Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Lt. General His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, has presented the 16th edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) at a ceremony held at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The annual award is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).
SZBA is one of the most prominent literary awards in the Arab region and beyond, and celebrates leading authors, academics, publishers, literary figures and promising new talent whose writings and translations have had a notable impact on the intellectual, literary and social movements in the Arab world and beyond. This year, SZBA honoured literary figures, authors and thinkers across seven of its categories, as well as a prominent Egyptian publishing house.
In the Literature category, the Award went to Emirati author Maisoon Saqer for her book ‘Maq’ha Reesh, Ain Ala Massr (Eye on Egypt: Café Riche)’, published by Nahdet Misr Publishing in 2021, while Syrian writer Maria Daadoush won in the Children’s Literature category for her novel ‘Loghz al Kora al Zujajiya (The Mystery of the Glass Ball)’, published by Dar Al-Saqi in 2021. Meanwhile, Dr Mohamed Al-Maztouri of Tunisia won in the Young Author category with his book ‘Al Badawa fi al She’er al Arabi al Qadeem’ (Bedouinism in Ancient Arabic Poetry), a study issued by the Faculty of Literature, Arts and Humanities at Manouba University and the GLD Foundation (Al-Atrash Complex for Specialised Books) in 2021.
The Translation category saw Dr. Ahmed Aladawi from Egypt win the Award for his work on translating ‘Nash’at al Insaniyat Einda al Muslimeen wa fi al Gharb al Maseehi’ (The Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West) by George Makdisi from English to Arabic, which was published by Madarat for Research and Publishing in 2021. Meanwhile, Moroccan author Mohamed Aldahi’s book ‘Al Sarid wa Taw’am al Rooh: Min al Tamtheel ila al Istinaa’ (The Narrator and the Soulmate: From Acting to Faking), issued by Le Centre Culturel du Livre in 2021, won in the Art & Literary Criticism category.
The Arab Culture in Other Languages category saw Dr. Muhsin J. Al-Musawi from Iraq and the USA win for his book ‘The Arabian Nights in Contemporary World Cultures: Global Commodification, Translation, and the Culture Industry’, issued by Cambridge University Press in 2021, while the Award for Publishing & Technology went to Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) in Egypt.
The Cultural Personality of the Year Award went to Dr Abdullah Al-Ghathami in recognition of his notable contributions to cultural movements in the region and the Arab world.
The recipient of the ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ accolade will be awarded a gold medal marked with the SZBA logo, as well as a certificate of merit and AED 1 million prize. Winners of the other categories will each receive a gold medal, a certificate of merit and a prize of AED 750,000.
The ceremony was streamed live on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.