Sheikh Zayed Book Award Twelfth Session Winners Announced

Abu Dhabi,

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim: “The Award has won a reputation as a foundation of high caliber and authenticity” Abu Dhabi, April, 2018 –

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced today the winners of its 12th Edition (2017-2018). The ‘Literature’ Award went to Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh for his Novel ‘Ikhtibar al-nadam’ (Remorse Test) published by Nofal- Hachette Antoine, Beirut (2017), while Emirati author Hessa Al Muhairi was named winner of ‘Children’s Literature’ Award for her story ‘’al-dinoraf’ (the Dinoraf) published by Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution, UAE (2017). In the ‘Young Author’ category, the Egyptian writer Ahmad Al Qarmalawi won the title for his novel ‘Amtar Sayfiyyah’ (Summer Rains), published by Maktabat al-Dar al-Arabiyah lil-Kitab, Cairo (2017). Néji Elounelli from Tunisia won the ‘Translation’ Award for his Arabic translation from of the work of German author Theodor W. Adorno, ‘natharayya ‘astiteeqyya’ (?sthetische Theorie), published by Al-Jamal Publications, Beirut 2017 The ‘Literary and Art Criticism’ Award went to Moroccan academic Mohammad Mishbal, for his work, ‘Fi Balaghat Al Hajjaj: nahwa balagha hajjajiyyah litahleel al khitab’ (The Rhetoric of Al Hajjaj: Towards a rhetoric inspired by Al Hajjaj in analyzing discourse), published by Kunouz Al Ma’refa Publishers, Amman (2017). The 'Arab Culture in Other Languages' Award went to German researcher Dag Nikolaus Hasse for his work “Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance”, published by Harvard Press 2017 while Dar Al-Tanweer (Beirut/Cairo/ Tunisia) won 'Publishing and Technology' Award.

Marking the announcement, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, the Secretary General of Sheikh Zayed Book Award commented: “the nominations went through a rigorous assessment towards selecting the best of the entire body of works received this year, followed by a series of evaluations lasting for 3 months by qualified judging panels, to be concluded by the reviews of the Scientific committee and the final sign off by the Award’s Board of Trustees to name the winning titles of the 12th session.” And added: “Throughout the past twelve years since its inception, the Award has won a reputation of recognizing and celebrating the best text in the Arabic literary production, with a deeply rooted transparency engraved on a regional and an international level.”

From his side, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of the Department of Culture and Tourism– Abu Dhabi, congratulated the winners for their achievement, stressing that their works deserve the recognition, and adding: “As we mark the Year of Zayed, this is fitting appreciation to the memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; crowning this outstanding group of writers, intellectuals, publishers and young talent as winners of an award in his name, and echoing his vision of fostering the sciences to enrich the Arab cultural, literary and social life.”  

Winning Verdicts ‘Literature’ Award ‘Ikhtibar al-nadam’ (Remorse Test) by Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh: The novel portrays an inward view of the Syrian Civil War tragedy; the author takes the reader on a trip around Damascus, trudging down the memory lanes and presenting the psychological conflicts amid the shattered reality of place and society – marking an important addition to the Syrian Literature, with a unique use of narrative tools and vocabulary construction.

‘Children’s Literature’ Award ‘’al-dinoraf’ (the Dinoraf) By Hessa Al Muhairi:  The story is set in the Animal Kingdom, where a dinosaur is out on a mission to find his parallel among the rest of animals. Throughout his journey, he gets to know the differences between the animals, which finally lead him to find his connection with the giraffe, hence becoming the “Dinoraf”, in a unique portrayal of the contemporary case of peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance of cultural differences within the global society. The story is written in an aesthetic language that is beautiful, artistic & carefully crafted.

'Young Author' Award ‘Amtar Sayfiyyah’ (Summer Rains) by Egyptian writer Ahmad Al Qarmalawi: The novel tackles the interrelations between the music and the soul, and the sublimity of the spirit versus covetousness. The work showed an extensive knowledge in music that creates a tangible setting of melodic notes transcending to that of the Sufism station (Maqaam).

'Translation' Award ‘natharayya ‘astiteeqyya’ (Asthetische Theorie), translated by Néji Elounelli from the German work of philosopher Theodor W. Adorno.  The book represents an authentic depiction from the German text that is considered a valued work in philosophy whose author is a prominent figure in the Frankfurt School of thought. The work investigates the theoretical paradigm of aesthetics that shifts the perspective from the traditional theory of knowledge to the critical philosophy in society.

'Literary and Art Criticism' Award ‘Fi Balaghat Al Hajjaj: nahwa balagha hajjajiyyah litahleel al khitab’ (The Rhetoric of Al Hajjaj: Towards a rhetoric inspired by Al Hajjaj in analyzing discourse), by academic scholar Mohammad Mishbal: The book elaborates on Al Hajjaj connections to the rhetoric and discourse, analyzing the foundational strategies in ancient rhetoric up to present-day, in a well versed language, clear analysis and based on extensive bibliography.

'Arab Culture in Other Languages' Award “Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance” by Dag Nikolaus Hasse: The book is a significant work of scholarship that fills in an important gap in modern knowledge: the fact that works in the Arabic Sciences and Philosophy played an important role in Western Renaissance Movement. Hasse monitors the influence of Arabic in the intellectual development, debates and controversies of the Renaissance.

'Publishing and Technology' Award Dar Al-Tanweer The publishing house is viewed as a luminary institute that contributes generously to spreading the Arabic culture, encouraging authoring and translation. The publishing house continues to assume a leading role in bringing young voices in philosophy and literature to the limelight. Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees announced earlier withholding the award of the “Contribution to the Development of Nations” category for this year.

The Awarding Ceremony to celebrate the winning achievements is scheduled on April 30th  at Manarat Al Saadiyyat, Sadiyyat Island, Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh Zayed Book Award's first installment was in 2007, intended to promote scholarship and creativity in Arab culture. It carries cash prizes totaling Dhs7 million - with Dh750, 000 per winner (equivalent to USD 204, 217, 50) in all eight categories. The winners also receive a certificate of merit and a Gold Medal.