Amid a record breaking year of submissions, the shortlists have been announced for the fourteenth edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. Out of 1,900 submissions from across forty-nine countries, an independent judging panel selected the shortlists for each. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in April, and will be awarded a prize of 750,000 UAE dirhams (204,181 USD). The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is one of the world’s leading prizes, specifically dedicated to Arabic literature and culture. The awards cover nine categories: Arabic Culture in Other Languages, Children’s Literature, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Cultural Personality of the Year, Literary and Art Criticism, Literature, Publishing and Technology, Translation, and Young Author. The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was established in memory of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan and reflects some of the most exciting and challenging works to come out of the Arab World.
image via The Sheikh Zayed Book Award
The six categories for which the shortlists have been announced are Young Author, Literature, Children’s Literature, Publishing and Technology, Translation, and Arabic Culture in Other Languages. In the Young Author category, a notable mention includes Kuwaiti author Bothayna Al-Essa, who was previously longlisted for the award in 2012. Other notable mentions include a poetry collection by Tunisian poet Moncef Al-Wahaibi, who was longlisted for Literature in 2014. In the Children’s Literature category, the shortlist includes all female, established novelists with American-Palestinian prize-winning author Ibtisam Barakat among the nominees. Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Authority and Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, Dr. Ali bin Tamim, said of this year’s submissions,
“We have received exceptional works from prominent authors and publishing houses, cultural centers, and universities. Such an impressive improvement in the volume of participation reaffirms the award’s resounding success achieved year-on-year. It also underscores the cultural status of the United Arab Emirates, being a global hub for culture makers, intellectuals, creators, publishers, and youth.”
image via The Sheikh zayed book award
The shortlist titles:
- Ma’wa Al Gheyab (Shelter of Absence) by Mansoura Ezzedine
- Belkas ma Qabl Al Akheera (The Penultimate Cup) by Moncef Al-Wahaibi
- Arwah Sakhrat Al Asal (Souls of Honey Rocks) by Mamdouh Azzam
- Kol Al Ashya’a (All Things) by Bothayna Al-Essa
- Al Muhawara fi Adb Abi Hayyan al-Tawhidi: Derasah fi Khasaes al Tafa’ol Al Tawasoli, Al Adab AlMajlisi fe Mudwenat AlTawhidi (Dialogue in Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi Literature: A Study in the Characteristics of Communication Interaction) by Dr. Manal Saleh M. Al-Mohimeed
- ilm Al Kalam Al Islami fi Derasat al Mustashrikeen Al Alman (Islamic Theology in the Studies of German Orientalists) by Hayder Qasim
- Saqi Almaa (The Water Provider) by Maryam Saqer Al Qasimi
- Nuzhati Al Ajeeba Ma’ Al Am Salem (My Wondrous Picnic with Uncle Salem) by Nadia AlNajjar
- Al Fatat Al Lialakia (The Purple Girl) by Ibtisam Barakat
- Al Manteqa Al Mo’atemah: Al Tareekh Al Seri Lelharb Alsebraniya (The Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War) by Fred Kaplan, translated from English to Arabic by Loay Abdel Mageed
- Al-Insan Al-Romantiqi (L’Homme Romantique) by Georges Gusdorf, translated from French to Arabic by Mohamed Ait Mihoub
- Al Shokouk Ala Galen (Abū Bakr al-Rāzī: Doutes sur Galien) by Abu Bakr Al-Razi, translated from Arabic to French by Pauline Koetschet
Arab Culture in Other Languages
- Warum es kein islamisches Mittelalter gab (Why There Were No Islamic Middle Ages) by German author Thomas Bauer
- 1001 Buch: Die Literaturen des Orients (1001 Books: The Literatures of the Orient) by German author Stefan Weidner
- Croire au Maghreb médiéval: La sainteté en question XIVe-XVe siècle (Beliefs of the Medieval Maghreb: Sainthood in question in the 14th-15th centuries) by French author Nelly Amri
- The Thousand and One Nights and Twentieth-Century Fiction: Intertextual Readings by Dutch author Richard van Leeuwen
- Sufi Network. Le confraternite islamiche tra globalizzazione e tradizione (The Sufi Network. The Islamic Brotherhood between Globalization and Tradition) by Italian author Francesco Alfonso Leccese
Publishing and Technology
- Library of Alexandria, Egypt
- National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, Paris
- Banipal Magazine, UK
While the winners will be announced in April, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award will be present at The London Book Fair (March 10-12) and is hosting a panel event titled Sheikh Zayed Book Award: The Positive Impact of Prizes on Translation, held at the English PEN Literary Salon on Tuesday, March 10th at 1:30 pm.
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