Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the six winners of its inaugural Treasured Sayings (Kanz Al Jeel) Award. 

The winners will be presented at a ceremony at the Zayed Central Library in Al Ain on 16 November at 6pm during the Al Ain Book Fair 2022 (14-20 November).

Launched earlier this year by the ALC, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the award celebrates the legacy of the increasingly popular tradition of Nabati poetry. The committee received a total of 234 submissions from 20 different countries across six categories.

The winners of the Treasured Sayings Award 2022 are:

  • Poet Obaid bin Gathlan Al Mazrouei (UAE) in the Poetry Matching category for his work, which was characterised by its ability to identify with the atmosphere of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s poetry
  • Poet Salem Saif Al Khaaldi (UAE) in the Poetic Publications category for his collection (Good Heart) comprising 220 poetic verses, published by Hamaleel Publishing in 2022, which was distinguished for its artistic and linguistic interdependence, which reveals the depth of the poet’s experience and his mastery of the tools of the Nabataean poem
  • Artist Abdelkader Daoudi (Algeria) in the Arts category for his painting titled (God has given us Good and Grace), which innovatively portrays the poetry of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
  • Dr. Ayesha Ali Al Ghais (UAE) in the Studies and Research category for her book (The Initiation of Excellence in Emirati Nabati Poetry: A Critical Study), published by Aldhabi Publishing in 2022, which is an appraisal of a number of Nabataean poems by the greatest Emirati poets from the nineteenth century to the present day
  • Dr Khaled Al-Masri (Jordan/USA) in the Translation category was for his translated book Smile, may your life smile: from the pioneers of wisdom, leadership and love, featuring the poems of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
  • Orientalist and diplomat Marcel Kurpershoek (Netherlands) in the Creative Personality category for his dedication in studying Nabati poetry over more than a quarter of a century.

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, warmly congratulated the winners of the first edition, wishing them continued success. He said: “The Treasured Sayings Award is an inspiring cultural award that stimulates literary creativity in the country and the region and celebrates the important poetic contributions of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his influence on contemporary Arabic poetry. The Treasured Sayings Award will have a great impact on motivating creators in various fields to present quality works inspired by or related to Nabati poetry and its legacy, and to explore new and innovative ways to experiment with poetic compositions.”

Eissa Saif Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Committee of the Treasured Sayings Award and Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural and Heritage Programmes & Festivals Management Committee, pointed to the resounding success of the first cycle of the award. He especially highlighted the wide turnout of participants in various fields of literature and from all over the world. He said: “This confirms the originality and importance of the poetic and literary work of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who established an important hub for creators, translators, artists and critics of different nationalities and ethnicities, and contributed to launching a new creative movement that enriches the literary scene and reflects the noble values ​​rooted in the Emirati society.”

Al Mazrouei also congratulated the winners of the first edition, expressing his appreciation of their outstanding creative contributions and works, and inviting authors from all over the world to participate in the next editions of the award.