Sheikh Zayed Book Award Unveils ‘Literature’ Category Longlist

Abu Dhabi,

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, has announced the longlisted titles in the ‘Literature’ category for its 16th edition. 

Fifteen titles made it onto the 2021 longlist from a total of 852 submissions, a 46% in-crease in the number of applications compared to last year. 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, honors the outstanding achievements of writers, innovators and thinkers in literature, the arts, and humanities in Arabic and other languages from across the Arab world. It aims to advance Arabic literature and culture and provides new opportunities for Arabic-language writers. Authors writing about Arab culture and civilization in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian also are recognized by the Award.

The 2021 longlist for the ‘Literature’ category comprises titles from nine countries: UAE, Iraq, Egypt, Oman, Morocco, Mauritania, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Literary titles make up 13 of the nominations, with the judges selecting the following titles:
  • ‘Yawmyyat Rose’ (Rose’s Diaries) by Reem Alkamali (UAE), published by Dar Al Adab Publishing & Distribution in 2021. 
  • ‘Al Rehla Al Naqisah’ (The Missing Trip) by Fatima Al Mohsen (UK/Iraq), published by Al Kamel Verlag in 2021.
  • ‘Matahat Al A’abed’ (The Labyrinth of The Worshiper) by Mohamed Youssef Elgharbawi (Egypt), published by Ibiidi Publishing in 2021.
  • ‘Safar Wahshi’ (Wild Travel) by Mohamed Hiyawi (Iraq/Netherlands), published by Sillat Media Books in 2021.
  • ‘Sir Al Moriksi’ (Morexian Secret) by Mohammed Alajmi (Oman), published by Dar Arab Publishing & Translation in 2021.
  • ‘Ghorbat Al Manazil’ (Strangers at Home) by Ezzat Elkamhawy (Egypt), published by Al Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah in 2021.
  • ‘Wa Tahmelany Hayraty Wa Dh’anony. Seerat Altakween’ (Composition Biog-raphy: Thoughts and Confusion Carry Me) by Said Bengrad (Morocco), published by Le Centre Culturel Du Livre in 2021.
  • ‘Al Shan’qeeti’ (Al-Shanqeeti) by Sayid Weld Bah (Mauritania), published by Le Centre Culturel Du Livre in 2021.
  • ‘Rabe’e Al Ghabah’ (Forest Spring) by Jamal Matar (UAE), published by ElAin Pub-lishing in 2021.
  • ‘Habs Qarah’ (Confining a Continent) by Said Bensaid Alaoui (Morocco), pub-lished by Le Centre Culturel Du Livre in 2021.
  • ‘Mokhatat Petersburg’ (Petersburg Manuscript) by Jan Dost (Syria/Germany), pub-lished by Meskiliani Publishing with Dar Al-Rafidain in 2020.
  • ‘Khatf Al Habib’ (The Lover’s Kidnapping) by Taleb Al Refai (Kuwait), published by Kuttab Publishing & Distribution in 2021.
  • ‘Maq’ha Reesh, Ain Ala Massr’ (Eyes on Egypt: Alreesh Café) by Maisoon Saqer (UAE), published by Nahdet Misr Publishing in 2021.

The longlist also includes two poetic works:

  • ‘La Harb fe Terwadah – Kalemat Homeras Al Akheera’ (No War in Troy - Homer's Last Words) by Nouri Al Jarah (Syria/UK), published by Almutawassit Books in 2019.
  • ‘Tadharees Al Hathyan’ (Delirium Map) by Jassim Alsuhayyih (Saudi Arabia), pub-lished by Tashkeel Publishing & Distribution in 2020.