Abu Dhabi, April 15, 2015 – The Sheikh Zayed Book [Committee/Board of Trustees] Award announced that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, is named the Cultural Personality of the Award’s ninth session 2014/2015. The Award honors prominent figures for their distinguished contributions to the advancement of Arab culture, and for works that call for tolerance and promote peaceful coexistence.
The announcement was made today in a press conference at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Jumaa Al Qubaisi member of the board of Trustees, Executive Director of the National Library.
Following the declaration of His Highness as winner of the Award, HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, President of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Tourism and the Award’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Award’s Secretary General, and the members of the Board extended their warmest congratulations and sincerest regards to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for winning this year’s award, which honors prominent figures for his distinguished contributions to Arab culture.
Bin Tamim explained that the decision came as a tribute to His Highness being one of the most prominent agents of change in all walks of cultural development, with achievements ever expanding far and wide all over the world, fostering Arab culture, whether in creative work, intellectual endeavor, or promotion of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. His Highness’s work, Bin Tamim added, brings hope and optimism to creative individuals in all fields, exemplifying the very essence of the vision of His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in whose name the Award is given.
Bin Tamim explained that the Award’s Board of Trustees and Scientific Committee found it impossible to name all His Highness’s personal traits and countless achievements. Consequently, he selected no more than a few of the numerous achievements of His Highness:
Putting together strategic plans to maintain the country’s sustainable development, consolidating justice and social welfare, and overseeing the process of change which is visible to all.
Establishing the “Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum Foundation,” which pioneered in several areas such as Culture, Entrepreneurship and Employment, and Knowledge and Education. Under His Highness’s leadership, the Foundation aims to bridge the knowledge gap between the Arab region and the developed world, improving the standard of education and research in the region, developing leadership programs for youth, and stimulating job creation.
Launching numerous initiatives that reflected the ideal role model for youth, communicating with and inspiring their generation.
Protecting the rights of Arab women in general and the Emirati women in specific, highlighting women’s crucial role in culture and society.
Giving equal attention to all segments of society, with prime focus on children and young people.
Sponsoring a number of projects that define the cultural identity of the Emirati society, promoting the language, literature and culture of the Arab nation.
Launching the Government Summit, which represents a platform to showcase the most important tools, means and special strategies to enhance innovation in the government departments. It also comes in line with His Highness’s directives to name 2015 as the year of Innovation.
Launching initiatives that reinforce the national identity of the United Arab Emirates by encouraging young persons to learn about their history and read more about their culture.
Sponsoring creative individuals and innovators, and promoting leaders through training and skills development programs.
Establishing the International Humanitarian City for Humane Services as the world’s largest hub for humanitarian aid which underpins the UAE’s continuous efforts to help the victims of crises and families whose lives are scarred by hunger and poverty.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was launched in 2007, intended to promote scholarship and creativity in the Arab World. It carries cash prizes totaling AED 7 million – with AED 750,000 per winner (Approx. USD 200,000) in all eight categories (including the one on Arab Culture Other Languages). The winners will receive their awards in addition to a certificate of merit and a Gold Medal on May 11th, 2015 during a grand ceremony in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The Award was launched in memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of UAE for more than 30 years, and to honor his pioneering role in promoting national unity and the country’s development. It is presented every year to outstanding Arab writers, intellectuals, publishers as well as young talents whose writings and translations in the humanities have enriched Arab cultural, literary and social life.
The Sheikh Zayed Book award is an independent cultural award administered by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, with a total monetary value of seven million dirhams.
Honor intellectuals, researchers, and writers, who have made significant contributions in literature, social sciences and the culture and knowledge of the modern age.
Honor prominent figures who have produced outstanding achievements at the regional and international level, and promote them worldwide.
Appreciate the immense cultural role of translators who enrich culture, promote dialogue between civilizations, and bring nations together.
Encourage the creativity of youth, and motivate them to engage in research, and create a spirit of positive competition in this vital sector.
Honor institutions, commissions, research centers, and Arab and international publishing houses that cater for creativity, and promote dialogue and tolerance.
Encourage children’s and young persons’ literature, which seeks to develop this important segment of society, enhance their aesthetic sensibility, and construct their cultural identity based on creative interaction between past and present.
The award recognizes achievement across a broad range of cultural activity, including
Contribution to the Development of Nations
Books in the fields of economics, sociology and law which contribute to national advancement, whether the study is theoretical in nature or documents practice.
Children’s Literature [including books for young people]
Covers literary, scientific and cultural books addressing children and young people; the books may be fictional or simplified factual historical and scientific narratives, put in an artistic format.
Recognizes works in science, literature, culture, fine arts and humanities, in addition to academic theses, produced by authors younger than 40 years.
Recognizes translated works into or from Arabic, provided the translation is faithful and accurate.
Accepts works representing the various categories of literature, including poetry, short stories, novels, biographies, drama and other genres.
Literary and Art Criticism
Covers works of criticism in the fields of art, cinema, music, drama, studies of image, architecture, sculpture, archaeological remains, folklore, and history and theories of literature.
Arab Culture in Other Languages
Recognizes works produced in languages other than Arabic, tackling Arab civilization and culture, including humanities, fine arts, literature (novels, shorts stories, poems) and history.
Publishing and Technology
Includes publishers, distributors, research institutions and cultural institutions, which promote culture through various forms of digital, visual, and audio-processing.
Cultural Personality of the Year (Open to individuals and organizations)
Honors a prominent Arab or international figure (or organization) contributing to the advancement of Arab culture, and promoting tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
Selection and Judging Process
The award is supervised by a Board of Trustees and a 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. The members remain anonymous to maintain the independence and integrity of the selection process.
Each committee reviews all works nominated in the relevant category and submits its selections to the Scientific Committee.
The Scientific Committee reviews and approves the panel’s suggestions, which are then officially endorsed by the Board of Trustees, presided over by Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, president of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.
The winners are announced ahead of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, culminating in a special ceremony every year.
Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture
P.O.Box 2380 Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tel: +971 2 6576286
For inquiries about nominations:
Tel: +971 2 6576075
Fax: +971 2 6433819