Young Moroccan writer and architect Alaa Halifi has won Al-Rafidain Prize for the First Book for his book “Praise of madness”, a fiction on the city of Casablanca.

Organized by the Lebanese publishing house “Al-Rafidain”, in partnership with Iraqi publisher “Daraj”, the prize is awarded, each year, to three contemporary authors of Arabic language, with the aim of encouraging young writers.

In addition to the book by Alaa Halifi, the jury made up of renowned critics and writers selected two other literay works for the final, namely “Good Morning Ya Jaffa” by Ahmed Fadeed (Egypt) and “Snatched from the hand of comfort “, by Mubeen Al-Khashani (Iraq).

“Praise of Madness” thus becomes the first Moroccan work to win this prize.

According to the jury, the power of the book lies in its strong ability to “dive deep into the worlds of Casablanca”.