Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced the winners of its 18th edition following a meeting of its Board of Trustees.

The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the SZBA Board of Trustees, and attended by Board Members His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi; His Excellency Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi; His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Secretary General of the SZBA and Chairman of ALC; His Excellency Abdulla Majed Al Ali, Director General of the National Library and Archives; and Abdulrahman Mohamed Alnaqbi, Literary Award Department Director at ALC. 

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, said: “Through ALC’s various initiatives, we seek to promote Arabic language proficiency and ensure greater cultural understanding. For 18 years, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has played a pivotal role in supporting our efforts to enrich cultural and intellectual creativity worldwide while providing a platform for writers, translators, academics and organisations to reach global audiences. Through this platform, we are celebrating Arabic-speaking writers and authors who write about Arab culture and civilisation, collectively  advancing our intellectual and cultural heritage.”

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, ALC Chairman, said: “Since its inception, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has been an influential catalyst for the Arab cultural scene, actively contributing to the revitalisation of literary and poetic movements as well as translation efforts. We are proud to spotlight landmark projects and works from great minds around the world which have greatly impressed and inspired us. We congratulate this year’s winners and invite all creators to participate in the next edition of the award, offering them the opportunity to make their contribution towards enriching the wider cultural scene.”

The winner of the award’s Literature category was Egyptian writer Reem Bassiouney for her novel Al Halwani...Thulathiyat al-Fatimiyeen (Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy), published by Nahdet Misr Publishing, Printing and Distribution in 2022. 

Dr Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia, won the SZBA in the Young Author category for his work Al Mashhad al-Moriski: Sardiyat al-Tard fi al-Fikr al-Espani (The Morisco Landscape Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought), issued by the Centre for Research and Knowledge Intercommunication in 2023.

The Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category saw Dr Mustafa Said, from Egypt, win for his study titled Safinat al-Mulk wa-Nafisat al-Fulk (Shehab al-Din) al-Muwashah wa-Musiqa al-Maqam al-Natiqa bil-Arabiya bayn al-Tantheer wal-Maras (The Ship of Possession and the Precious Ship (Shehab al-Din) - Muwashah and Arabic-speaking Maqam Music between Theory and Practice), published by ElAin Publishing in 2023.

The winner of the Contribution to the Development of Nations category is Dr Khalifa Alromaithi from the UAE, who won for his book Al-Asmaa’ al-Jughrafiya – Thakirat Ajyal (Geographical Names – Legacy of Generations), published by Austin Macauley Publishers in 2022.

In the Translation category, the winner was Dr Ahmed Somai, from Tunisia, for his translation from Italian into Arabic of Al-Ilm al-Jadeed (La Scienza Nuova – The New Science), authored by Giambattista Vico and published by Adab Publishing and Distribution in 2022.

Frank Griffel won in the Arab Culture in Other Languages category for his book The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam, published in English by Oxford University Press in 2021.

The Publishing and Technology category saw China-based Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries named winner.

Submissions for the 18th edition were the highest in the award’s history, with a total of 4,240 nominations received, marking a 35 per cent increase over last year’s 3,151 submissions. The number of participating countries grew to 74, including 19 Arab nations and 55 countries from around the world.

The winners will be honoured at a ceremony organised by the ALC during the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which is held annually at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC Abu Dhabi).