Abu Dhabi, November 25, 2018: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award has announced the restructuring of its Scientific Committee. The new structure will see some new members added, including scholar and critic Sultan Al Umaimi from the UAE, Spanish Arabist Paula Santillán and American scholar Allison McQuady Al-Masri. The renewal of committee memberships come as a part of Award’s continuous efforts to add value to the committee’s Arab and international scientific expertise.
On this occasion, Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary General of the Award, commented: “Renewal of committee memberships are essential to the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s DNA, and it stems from our deep belief in keeping up with international best practices. This element is a key factor in the sustainability of the Award and in supporting creative writers. I would like to seize this opportunity to express my utmost gratitude to all members, past and present, within the Scientific Committee for their tremendous efforts during the past decade. I would also like to congratulate our new members and I wish them every success.”
Upon receiving the news of his selection, Sultan Al Umaimi stressed that it was a great honour to become a member of the Scientific Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. Al Umaimi is currently the Director of the Poetry Academy at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. He is also a scholar of local culture and linguistic studies, a member of the judging panel on the Million’s Poet contest, and has completed 18 papers and studies on literary subjects. He has also published four collections of short stories and two novels. His latest novel One Room is not Enough was translated into both French and Portuguese.
Paula Santillán said: “The moment I received an invitation to serve on committee, I felt as if I was the winner of the Award itself, given my deep appreciation of the UAE.”
Santillán holds a PhD in Arabic linguistics from the University of Granada, Spain. She lectures in several Arab and international universities including Pompeu Fabra University and the University of Barcelona in Spain, Middlebury College and the University of Michigan in the United States, and Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. Santillán is a literary critic for several international literary publications. She is also a trilingual translator (Arabic, English and Spanish) at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Allison McQuady Al-Masri said: “I am honoured to be selected as a member of this committee, and I will spare no effort to achieve the noble goals of this Award, in promoting the scientific, intellectual and artistic development of mankind.”
McQuady Al-Masri holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and Middle East studies from New York University, and a Master’s degree in Middle East Studies from Harvard University. She has translated and published several modern pieces of Arabic poetry into English, which were published in Banipal magazine in the United Kingdom. She has also published several doctoral summaries in English about Arabic literature.
The Scientific Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award consists of a number of scholars, along with Arabic and foreign writers. The Committee is chaired by Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary General, along with members including Prof. Khalil Al Sheikh (Jordan), Juergen Boos (Germany), writer and translator Samer Abu Hawwash (Palestine), Prof. Kadhim Jihad Hassan (Iraq), and Prof. Mohammed Bennis (Morocco).