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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Recipients of Zayed Book Award announced

First introduced in 2007, the award aims to promote scholarship and creativity in Arab culture

Khalil Sweileh
Khalil Sweileh

The winners of the 2017 to 2018 Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which aims to promote scholarship and creativity in Arab culture, have been announced.

Dr Ali Bin Tamim, the Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards, said that “the nominations went through a rigorous assessment... followed by a series of evaluations lasting three months by qualified judging panels.”

The award, which was founded in 2007, carries cash prizes totalling Dh7 million - with Dh750,000 per winner in eight categories. The titles were chosen from 337 nominations across the Mena region. In total, the award’s reading panel has assessed 1,250 nominated works across nine categories, including Young Author, Translation, Children’s Literature and Arabic Culture in Other Languages.

Here is a complete list of the winning entries, excluding the “Contribution to the Development of Nations" award, which will be announced on April 30 at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Literature: This went to Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh for Ikhtibar al-nadam (Remorse Test) published by Nofal-Hachette Antoine, Beirut (2017). The book examines the psychological effects of the Syrian Civil War, examined through the lens of a trip taken around a ruined Damascus.

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Children’s Literature

Hessa Al Muhairi Courtesy Sheikh Zayed Book Awards
Hessa Al Muhairi Courtesy Sheikh Zayed Book Awards

Emirati Hessa Al Muhairi for her story Al Dinoraf, published by Al Hudhud, UAE (2017). In it, a dinosaur sets out to find his counterpart in the animal kingdom. During his search, he meets many animals and learns all about them, before finally coming across one that resembles him: the giraffe. The underlying message is one of tolerance within society and across cultures.

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Young author

Ahmad Al Qarmalawi drew on his love of music and the oud for inspiration to write his third novel. Courtesy Sheikh Zayed Book Awards
Ahmad Al Qarmalawi drew on his love of music and the oud for inspiration to write his third novel. Courtesy Sheikh Zayed Book Awards

Egyptian Ahmad Al Qarmalawi for Amtar Sayfiyyah (Summer Rains), published by Maktabat al-Dar al-Arabiyah lil-Kitab, Cairo (2017). The novel tackles the relationship between music and the soul.

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Translation

Néji Elounelli
Néji Elounelli

Tunisian Néji Elounelli for his Arabic translation of Natharayya ‘astiteeqyya’ (Ästhetische Theorie) – the work of German author Theodor W Adorno, published by Al Jamal Publications, Beirut 2017. Adorno’s work investigates the theoretical paradigm of aesthetics that shifts the perspective from the traditional theory of knowledge to critical philosophy in society.

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'Literary and Art Criticism' Award

Mohammad Mishbal Courtesy Sheikh Zayed Book Awards
Mohammad Mishbal Courtesy Sheikh Zayed Book Awards

Moroccan Mohammad Mishbal for Fi Balaghat Al Hajjaj: nahwa balagha hajjajiyyah litahleel al khitab (The Rhetoric of Al Hajjaj: Towards a rhetoric inspired by Al Hajjaj in analyzing discourse), published by Kunouz Al Ma’refa Publishers, Amman (2017). Academic scholar Mohammad Mishbal’s book elaborates on Al Hajjaj connections to the rhetoric and discourse, analysing the foundational strategies in ancient rhetoric up to present-day, in a well versed language, clear analysis and based on extensive bibliography.

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Arab Culture in Other Languages:

Dag Nikolaus Hasse Courtesy Sheikh Zayed Book Awards
Dag Nikolaus Hasse Courtesy Sheikh Zayed Book Awards

Germany’s Dag Nikolaus Hasse for Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance. The book focuses on the role of Arabic sciences and philosophy in the Renaissance in Europe.

Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, congratulated the winners, saying: “This is a fitting appreciation to the memory of the late Sheikh Zayed; crowning this outstanding group of writers, intellectuals, publishers and young talent as winners of an award in his name, and echoing his vision of fostering the sciences to enrich Arab cultural, literary and social life.”

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Read more:

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