- Western Asia
Taleb AL REFAI (fiction writer; Kuwait) has published seven collections of short stories, a play, a number of critical works, and four novels, including the controversial [The Shadow of the Sun] ( ظل الشمس ( in 1998. His 2002 [The Scent of the Sea] ) ( رائحة البحر won the Kuwait National Award for Arts & Literature. Trained as an engineer, Al-Refai has since joined the staff of the National Council for Culture, Art and Literature, where he manages the Culture and Arts Department. His articles appear regularly in the Al-Hayat and Al-Jarida Kuwaiti newspapers; in 2009 he chaired the Arabic Booker Prize for Fiction. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.