  • Knowledge Transfer: To transfer publishing and related skills to Qatar and the Gulf region via training and other initiatives.
  • Reading and Writing Development: To encourage lifelong literacy in Qatar and the Arab World.
  • Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (BQFJ) focuses on fostering scholarly and research communication. BQFJ publishes a range of peer reviewed, high-quality, open access journals, databases and repositories on the platform which adheres to the highest scholarly publishing standards.