Mortada Gzar is an Iraqi novelist, filmmaker, and visual artist. Born in Kuwait in 1982, he has an engineering degree from the University of Baghdad, and has been a participant of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has written, directed and produced a number of films that have screened at international festivals. His animation ‘Language’ won the Doha Film Award. He is the author of three novels: Broom of Paradise (2008), Sayyid Asghar Akbar (2013), and My Beautiful Cult (2016), and is a regular contributor to the Lebanese newspaper al-Safir al-Arabiandis.
Hassan Blasim is an Iraqi-born author and filmmaker, who write in Arabic. Blasim left to Finland as a refugee in 2004 after getting in trouble when making the film The Wounded Camera in the Kurdish area in northern Iraq. He lives in Finland since. His first collection of short stories, The Madman of Freedom Square, was published in English by Comma Press in 2009. It was longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2010. A heavily edited version of the book was published in Arabic in 2012, and was immediately banned in many Arab countries. His second collection, The Iraqi Christ , was published in English by Comma Press in 2013 and won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014. Both collections have been translated into several languages. His latest collection, The Corpse Exhibition, was published in the US in 2014 by Penguin, nd was selected as one of the Top Ten Books of 2014 by Publishers Weekly. Blasim was described by The Guardian as “perhaps the greatest writer of Arabic fiction alive.”
The Short Story Project C | The Short Story Project INC 2018
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