Sheikh Zayed Book Award Announces Longlisted Titles for ‘Young Author’, ‘Children’s Literature’

Abu Dhabi,

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre – part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi – has announced the longlisted titles for the ‘Young Author’ and ‘Children’s Literature’ categories for the Award’s 16th edition  for 2021/22.

Announcing the longlists marks the beginning of stage two for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), during which the jury will run a comprehensive evaluation of all the titles that made the cut.

Young Author saw the highest number of entries of any category of the Award this year, with a total of 881 applications received, recording a remarkable growth of 37% from last year’s tally of 646 total entries. Meanwhile, submissions for Children’s Literature registered a total of 236. Entries came from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, reaffirming the widespread appeal the Award has earned in Arab countries, and its popularity among creators in various literary fields in the Arab region and around the world.

The longlist for the Young Author category includes 14 titles from eight Arab countries: Tunisia, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Lebanon. Titles ranged from poetry to theses, critical studies, and literary works. The longlist consists of the following entries:

  1. Alfalsfa al Ighriqya: Min al Sfsta’iyeen ila al Soqratiyeen (Greek Philosophy: From Sophists to Socratics) by Dr. Mahdi al Hajj Mabrouk (Tunisia), issued by Al Dar al Tunisiya lil-Kitab in 2021
  2. Satahjork al Bilad (The Country Will Leave You) by poet Hussam Latif Al-Battat (Iraq), issued by Dar Sutur for publishing and distribution in 2021
  3. Is’al al Raml aan Theleh (Ask the Sand about Its Shadow) by poet Mohamed Ismail (Egypt), issued by Dar Al-Adham for publication and distribution in 2020
  4. Zeer al Mawaweel (Mawaweel Lover) by poet Yas Al-Saidi (Iraq), issued by Ta’weel Publications for publishing and translation in 2021
  5. Nesa’ fi Ghorfat Virginia Woolf – Al Khitab al Naqdi Hodoor Yuqawim al Gheyab (Women in Virginia Woolf's Room – Critical Discourse: A Presence that Persists) by Dr. Suad Al-Enezi (Kuwait), published by the Nineveh House for Studies, Publishing and Distribution in 2021
  6. Al Lahoot wal Thaqafa bayn al That al Arabiya wal Akhar al Anglo-Ameriki (Theology and Culture between the Arab Self and the Anglo-American Other) by Osama Al-Saghir (Morocco), published by Dar Al-Aman in 2021
  7. Al Badawa fi al She’er al Arabi al Qadeem (Bedouinism in Ancient Arabic Poetry) by Dr. Mohamed Al-Maztouri (Tunisia), issued by the Faculty of Literature, Arts and Humanities at Manouba University and the GLD Foundation (Al-Atrash Complex for Specialised Books) in 2021
  8. Al Hikaya al Shaabiya al Saudia al Maktooba bil Fus’ha: Dirasa fi al Muta’aliyat al Nasiya (Saudi Folk Tales Written in Fus’ha: A Study of Textual Transcendence) by Manal Salem Al-Qathami (Saudi Arabia), issued by the Arab Diffusion Foundation in 2021
  9. Al Qurtubi Yastayqith fi al Iskindiriya (Al-Qurtubi Wakes Up in Alexandria) by Omar Zakaria (Jordan), published by Difaf, Al-Tikhlaf and Majaz Publications in 2021
  10. Aala Balad al Mahboob Rehlat Zamzam al Akheera (To the Beloved Country: The Final Journey of Zamzam) by Ahmed Khair El-Din (Egypt), published by Dar Al-Shorouk in 2021
  11. Al Aard ma Qabl al Awal (The Pre-Premiere) by Nizar Karboot (Morocco), issued by the Arab Cultural Centre in 2020
  12. Al Janna Ajmal min Baeed (Paradise Is More Beautiful from Afar) by Katia Tawil (Lebanon), published by Hachette Antoine / Nofal in 2021
  13. Al Tasamoh fi al Turath al Shaabi al Masri (Tolerance in Egyptian Folk Heritage) by Nora Hassan Ahmed (Egypt), issued by the Egyptian General Book Authority in 2019
  14. Al Kaa’in al Balaghi al Lugha wal Aaql wal Istita’a fi Kitab ‘Al Bayan wal Tabyeen (Rhetorical Object: Language, Reason, and Ability in the Book ‘Al-Bayan wal-Tabyeen’) by Mustafa Rajwan (Morocco), published by Dar Kunouz Al Maarifa for publication and distribution in 2021

Meanwhile, the longlist for the Children’s Literature category consists of 10 titles from 6 Arab countries: Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Oman, the UAE, and Syria. The entries that made the cut were: 

  1. Malikat al Ard wa Bint al Sama’ (Queen of the Earth and Daughter of the Sky) by Saudi writer Arwa Khamis, published by Arwa Arabic Publishing House in 2020.
  2. Ismi kul Asma’ al Shajar (My Name Is the Names of All the Trees) by Emirati writer Nadia Al Kalbani, published by Qahwa Publishing House in 2021.
  3. Diya’ wa Taj an-Noor (Diyaa’ and the Crown of Light) by Tunisian writer Najwa Al-Darawi, published by Nabd Al-Qalam House for Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
  4. Smoothy al Mughamer (Smoothy the Adventurer) by Omani writer Badriya Al-Badri, issued by Maktabat Kunooz Al Maarifa in 2021.
  5. Ikhtalaft fa Tamyazt (I Was Different, So I was Special), by Saudi writer Alaa Saad Al-Najem, published by Academia International in 2020.
  6. Loghz al Kora al Zujajiya (The Mystery of the Glass Ball) by Syrian writer Maria Daadoush, published by Dar Al-Saqi in 2021.
  7. Khuyoot al Soof al Mulawana (Coloured Strings of Yarn) by Emirati writer Nadia Al-Najjar, issued by Dar Lulu for publishing and distribution in 2021.
  8. Shams Tadhak (A Laughing Sun) by Syrian writer Bayan Al-Safadi, published by Dar Al Banan in 2020.
  9. Maw’idi maa al Noor (My Date with the Light) by Moroccan writer Raja Mellah, published by Al Mu’allif for publishing, printing, and distribution in 2021.
  10. Allah ma Ahlah (How Beautiful) by Dr. Yassin Hazkar from Morocco, published by Al Hukama’ Publishing in 2021.

The Award will continue to announce longlisted entries across the remaining categories in the weeks ahead.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award honours the outstanding achievements of innovators and thinkers in literature, the arts, and humanities in Arabic and other languages. It aims to advance Arabic literature and culture, providing new opportunities for Arabic-language writers. Authors writing about Arab culture and civilisation in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian also are recognised by the Award.