Iyad Abdullah: “Winning Sheikh Zayed Book Award contributed to my selection amongst 18 international specialists”
“The Award is a grand honor which the contestants must work hard to earn it”
Parallel to the progress of its 7th session, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award recollects some of the bright moments throughout the past six years since its inception which shaped not only its growth and development but also the lives of its winners and the contemporary Arabic cultural scene as a whole, as the Award celebrated the splendid achievements of exceptional writers, intellectuals, publishers and Orientalist from all over the world, many of which are renowned academics and researchers.
Professor Iyad Abdullah belongs to this elite league; he won Sheikh Zayed Book Award in Fine Arts for his book “The Art of Design” which lays the base to a unique philosophical view of fine arts, through an aesthetic perspective to human needs on all levels. As he recollects on his achievement, Professor Abdullah says: “Winning this reputable prize reinforced my conceptual scientific approach to Fine Arts on both personal and professional levels, especially that I’m the Dean of the Faculty of Design in the University of Muscat. This great recognition of my work gave me additional confidence in my perspective towards academic strategies and curriculum planning for my faculty.”
Yet it did not end there; the win and subsequent publicity has placed him in the limelight on an international level, thus attracting the attention of the European Union (EU) which selected him one of 18 international Specialists to be part of The European Institute for Advanced Study (EURIAS) Fellowship Programme, which he will commence next September 2012.
Despite his responsibilities at the faculty, Dr. Abdullah still finds the time to pursue his passion of research, and he’s now working on a new book in the metamorphosis of design strategy towards digitization, which analyzes the transformation of the science of design and its interaction with communication, production, marketing and aesthetics.
Besides his writings, Iyad is a renowned artist and sculptor recognized by international institutes, combining theoretic approach to practice.
Over the past six years the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has recognized the creative literary and cultural achievements of more than 40 entities, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO which was named the “Cultural Personality of the Year” in the Award’s last session. UNESCO joined The Award’s hall of fame alongside Brill Publishing House, Paju Book city, HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi; Novelist Wacini Laredj; Professor Pedro Martinez Montavez; Novelist Ibrahim al-Kouni; Orientalist Chung Jikon, and many more.
The Award has recently announced its “call for nomination” inviting authors, translators and publishing houses to apply for its seventh cycle, stating the deadline id September 30th, 2012. Applicants must fill the application form either online www.zayedaward.ae. Once completed and signed, the application forms should be submitted to the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Offices along with the Candidate’s CV, Passport copy, Personal photo, and Five copies of the nominated book.
All nominated works must have been published within the last two years. The accepted languages for this year are Arabic, English, German and Chinese.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award recognizes cultural achievements across one of the broadest and most diverse areas of any literary award internationally. In addition to the Cultural Personality of the Year Prize, the award includes eight more categories including: Contribution to the Development of Nations; Children’s Literature; Young Authors; translation; Literature; Literary and Arts Criticism; Publishing and Technology and most recent “Arab Culture in non-Arab Languages.
The award recognizes cultural achievement across one of the broadest and most diverse areas of any cultural awards internationally, including:
- Contribution to the Development of NationsConsists of books in the fields of social sciences and humanities including economics, sociology, management, politics, law and theology that contribute to a nation’s advancement, whether theoretic review or documenting practice.
- Children’s Literature [including adolescents books]Covers literary, scientific and cultural books addressing various children’s groups and adolescents, whether it is fictional stories or simplified factual historical and scientific narratives, put in an artistic layout.
- Young AuthorRecognizes works in science, literature, culture, fine arts and humanities, in addition to scientific theses that are published, produced by authors younger than 40 years
- TranslationRecognizes translated works, either to or from Arabic, provided it maintains loyalty to original source, linguistic accuracy, and maintaining the context.
- LiteratureRepresents works across various categories of literature including poetry, short stories, novels, biographies, theatrical plays and travel books.
- Literary and Art CriticismCovers works of criticism in the fields of art, cinema, music, theatrical plays, studies of image, architecture, sculpture, historical ruins, folkloric arts, and history of literature and theories.
- Arabic Culture in non-Arab languageRecognizes written works produced in languages other than the Arabic, tackling the Arab civilization and culture, including humanities, fine arts, literature (novels, shorts stories, poems) and history.
- Publishing and TechnologyIncludes publishers, distributors, research institutions and cultural institutions, which promote culture through various forms of digital, visual, audio processes.
- Cultural Personality of the Year (Open to individuals and organizations)Honors a prominent Arab or international figure (or organization) who has contributed to the advancement of the Arabic culture, embodies through his/her work tolerance and promotes peaceful coexistence.
Nomination and Entry Rules
Candidates are allowed to be nominated for one category per award cycle. Nominations are accepted from the following entities:
- the applicant himself / herself
- Cultural institutions, literary unions, and universities
- Three prominent literary and cultural figures, to nominate one candidate jointly
However, the “Cultural personality of the year” Category nominations should be filled out and sent by any of the following groups:
- Three prominent figures in the cultural world
- Academic institutions
- Literary or research entities
- The nominated work should have contributed to the development of Arabic culture.
- The nominated work shouldn’t be previously awarded by an international/ prominent Prize.
- The work must be published in a book format. Works, nominated for the Award of the publishing and distribution, can be in digital format.
- The work should have been published in the last two years.
- The nominations must be written in Arabic, except for books nominated in two categories; the Translation Award and the Arabic Culture in non-Arab language Award.
- The work should project high standards of authenticity and creativity
- Nomination is not accepted for more than one award each year.
- Re-nomination for the same work is accepted if time condition is still valid. However, a new application form should be filled out and new copies of the work submitted.
- The work must abide by the terms listed in the application form.
- The award of any category may be detained or withdrawn at the discretion of the Scientific Committee .
- The committee is allowed to take any decision it sees fit .
- Nominees are not entitled to object to the decisions of the Advisory Committee of the award.
- Choose the category of the award you want to apply to, as per the subject of the nominated book
- Get the application form from the website of the Award (zayedaward.ae) or from the Award’s Executive Office
- Fill the application form [online or print], sign it and send it to Award’s Executive Office [in Abu Dhabi] including the following documents:
- Five copies of the nominated book
- Candidate’s Resume.
- A valid Passport copy.
- Personal photo
- For the translation category, candidates must send five copies of their book and five copies of the translated work
Selection and Judging Process
The award is supervised by a Board of Trustees and an Scientific Committee that manage a rigorous award selection process
Every year, the Scientific Committee appoints a group of distinguished regional and international literary figures [judges] who serve on nine separate selection committees, one for each award category.
There are 3 – 5 selection committee members [judges] per category, each of whom remain anonymous to maintain the independence and integrity of the selection process
Each committee reviews all nominated works and submits its selections to the Scientific Committee.