The Sheikh Zayed Book Award for “Literature” went this year to Hafnaoui Baali from Algeria for his book “Comparative Cultural Criticism- an Introduction” (published by Arab Scientific Publishers, Inc 2007)
The Award’s Advisory Council’s recognition came as a result of the underpinning value of Baali’s work; the book provides international and interdisciplinary explorations of intellectual controversies, trends, and issues in culture, theory, and philosophy. Emphasizing critique rather than criticism, the book draws on the diverse and conflictual approaches of Marxism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, Semiotics, Ecology and Anthropology to offer analysis in society and its transformation. Additional special issues covered in the book are; Globalization/Globality, clash of civilizations; comparative symbolism and post colonialism. Additionally, the book provides an in-depth analysis of Edward Said’s highly influential writings in imperialism and culture. Al Oraimi noted that “this book is considered a monumental intervention in cultural history and philosophy.”
The Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, Mr. Rashed Al Oraimi, also announced Qais Sedki from the United Arab Emirates the winner of the “Children’s literature” category for his book “Gold Ring /Volume 1” (Pageflip Publishing, 2009). Al Oraimi explained that the winning book provides an excellent introduction for children to Falconery as a well-known sport in the Gulf region since early generations written in calssical Arabic. “The book smartly employs this interesting topic to stress the deeply-rooted Arab Culture and heritage; The Arab virtues of family values, hospitality, respect for others and pride in traditions” Al Oraimi elaborated. It is noteworthy that the winner worked with two of Japan’s foremost Manga artists, duo Akira Himekawa (who worked on both Nintendo’s Legend Of Zelda and Astro Boy), to produce the book.
The results of the remaining Award categories will be announced next week, to be followed by an award presentation ceremony to celebrate the excellence in Arabic letters on Wednesday 3rd of March 2010 at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, parallel to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.