The Scientific Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, has held its meeting to review and discuss the recommendations of judging panels in preparation for the shortlisting stage of the 16th edition of the Award.
The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary-General of the SZBA and Chairman of the ALC, with the members of the Scientific Committee in attendance: Prof. Dr. Khalil Al-Sheikh from Jordan, Juergen Boos from Germany, poet and researcher Sultan Al-Amimi from the UAE, Jordanian-German translator Mustafa Al-Sulaiman, Prof. Floréal Sanagustin from France, Professor Dr. Muhammad Abul-Fadl Badran from Egypt, Jordanian-American academic Dr. Khaled Al-Masri, and Prof. Dr. Mohammad Al-Safrani from Saudi Arabia.
HE bin Tamim said: “The Sheikh Zayed Book Award has made significant achievements that align with Abu Dhabi’s wider strategic objectives in terms of promoting culture and creativity, and empowering talented individuals in various literary and intellectual fields. The Award has succeeded in establishing its reputation as a platform for innovators and pioneers in various fields of literature and arts from all around the world. Over the years it has proven that culture has no borders, but is rooted in all societies, and acts as a common language that brings people together wherever they may be. Culture remains a legacy that current and future generations can be proud of and draw inspiration from to shape a better future.”
The 16th edition of the Award is the largest to date in terms of submissions and the number of participating countries. A strong turnout was registered among young authors from different countries around the world, and all nine categories reported the largest volume of submissions since the Award’s initial launch. More than 3,000 submissions were sent in from 55 countries, including 20 Arab nations and 35 foreign countries, marking an increase of about 28% from last year, when a total of 2,349 nominations were registered.
The SZBA shortlists will be announced later this month for all eight categories, namely Literature, Young Author, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Literary and Art Criticism, Children’s Literature, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Translation, and Publishing and Technology. This will set the stage for the final phase of evaluation, during which the Board of Trustees of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award will meet to endorse the winners of the 16th edition.
The 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.