Palestinian author Huzama Habayeb talks about her novel, the medal and Jerusalem

In December last year the Palestinian author Huzama Habayeb was awarded the 2017 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, for her powerful work "Velvet," described by the judges as “a new kind of Palestinian novel.”

The timely book focuses on the harsh everyday life of Hawwa, an ordinary yet strong and resilient Palestinian woman who lives in a refugee camp in Jordan during the 1960s and 1970s.

In this interview, the Mahfouz winner talks about the challenges of writing the novel, her main protagonist Hawwa, what it meant for Habayeb to win the prize, and her strong Palestinian heritage and roots.