The Golden Comar Prize 2020: A Report by Ali Znaidi

The Golden Comar Prize 2020: A Report by Ali Znaidi

The Golden Comar Prize was created in 1997 by the insurance company (Compagnie Méditerranéenne d’assurances et de Réassurances) Comar (Tunisie) by Rachid Ben Jemia to support literary creation, and encourage Tunisian writers, especially novelists.

The 24th edition of the Golden Comar Prize was held on September 22, 2020 at Chedli Klibi Hall at the headquarters of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. The tightly restricted ceremony, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was attended by Mr. Salaheddine Ladjimi; the Chairman of Comar’s Board of Directors, Mr. Lotfi Ben Haj Kacem; the Deputy Chairman of Comar’s Board of Directors and president of the The Golden Comar Prize Organizing Committee, and Mr. Kamel Bchini; the General Director of the Book Sector at the Ministry. The ceremony was also attended by a limited number of intellectual, cultural, media and artistic figures as well as, of course, the Minister of Cultural Affairs Mr. Walid Zidi.

In his speech, the Minister of Cultural Affairs stressed the importance of these literary prizes and their outstanding value in stimulating creativity and their role in encouraging publication and enriching the literary scene.

In the same context, Mr. Lotfi Ben Haj Kacem; the Deputy Chairman of Comar’s Board of Directors and president of the The Golden Comar Prize Organizing Committee affirmed that the insurance company Comar insisted on continuing this 24th edition despite the exceptional circumstances in which Tunisia is going through, like the rest of the world, which imposed the postponement of all cultural events and activities.

The Arabic version of the prize was awarded to Hassouna Mosbahi for his novel (La Nasbahou Fi Annahr MarrataynWe Don’t Swin Twice in the River.

The French version of the prize was awarded to Samir Makhlouf for his novel (Merminus infinitifThe Final Terminus of the Sea.

The other prizes went as follows:

*Arabic language prizes:

-The Jury Special Prize was awarded to Amira Ghenim for her novel (Nazlet Dar El AkaberDar El Akaber’s Case.

-Discovery Prize was awarded to Lazhar Zanned for his novel (El EsfanjaThe Sponge.

*French language prizes:

-The Jury Special Prize was awarded to Sami Mokaddem for his novel (Le secret des Barcides) The Secret of the Barcids.

-Discovery Prize was awarded to Hakim Bécheur for his novel (L’avant-centre de l’ÉtoileThe Center Front of the Star.

Hassouna Mosbahi, second on the left. Photo Credit Ministry of Cultural Affairs Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/M.AFFAIRES.CULTURELLES/photos/pcb.2743548569260315/2743547929260379/

Amira Ghenim Receiving Her Prize From Walid Zidi, Minister of Cultural Affairs. Photo Credit Ministry of Cultural Affairs Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/M.AFFAIRES.CULTURELLES/photos/pcb.2743548569260315/2743547905927048/

Some of the Ceremony Attendees. Photo Credit Ministry of Cultural Affairs Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/M.AFFAIRES.CULTURELLES/photos/pcb.2743548569260315/2743548145927024

Around 38 novels in Arabic and 12 novels in French competed for this 24th edition.

As far as the judging panel of this 24th edition is concerned, the Arabic section includes Massouda Ben Boubaker, Neziha Khlifi, Monia Abidi, Abdelwahed Brahem, and Mohamed El Kadhi, and the French section includes Ridha Kefi, Kamel Ben Ouanès, Rabaa Abdelkefi, Mounira Chapoutot, and Chaabane Harbaoui.

  • Congratulations to all the winners! §

About aliznaidi

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002. He teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. He writes poetry and has an interest in literature, languages, and literary translations. His work has appeared here and there and is scheduled to appear elsewhere . At moments of revelation, he smokes and drinks green tea with mint while pondering.
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