The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has revealed the longlists for its 18th edition (2023-2024) in the Literature, Young Author, Children’s Literature, and Editing of Arabic Manuscripts categories. The lists were announced as the judging committees began the evaluation of all longlisted entries.
This edition saw the Young Author category rank among the highest in terms of submissions received, with 1,078 entries accounting for 25% of the total, while the Literature category ranked second with 1,032 entries received, accounting for 24%. These are followed by the Children’s Literature category with a total of 437 submissions, accounting for 10% of the entries. In 2022, the SZBA introduced a new category, Editing of Arabic Manuscripts, which is dedicated to efforts in editing Arabic manuscripts in any field of knowledge in the Arabic tradition. The category also includes the production of specialised and general lexicons.
Literature Category Longlist
The Literature longlist consists of 13 titles from nine countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Oman, and Bahrain.
1. ‘Utla fi Hay al-Noor’ (Holiday in Al Noor District) by Elhabib ElSelmi from Tunisia, published by Dar Al Adab Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
2. ‘Nasheej al-Duduk’ (The Duduk's Whimper) by Jalal Barjas from Jordan, published by the Arab Institute for Research and Publishing in 2023.
3. ‘Fursat al-Gharam al-Akheer’ (A Chance for One Last Love) by Hassan Dawood from Lebanon, published by Hachette Antoine/Nofal in 2022.
4. ‘Laylat Hadiqat al-Shitaa’ (Winter Garden Night) by Hassouna ElMosbahi from Tunisia, published by Editions Arabesques in 2023.
5. ‘Al Halwani.. Thulathiyat al-Fatimiyeen’ (Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy) by Reem Bassiouney from Egypt, published by Nahdet Misr Publishing, Printing and Distribution in 2022.
6. ‘Mualaqat Gharnata’ (Ode of Granada) by Ziyad Abdulaziz Al Shaikh from Saudi Arabia, issued by Dar Athar for Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
7. ‘Hadatha fi Sabya’ (It Happened in Sabya) by Suaad Aloraimi from the UAE, published by Dar Al Saqi in 2022.
8. ‘Al Majee’’ (The Arrival) by Saad Al-Yasiry from Iraq/Sweden, published by Takween Publishing in 2021.
9. ‘Al-Tahi Yaqtul al-Katib Yantahir’ (The Chef Kills, the Writer Commits Suicide) by Ezzat Elkamhawy from Egypt, published by Dar Al-Masriah Al-Lubnaniah in 2023.
10. ‘Ka’inat al-Teeh’ (Labyrinth Creatures) by Magbaul Al Alawi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Al Saqi in 2022.
11. ‘Al-Ghurfa wa-Dawahiha’ (The Room and its Suburbs) by Maysaloon Hadi from Iraq, published by Dar Al Thakera Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
12. ‘La Yuthkaroon fi Majaz’ (Not Mentioned as a Metaphor) by Houda Hamed from Oman, published by Dar Al Adab Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
13. ‘Quddas al-Tamr’ (Dates Liturgy) by Yathreb Alaali from Bahrain, published by Dar Athar Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
Young Author Longlist
The Young Author longlist features 15 titles, including literary texts and studies, from 10 Arab countries: UAE, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.
1. ‘Aaynaki ya Noura’ (Noura, your Eyes) by Asma Salem Alketbi from the UAE, published by Taatheer Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
2. ‘Al Mashhad al-Moriski: Sardiyat al-Tard fi al-Fikr al-Espani’ (The Morisco Landscape: Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought), by Dr. Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia, issued by the Centre for Research and Knowledge Intercommunication in 2023.
3. ‘Mimma Hakah al-Maa’ lil-Aatash’ (Tales of Thirst as Told by Water) by Hassan Abdu Sumayli from of Saudi Arabia, issued by Adab for Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
4. ‘Nakhlaa al-Thil aala Aatabat al-Bab’ (We Leave our Shadows at the Doorstep) by Hassan Ali Alnajjar from the UAE, published by Takween Publishing in 2023.
5. ‘Al-Usooli wal-Lisani: Bahth fi al-Bunyat al-Nahawiya wa-Taaddud al-Dalalat’ (The Fundamentalist and the Linguist: A Study of Syntactic Structures and Polysemy), by Dr. El Wali El Imrani from Morocco, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023.
6. ‘Genealogia al-Ikhtilaf ’ (Genealogy of Difference) by Sami Kareem Moshi from Iraq, published by Mominoun Without Borders Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
7. ‘Mashrou’ al-Nawm’ (The Sleeping Project) by Chiheb Abdullah from Tunisia, published by Hachette Antoine/Nofal in 2023.
8. ‘Simya’iyat al-Qira’a: Dirasa fi Shurooh Diwan al-Mutanabbi fi al-Qarn al-Sabe’ Hijri’ (The Semiotics of Reading: a Study of the Seventh Hijri Century Interpretation of the Al-Mutanabbi's Diwan), by Dr. Alawi Ahmed Al Malgami from Yemen, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023.
9. ‘Jame’ al-Kutub Gharib al-Atwar’ (The Eccentric Book Collector) by Omar Zakaria from Jordan, published by ElHarf Publications in 2023.
10. ‘Al Mamar al-Lama’loof allathi Yukhfih Rajul al-Astuh’ (The Uncharted Path Concealed by the Rooftop Man) by Firas Almaasarani from Syria, issued by Mamdouh Adwan Publishing and Distribution House in 2022.
11. ‘Microphone Katem al-Sawt’ (A Soundless Microphone) by Mohammad Tarazi from Lebanon, issued by Arab Scientific Publishers Inc. in 2023.
12. ‘Markab Waraqi Yahrus al-Nahr’ (A Paper Boat Guarding the River) by Mohammad Arab Saleh from Egypt, published by Madarek Publishing House in 2023.
13. ‘She’riyat al-Itithar fi al-Shi’r al-Arabi al-Qadeem hatta Nihayat al-Aasr al-Umawi’ (The Poetic Art of Apology in Ancient Arabic Poetry until Umayyad Era), by Dr. Mohammed Ali Saleh Qaid Alqablani from Yemen, issued by Maraya Books in 2022.
14. ‘Na’eesh li-Nahki: Balaghat al-Takhyeel fi Kalila wa Dimna’ (Living to Narrate: The Eloquent Imagination in Kalīla wa-Dimna) by Mustapha Rajouane from Morocco, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023.
15. ‘Ghiwayat al-Fana’’ (The Temptation of Mortality) by Hala Saleh Elsayyad from Egypt, issued by Sefsafa Publishing House in 2023.
Children’s Literature Longlist
The Children’s Literature longlist comprises 16 titles by authors from nine Arab countries: Syria, Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, UAE, and Tunisia.
1. ‘Aa’ilati hiya al Dunya’ (My Family is my World) by Rama Kanawati from Syria, published by Kalimat Group in 2023.
2. ‘Aalam Khass’ (A Private World) by Marianna Barsoum from Egypt, published by Kitaby for Printing, Publishing, and Distribution in 2023.
3. ‘Qissat al-Ja’iza’ (The Award’s Story) by Ahmad Almotawaa from Kuwait, published by Hzaya Library in 2023.
4. ‘Al-Fata allathi Yushbih Al-Sindibad’ (The Boy Who Looks Like Sinbad) by Ahmed Korani from Egypt, published by Bayt ElHekma for Creative Industries in 2023.
5. ‘Satea’’ (Bright) by Estabraq Ahmed from Kuwait, published by Takween Publishing in 2023.
6. ‘Al Daw’’ (The Light) by Israa Kalash from Palestine, published by Al Ahlia Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
7. ‘Suwar wa-Hikayat min Thakirat Jaddi’ (Pictures and Tales from my Grandfather’s Memory) by Fatima Sharafeddine from Lebanon, published by Dar Al Saqi in 2023.
8. ‘Abi Al Sajeen 118’ (My Father Prisoner 118) by Taghreed Aref Alnajjar from Jordan, issued by Al Salwa Books in 2022.
9. ‘Shaden wa Sihr Al Farasha’ (Shadin and the Butterfly Magic) by Dr. Dalal Saleh Albaroud from Kuwait, published by Kalemat Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
10. ‘Al Bint allati Hamalat Baytaha’ (The Girl Who Carried her Home) by Rawaa Sunbol from Syria, published by Damaa Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
11. ‘Fata al-Burj al-Ajeeb wal-Kawakib al-Sabaa’ (The Wonderful Boy of the Tower and the Seven Planets) by Shakir Noori from Iraq, published by Dar Al Moualef Publishing, Printing, and Distribution in 2022.
12. ‘Fata al-Shajara’ (The Tree Boy) by Dheyaa Gubili from Iraq, published by Al Hajan Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
13. ‘Al Kalimat that al-Khuyoot al-Sawda’ (The Black Threaded Words) by Fatima Alameri from the UAE, published by Al Saif Publishing in 2021.
14. ‘Shajarat al-Ahlam’ (The Tree of Dreams), by Mounira El Daraoui from Tunisia, published by El Amina Edition in 2023.
15. ‘Tefl al Musiqa’ (Child of Music) by Naser Chbana from Jordan, issued by the Ministry of Culture - Jordan in 2021.
16. ‘Ana Astatee’’ (I Can) by Najem Aldeen Haj Bakri from Syria, published by Kotobna Books in 2023.
Editing of Arabic Manuscripts Longlist
The Editing of Arabic Manuscripts longlist features nine titles by authors from five Arab and foreign countries: the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.
1. ‘Diwan Antara bin Shaddad: Dirasa Adabiya Tarikhiya’ (Diwan ’Antarah ibn Shaddad: A Literary-Historical Study), by James Montgomery from the United Kingdom, published by the Library of Arabic Literature at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in 2018.
2. ‘Sharh Diwan Thi-Al Rimma li Abi al-Hasan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi’ (Interpretation of the Diwan of Thi Al Rimma by Abi Al Hassan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi) by Awad bin Mohammed Salem Al Daheel Al Awlaqi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Al Nawader - Al Madina Al Munawwarah Literary Publishing Club in 2019.
3. ‘Kitab Riyadat al-Uqool al-Maaroof bi Kitab Ta’kheer al-Maarifa’ (The Book of Mental Exercise Known as the Book of Delaying Knowledge) by Dr. Ahmed Abdelbaset from Egypt, published by Dar Malamih Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
4. ‘Al-Amali min al-Fawa’id wal-Akhbar’ (Dictations of Benefits and News) by Mohammad Kheir Mahmoud Alboukahi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar AlGharb Al Islami in 2021.
5. ‘Sharh Shuthoor al-Thahab fi Maarifat Kalam al-Arab’ (Explanation of Gold Particles: Understanding the Talk of Arabs) by Dr. Abi Fahr Wael bin Ahmed bin Mohamed Seif from Egypt, issued by Dar Ebn Abas Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
6. ‘Al-Fawa’id al-Sunniya fi al-Rihla al-Madaniya wal-Rumiya, Tathkirat al-Nahrawali’ (Sunni Benefits in the Madani and Roman Journey ‘Nahrawali Diary’) by Al-Mahdi Eid Al-Rawadieh from Jordan, published by The Orient-Institut Beirut in 2022.
7. ‘Muthanna Al-Manshi: Li-Muhyiddin Muhammed bin Badr Al-Din, al-Shaheer bil-Manshi’ (Muthanna Al-Manshi by Muhyiddin Muhammad bin Badr al-Din, known as Al-Manshi), by Dr. Lafai bin Lafi Alsulami from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Malamih Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
8. ‘Dirasa wa-Tahqeeq, ‘Kitab al-Mara’i lil-Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mu'ti Al-Sharqawi’ A Study and Editing of “Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mu’ti Al-Sharqawi’s Book of Dreams”), by Mohamed Ahmad Ankar from Morocco, published by Bab Al Hikma Publishing in 2020.
9. ‘Safinat al-Mulk wa-Nafisat al-Fulk (Shehab al-Din) al-Muwashah wa-Musiqa al-Maqam al-Natiqa bil-Arabiya bayn al-Tantheer wal-Maras’ (The Ship of Possession and the Precious Ship (Shehab al-Din) - Muwashah and Arabic-speaking Maqam Music between Theory and Practice) by Dr. Mustafa Said from Egypt, published by ElAin Publishing in 2023.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award will announce the longlists for the remaining categories in the coming weeks.
The Award is given to creative minds and thinkers in the fields of literature, arts, and humanities in Arabic, as well as other languages, in recognition of distinguished achievements. The SZBA also supports the translation movement by honouring authors who produce literary works about Arab culture and civilisation in various languages.