The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, at the Abu Dhabi Center for the Arabic Language, affiliated with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, announced yesterday the opening of nominations for its 16th session, starting from this month of June until the first of next October.
This came during the first meeting of the scientific committee of the award, headed by Dr. Ali bin Tamim, President of the Abu Dhabi Center for the Arabic Language, Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and members of the scientific committee: Prof. Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh from Jordan, Jürgen Bose from Germany, poet and researcher Sultan Al-Amimi from the UAE United Arab Emirates, Jordanian-German translator Mustafa Al-Sulaiman, Professor Floreal Sanaghestan from France, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Abu Al-Fadl Badran from Egypt, Jordanian-American academic Dr. Khaled Al-Masri, and Prof. Dr. Muhammad Al-Safrani from Saudi Arabia.
The announcement comes after the end of the fifteenth session of the award, with the second virtual honoring ceremony in the history of the award, which received wide media and public attention, when it was broadcast live on social media platforms and television channels on May 24.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, in its last session, recorded a record number of nominations, amounting to 2,349 nominations from 57 countries, an increase of 23% over the fourteenth cycle of the award, in its nine branches, literature, translation, development and state building, and Arab culture in Other Languages, Children and Young Persons Literature, Arts and Critical Studies, Young Author, Publishing and Cultural Techniques, Cultural Person of the Year. This brings the total number of nominations received by the award since its inaugural session to 19,095.
On this occasion, Dr. Ali bin Tamim, President of the Abu Dhabi Center for the Arabic Language and Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said: “The success that we have achieved today, comparable to, or even exceeding, previous cycles of the award, was not the result of chance, but rather it is the fruit of careful planning and work. Diligent in all aspects, to ensure that the Sheikh Zayed Book Award remains in the position it has achieved, one of the most important international literary awards, and the most prominent Arab incubator for publishing, culture and translation. We held a virtual honoring ceremony for this session, for the second time in the history of the award, and the results proved that the award is appreciated by the world and its interest, regardless of the method of holding it, and honoring its winners.”
In the fifteenth session, the Egyptian writer Iman Mersal won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the Literature Branch, for her book “At the Inayat Al-Zayat”, published by “Al-Kutub Khan” in 2019, and in the Young Author section of the award, Saudi researcher Dr. Asmaa Moqbel Awad Al-Ahmadi, on a study entitled “The Problems of Narrating the Self in the Saudi Women’s Novel – A Critical Study (1999 – 2012)”, issued by the Arab House for Science Publishers in 2020. As for the Arts and Critical Studies branch, it was won by the Tunisian researcher Khalil Quwaya, for The book “The Path of Modernization in Plastic Arts from Painting to Painting”, published by Muhammad Ali Publishing House in 2020, while Dar Al-Jadid Lebanese Publishing won in the publishing and cultural techniques branch. The list of winners of the last round of the award also included the Tunisian writer, Mizouni Bennani, in the “Children’s and Young People’s Literature” section, for the story “An Artist’s Journey” published by Dar Al Moansas Publishing in 2020. Saeed Al-Masry was awarded the prize, for the Branch of Development and State Building, for the book “The Heritage of Prejudice between Folklore and the Religious Field,” which was published by Batana Publishing and Distribution House in 2019. The American researcher, Tahera Qutb Al-Din, won the award for the Arab Culture in Other Languages Branch, for the book “Rhetoric.” Arabic: Art and Job”, issued by Brill Publishing in 2019, and the translation branch of the fifteenth session was won by the American translator Michael Cooperson, for his book “Impostures”, which translated the well-known “Maqamat Al Hariri” from Arabic into English, in a version of the Library Arabic Literature, affiliated with New York University – Abu Dhabi.
The award receives self-nominations from the authors themselves, in addition to the nominations of publishing houses that can submit nominations for books issued by them, after obtaining the authors’ written consent.
With regard to the conditions of nomination for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, the original works nominated must be written in Arabic, with the exception of the works nominated within the “Translation” branch (whether works translated from or into Arabic), and the nominated works within the “Arab Culture in Languages” branch Other”, where works published in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian are accepted.