Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) has opened submissions for its 17th edition. The submission period will run until 1 October, 2022.
This announcement follows the success of the 16th edition, which received the largest number of submissions across its nine categories since its inception, with more than 3,000 submissions from 55 countries, including 20 Arab countries and 35 international countries – an increase of 28 percent from the 15th edition. The SZBA classifies submissions into nine categories: Literature, Translation, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Children’s Literature, Literary and Art Criticism, Young Author, Publishing and Technology, and Cultural Personality of the Year.
“The Sheikh Zayed Book Award continues to make strides towards enriching Arab culture, and today, we are on the verge of a new chapter for the initiative, where it continues to embrace innovators and creative thinkers from around the world,” said HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary-General of the SZBA. “The Award is now one of the most respected of its kind, as proven by the unprecedented number of nominees in its most recent edition, where writers and thinkers from various fields competed for the prize. This year, we again look forward to receiving a host of imaginative and enlightening new works for upcoming edition.”
The Award receives self-nominations from authors, as well as submissions from publishing houses, which can nominate books they have published with written consent from the authors. Nominated works must meet a set of criteria to be submitted for consideration for the SZBA. All nominated works must have been published within the past two years and must not have won any prominent international awards. Original nominated works should be written in Arabic, with the exception of works nominated under the Translation category, which must be translated to or from Arabic, and submissions under the Arab Culture in Other Languages category, where works published in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian are accepted. For the Cultural Personality of the Year award, entrants must be nominated by academic, research, or cultural institutions; literary bodies and universities; or by three prominent intellectual and cultural figures. Nominees for all other categories are required to personally fill out the nomination forms on the SZBA website.
Nominees can submit their submissions to the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and access more information about the process on the official SZBA website www.zayedaward.ae or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 16th edition of the Award honoured winners across eight categories: 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 Dadouch 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. Dr. Mohamed Al-Maztouri from 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 (the Library of Alexandria) in Egypt.
The ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ accolade was awarded to renowned Saudi thinker Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghathami in recognition of his notable contributions, studies and research projects that enriched the cultural movement in the region and the Arab world.