Zayed Book Award Reveals 2016 Contenders in ‘Arab Culture’ and ‘Publishing’ Categories

Abu Dhabi,

Abu Dhabi 24 March 2016 – Sheikh Zayed Book Award revealed today the last nominations for its tenth cycle.  The list includes three titles under ‘Arab culture in other languages’ in English and French, in addition to four publishing houses nominated for winning the ‘Publishing and Technology’ award. One English title has been nominated under ‘Arab Culture in Other Languages’; ‘The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letter, Arabic Knowledge Construction’ by Iraqi writer Muhsin J Al-Musawi, published by University of Notre Dame Press, 2015. The book is an engaging and deeply learned work of literary history. It presents a a compelling argument against the commonly held opinion that Arabic literature, since the glorious peak of the Abbasids, has somehow failed to be modern, and instead became locked in conventions that were stultifying and rarefied, created only for a small circle of initiates who were themselves censored and censuring.  Musawi reviews this misconception and demonstrates, through his readings how this generally accepted account is profoundly mistaken. In terms of French titles, two short listed works were named. ‘Angles et Grandeur’ by Egyptian author Roshdi Rashed, published by the Walter De Gruyter, Berlin 2015. The study discusses the concept of angle and its relation to Archimedean and non-Archimedean theories of measurement tracing the history of discussions from Euclid to Kamal al-Din al-Farisi, after whom the discussion was not resumed until Newton and Euler. The volume presents first editions of over twenty texts, either in Arabic or Greek of the greatest mathematicians and philosophers of the time. The texts are translated into French and supplemented with extensive commentary ‘Les Elites Bagdadiennes au Temps des Seldjoukides’ by researcher Vanessa Van Renterghem from France, published by Presses de l'Ifpo, 2015.  The study examines the history of Baghdad, in social terms, during a period rarely addressed by scholars; The Seljuks. The study features two-volumes; the first being a study of the social theory and the second featuring appendices and pictorial analysis. As for the nominated publishing houses for the ‘Publishing and technology’ award, these are; Asala Publishing, from Lebanon. Obeikan Publishing, from Saudi. Dar Al-Saqi, Lebanon. Dar Toubqal from Morocco The SZBA will announce the winners in the next couple of weeks followed by the announcement of ‘cultural personality of the year.’