In 2013, supported by a grant from NYUAD & in collaboration with NYU Press, Prof. Philip Kennedy helped to create the Library of Arabic Literature - a series of modern English-language translations of Arabic texts. According to Prof. Kennedy: “The Library encourages scholars to produce authoritative Arabic editions, accompanied by modern, lucid English translations, with the ultimate goal of introducing Arabic’s rich literary heritage to a wider public.”
Emirati writer and Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee member, Sultan Al Umaimi released his new book entitled (The Arabian Gulf Coast Accents in Arabic Lexcicons) which sheds light on the UAE’s accent as an example. He released the book during Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2019 edition.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee member and author and translator Samer Abu Hawash, was selected as one of the best 39 Arab Writers under the age of 39, by Hay Festival, London in 2009.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee member and renowned Moroccan Poet Dr. Mohammed Bennis, received the Arab Creativity Award in 2018 presented by the Lebanese Cultural Forum in Paris in recognition of his valuable literary works.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee member, Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh, has translated from German into Arabic many critical studies, creative works and adolescent literature, including: Herta Müllers’ noble prize- winning novel “Even Back Then, the Fox Was the Hunter” and the acclaimed Ingo Schultz novel “Adam and Evelyn.”
In 2017, Prof. Suzanne Stetkevych, winner of SZBA Cultural Personality of the Year, was the recipient of the ‘Middle East Medievalists Lifetime Achievement Award’ for her remarkable contribution to the field of medieval Middle Eastern Studies.
Prof. Jaroslav Stetkevych, winner of SZBA Cultural Personality of the Year, is considered the Father of Chicago’s University School of Arabic Language & Literature, which enjoys a wide network of students and researchers from across the world and has had a significant impact on the orientalist climate in the US and Europe and has contributed immensely in shedding light on the Arab civilization and its rich cultural heritage.
Winner of SZBA Cultural Personality of the Year Prof. Jaroslav Stetkevych, is an eminent Arabist who has spent over 30 years in rooting the Arabic culture by researching, teaching, authoring and translating work on Arabic literature and poetry using contemporary analytical methods unique to the traditional orientalist methods popular in his era. In 1958, his dissertation at the University of Madrid was the first of its kind critical work on modern Arabic literature in Spain.
As announced by Peking University, “Prof. Zhong Jikun from Department of Arabic, School of Foreign Languages, received ‘Chinese Translation Culture Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2018, which is the highest honoring for Chinese translators for his great contribution to the spread of Arab culture in China.”
In 2018, Sheikh Zayed Book Award launched its Translation Fund Initiative aimed at encouraging translations from Arabic into other languages, including French, English, and German in order to increase the readership of Arabic literature internationally.
SZBA Young Author winner Ahmad Al Qarmalawy released a new novel entitled (The Last Call for Passengers) published by Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniyya which has won Cairo’s International Book Fair Award for ‘Best Novel’ in 2019. Al Qarmalawy is currently working on a collection of short stories consisting of 20 stories on varied experiences.
Prof. Philip Kennedy, a British academic and researcher specializing in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, is currently working on his new book called “Islamic Projections" which is a study of narrative knowledge focusing on the Medieval Period.
Chinese orientalist Prof. Xhong Jikun authored the ‘History of Arabic Literature’ encyclopedia, which comprises 1140 pages in two volumes. Prof. Jikun generously contributed for more than 50 years in rooting the Arabic language in the Far East, by teaching, translating and researching the Arab region culture and literature.
Among Amin Maalouf’s renowned works are four international opera librettos. The first libretto he wrote was for an opera by the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho entitled “L'Amour de Loin”- (Love From Afar) which was commissioned by the Salzburg Festival and Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
Spanish Arabist Prof. Pedro Montavez, is a prominent scholar, translator and author of over 20 books in the field of Arabic language & literature, history of Andalusia & translation. He translated the works of many legendary Arabic poets such as Mahmoud Darwish and Jibran Khalil Jibran.
Brill was awarded the “Sheikh Zayed Book Award” for publishing excellence in Middle East and Islamic Studies in 2012. The monetary prize received by Brill was used to establish a fellowship for students and scholars, and to invest in future innovative publishing projects to further Brill’s contribution to the research and study of literature, culture, history and social science in Middle East and Islamic Studies.
In 1968, Spanish arabist Prof. Pedro Martinez Montavez translated, for the first time into a European language, an almost complete version of Adonis’s Mihyar. In 1974, he published the first comprehensive history of modern Arabic literature, a publication which became a standard course book at Spanish universities.
Chinese orientalist Prof. Xhong Jikun translated Mu‘allaqat -a group of seven long Arabic poems and a selection of 400 poems for 130 ancient poets. He also translated an array of contemporary Arabic literature works for iconic poets from 18 different Arab countries, including Ahmed Shawqi, Badr Shaker Al Sayyab and Abdulwahab Al Bayati.
The Korean Paju Book City is home to 250 publishers with over 10,000 workers. It covers the entire process of publishing from planning to printing and distribution. Books in Paju Book City outnumber people by a ratio of 20-to-1.
The Korean Paju Book City, founded in 1989, has its own booksori, or festival every year, which sees approximately 450,000 visitors over nine days and around 200 author events.
UNESCO’s most famous role is protecting historical sites around the world. It has 1,073 world heritage sites located in 167 countries. UAE’s UNESCO sites include Al Ain’s six oases and the archaeological sites of Al Hili, Hafeet, and Bida bin Saud.
UNESCO’s designation ‘City of Literature’ recognizes excellence and encourages cities to nurture and support their arts & culture platform and collaborate to ensure literature local and international reach. Among the Arab cities that obtained this title is Bagdad, Iraq in December 2015.
Amin Maalouf is the first Lebanese to join the elite ranks of the French Academy, which is the leading authority on the French language since 1635. The French Academy includes 40 members who are elected and hold office for life – they are informally known as “immortals.” The academicians play an active role in representing and protecting the French language. The election came as a true recognition of Maalouf’s distinguished track record in literature.
Amin Maalouf’s second novel, Samarkand (1988) - with Leo the African, is often praised as his best - recreated the life of Omar Khayyam and his Rubaiyat in 11th-century Persia.
Mythologist and cultural historian Marina Warner is the first female President of the Royal Society of Literature which was founded by George IV in 1820, to celebrate and promote British literature.
Mythologist and cultural historian Marina Warner is writing a new novel entitled ‘Inventory of a Life Mislaid’ inspired by her childhood in Cairo, Egypt in the 1950s.
Mythologist and cultural historian Marina Warner is involved in a project entitled ‘Stories in Transit’, seeking to encourage creative activities in refugee communities, and promoting tolerance and understanding by exchanging stories about the different traditions, languages and experiences of displaced people.
Late Denys Johnson-Davies was the first English language translator to translate the work of Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, and works of many renowned Arab authors, including Tewfiq al-Hakim and Taha Hussein. Edward Said once called him “the leading Arabic-English translator of our times.”
Late Denys Johnson-Davies was born in Canada, and lived in Sudan, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon and the Gulf, and served as a businessman, lawyer, a broadcaster and a diplomat.
Late Denys Johnson-Davies had more than twenty-five volumes of translated Arabic novels, short stories, plays, and poetry to his name, and a career spanning over sixty years. He was also interested in Islamic studies and co-translated three volumes of Prophetic Hadith.
Late Tharwat Okasha, who is referred to as the founder of Egypt’s cultural institutions, was a former member of UNESCO’s Executive Board, and received the Organization’s golden and silver medals for his contribution to the safeguard of Abu Simbel and the Nubian Monuments.
Late Tharwat Okasha, former Egyptian culture minister was behind the establishment of The Cairo Opera Ballet Company in 1966. At the time of its founding, it was the only Arab classical ballet institution in the Middle East.