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Five Titles Compete for AED $1m Etisalat Arabic Kids Lit Prize

By Edward Nawotka

The shortlist for 2011 Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature includes titles from Lebanon and one from Egypt. They are:

  • My Mother and Smoking by Asala Publishers (Lebanon)
  • Fly Away Plane by Nahdet Misr (Egypt)
  • When My Friend Got Sick by Yuki Press (Lebanon)
  • Why Don’t I See What You See by Tala Educational Means (Lebanon)
  • Neglected Tips by Al Hadaek Group (Lebanon)

The three-year old prize is open to any original children’s book published in Arabic and reflects Arabic values. The winning book receives a cash award of AED $1m ($270,000), with the money split between the publisher and the authors and illustrators.

The Etisalat Award was established in 2009 by the Arab Children’s Book Publishers Forum and Shaikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi to promote reading among Arabic-speaking families and the production of children’s books featuring Middle Eastern characters.

Shaikha Bodour, who serves as President of prize administrator UAEBBY (the UAE Board on Books for Young People) said:

“The diverse shortlist of books for this year reflects the enhanced quality and development that Arabic children’s literature has seen in general and the prize in particular. We are proud of the award’s contribution in increasing interest in Arabic children’s literature, whether in encouraging publishers and authors to release books of high value to children, or in raising the awareness of parents about the importance of fostering a love for reading among children, and of offering them age-appropriate books.”

The winner will be announced on November 16 during the opening of the 2011 Sharjah International Book Fair.

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