With the help of Allah Almighty, The Board of Trustees of the “Sheikh Zayed Book Award” under the chairmanship of His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, met to review and discuss the report of the Award’s “Scientific Committee”, with respect to the recommendations of the works and organizations nominated to win the prizes of the Award’s different categories at its sixth session, in preparation for the Annual Award Ceremony, which will be held on the 29th of the current month of March, at the “Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center”.
And after thorough discussions and extensive review of the nominated works by the judging panels and the Scientific Committee, the following has been decided:
“Young Author” – Layla Al Obaidi from Tunisia for her book “Al Fakh in Islam” (Humor in Islam) published by Dar al Saqi). The Award’s Scientific Committee’s decision came in recognition of the scientific analytical approach the author has followed in researching the topic of humor in the Arab Islamic heritage, with an in-depth examination of scripts and events. The book has been also seen a promotion of the true values of Islam which is founded on peaceful coexistence that steers clear from hatred and prejudice. The six Chapters in the book reveal thorough analysis and methodological citation of scripts with attention to variation of sources used by the Author.
“Children’s Literature” – Abdo Wazen from Lebanon for his novel “The Boy Who Saw the Color of Air” (Published by Dar al Arabiyya Lil Oloum Nashiroon). The novel describes in a beautiful narrative language the life of people with special needs often neglected in youngsters literature. The topic promotes fundamental ethical values amongst young readers, and portrays “Strong Will” as a major human value for “Basem”, the novel’s main character to achieve his goals, especially that the author masterfully managed to construct it in a smooth read for the youngsters. Basem is a 13 year old boy, who is blind, he learns reading and opens up to the world with a strong will against the many obstacles he faces.
“Fine Arts” – Dr. Shaker Abdel-Hamid from Egypt for his book “Art and Eccentrics”, Published by The National Authority of Egypt). It has been regarded as a thorough critical study of the eccentrics in arts and literature, with a combination of theories that tackles topic and its interaction with real life and the constructions of imagination.
“Translation” – Abu Y’arub Al Marzouqi from Tunisia for his book “A Prelude to Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy” Published by Jadawel. Translated from of the work of Edmund Horsel in German. The Scientific Committee considered the book a valuable addition to the Arab readers for its philosophical significance, not to mention the substantial effort put by the author to produce a work that is sincere to such a complicated original transcript.
“Best Technology in the Field of Culture” prize, has been awarded to the Korean Paju Bookcity. The book city was founded in 1989 with a vision to make use of information technology in order to advance cultural development.
The vision of the Paju Bookcity came to life when the founders combined all the processes that are involved to produce a book ( planning, design, printing, logistics, and distribution) under one roof (in a confined area for easier access and commute). It is with that success and the international high standards of architecture coupled with the eco-friendly environment the Book City is operating under that the Scientific Committee decided their example is worthy of highlighting as a success story to other countries in the Arab Region.
“Publishing & Distribution” – the renowned “Brill” Publishing House, named winner for its rich history, strong international focus and promotion of Arab culture. Founded in 1683, over 500 books are published per year in both print and electronic format, the legacy publishing house caters for an extensive variety of topics focusing on the Humanities and Social Sciences, International Law and selected areas in the Sciences. The house has generous contribution in the publication and distribution of literary and cultural Arabic and Islamic manuscripts, by translating them into numerous European languages. And it is perhaps Brill’s unique collection of Arabic and Islamic original material and oriental manuscripts that has given it the advantage over the rest of nominees.
“Cultural Personality of the Year” Award has been granted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO, for the key role it plays in preserving the global cultural heritage liberated of prejudice or discrimination, and embracing the inter-cultural communication among peoples since 1945 and its efforts to sustain and promote human welfare, not to mention its contribution to world peace and sustainable development of education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. And in specific the UNESCO efforts in the Arabia Plan; intended to increase the knowledge of Arab culture in the world and to encourage greater mutual understanding between Arab culture and the other cultures, by promoting dialogue and exchanges.”
Meanwhile, Awards for “Best Contribution to the Development of the Country” and “Literature” were withheld. This year’s nominations in these categories did not meet the Award’s stringent norms and the Advisory Council opted to withhold them as a result.
The winner of Cultural Personality of the Year will receive a prize of one million Dirhams (around 272,242 US$, 215,007 Euros), a gold medal bearing the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, and a certificate of merit. Winners of the Award’s other Eight categories will receive around US$ 204,182 (Euros 161,255), a gold medal and a certificate of merit.
In conclusion, Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority and the Board of Trustees of Sheikh Zayed Book Award extend sincere thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan the president of the United Arab Emirates for his support and sponsorship of the international award, and his highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his support for the cultural initiatives. Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan also extends gratitude to the members of the “Scientific Committee” and the judges; for their diligent efforts, and all the entities which cooperated with the Award’s Executive Office, whether committees, universities, scientific institutions, and all the nominees and we congratulate all winners of the Award for this session.
Profiles of Winners of the Sixth Session (2011-2012)
Layla Al Obaidali, “Young Author” Award
Born in Tunisia 1975, she earned a professorship in the Arabic language and literature from Tunisia, and a certificate of depth in research from “College of Literature” in Manouba. She has several articles on women’s rights in Islam, mysticism, poverty, and globalization. She participated in a number of national and international forums and is currently working as a professor of ancient civilization (Higher Institute for the Humanities) in (Al-Manar University) in Tunis.
Abdo Wazen, “Children’s Literature” Award
Abdo Caesar Wazen from Lebanon, was born in 1957 in Dekwaneh – Beirut. He completed his secondary education at the “Institute of the Apostles” In Jonieh, and received his university degree from “University of St. Joseph”. He also had a course (University of Val de Marne) – Paris – Chritaa from 1980 to 1985. Wazen works in cultural journalism since 1979, and also as a literary critic. He received the “Cultural Journalism Award” from the “Dubai Press Club” in 2005, and has published research papers, several translations, and collections of poetry and novels, including: “life is off” 2009, and “Poets of the world” 2010, and “Accounts of the Lebanese War” 2010.
Shaker Abdul Hamid, “Fine Arts” Award
Shaker Abdul Hamid is currently Professor of “Psychology of Creativity” at the “Arts Academy” in Egypt, where he previously served as Vice President of the Academy from 2003 to 2005. He also served as Dean of the “Higher Institute of Art Criticism” at the “Arts Academy” in Egypt. He specializes in studies of artistic creativity. He taught at the University of Persian Gulf – Bahrain (Faculty of Graduate Studies, director of gifted students program). He has been awarded: “Shoman Prize for Young Arab Scientists in the Humanities,” which was granted by “Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation” of Jordan in 1990, he also received the “State Award for Excellence in Social Sciences” – Egypt 2003
Abu Yarub Al Marzuqi, “Translation” Award
Abu Yarub Al Marzuqi holds a degree in philosophy from (Sorbonne) 1972, and PhD in Arabic and Greek philosophy 1991. Al Marzuqi is one of the senior Arab intellectuals, and has been named Philosopher of Tunisia.
Brill, “Publishing and Distribution” Award
One of the leading publishing houses in the world, famous for being one of the publishers of humanitarian encyclopedias and reference works and atlases. It gave special attention to the books of Arab and Islamic heritage, and is known as a reference in this field. It is also one of the largest marketers of rare books on the Arab and Muslim world for more than three hundred years. Brill respects all rights of the book industry due to the complexity of translation work and copyright and the rights of property.
Paju Bookcity – South Korea, “Best Technology in the field of Culture” Award
(A complete File and history is available in the press kit memory flash).
UNESCO, “Cultural Personality of the Year” Award
Since its inception in 1945 until now, UNESCO has been able compile major achievements to its record in terms of heritage conservation and the definition of human arts and cultures, and contributing generously to the spread and dissemination of education. All of these tangible achievements touched in several countries around the world, benefiting all human race, go inline with the guiding principles of UNESCO’s work, which includes the protection of cultural diversity, preservation of cultural memory of man, and the right to education, knowledge and creativity. There is no doubt that these achievements are now gains of all peoples, without distinction of language, race or religion, as UNESCO worked to reinforce the rights of all humans to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to live a decent life.