Sheikh Zayed Book Award Shortlists: ‘Development of Nations’ and Literary Criticism

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The Sheikh Zayed Book Award honors finalists in ‘Contribution to the Development of Nations’ and Literary and Art Criticism, six titles from Egypt, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Tunisia.

Sheikh Zayed Book Award secretary-general Dr. Ali Bin Tamim welcomes the invitational audience to the 2016 winners ceremony. Image: SZBA

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Announcements of Winners Expected Soon
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has made several releases of its 2021 shortlists in recent weeks.

From its nine categories, the first set of shortlists to be made public were in the categories of Literature, Children’s Literature, and Young Author. Winners will be eligible for translation funding, up to a total of approximately US$19,000 per title.

In its second announcement, the program named shortlisted titles in the categories of Arab Culture in Other Languages; Publishing and Technology; and Translation.

Today (April 19), we have the third and final announcement of shortlists, and they’re in the two book categories of “Contribution to the Development of Nations” and Literary Art and Criticism. These are two categories among eight for which shortlists are announced. A ninth category, the Cultural Personality of the Year, is not shortlisted.

  • The Contribution to the Development of Nations category had a 17-percent increase in nominations, receiving 262 entries this year
  • Literary and Art Criticism saw an increase of 6 percent in nominations this year, for a total 199 submissions

Organizers tell us we can anticipate announcements of the winners in the eight shortlisted book categories soon, with the identification of the 2021 Cultural Personality of the Year to follow.

Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2021 Shortlist:
Contribution to the Development of Nations
  • Al Ghaos Abu Sabaat Arzaq (Diving: A Rich Source of Livelihoods) by Ahmad Mohammed bin Thani from the United Arab Emirates, published Austin Macauley Publishers in 2019
  • Al Intiqal Ella Al Democatyah: Matha Yastafeed Al Arab men Tajarob Al Akhareen? (Transitioning to Democracy: What Can Arabs Learn from Others’ Experiences?) by Dr. Ali Eldin Hillal from Egypt, published by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature in 2019
  • Turath Al Iste’ela’a bayn Al Folklor wa Al Majal Al Deeny (Legacy of Supremacy between Folklore and Religion) by Dr. Saeed El-masry from Egypt, published by Batana Publishing & Distribution in 2019
Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2021 Shortlist:
Literary and Art Criticism
  • Khetab Al Omtholah, Hewar Al Al Fikr wa Al Sultah Moqarabah Tadawlyah Maarfyah (A Parable Discourse, the Dialogue of Thought and Authority: A Deliberative Cognitive Approach) by Moroccan researcher Said Jebbar, published by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishers in 2019
  • Masar Al Tahdeeth fe Al Fonoon Al Tashkelyah, men Al Orsomah ella Al Lawha (The Path of Modernization in the Visual Arts, From Drawing to Painting) by Tunisian author Khelil Gouia, published by Med Ali Éditions in 2020
  • Akhlaqyat Al Taaweel: men Antologia Al Nass ella Antologia Al Fahm (The Ethics of Interpretation: From the Ontology of the Script to the Ontology of Comprehension) by Moroccan author Mohamed El-Hirech, published by La Virgule Librairie et Papeterie in 2019
Trustees Select the 2021 Winners

The program’s board of trustees has held its annual meeting in which winners are chosen after a review of the recommendations of the program’s scientific committee.

That meeting was presided over by the Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan and attended by board chair Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak; Zaki Nusseibeh, cultural adviser to the United Arab Emirates president; Department of Culture and Tourism undersecretary Saood Al Hosani; Zayed Book Award secretary-general Dr. Ali bin Tamim, who is also chair of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre; Abdulla Majed Al Ali, executive director of the National Archives; and Mouza Al Shamsi, director of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and acting executive director of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.

All the winners are to be honored in a digital ceremony in May, when the Cultural Personality of the Year will be presented with a gold medal, a certificate of merit, and a cash award of 1 million UAE dirhams (US$272,242).

With a purse of 750,000 UAE dirhams (US$204,181) in each of the eight book categories.

Overall, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is among the wealthiest portfolios of publishing-related honors in the world, worth a total of 7 million dirhams (US$1.9 million).

The stage of the 2010 Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners’ ceremony. Image: SZBA


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is here, more on Arabic literature is here, and more on translation is here. More from us on publishing and book awards in the international industry is here. Publishing Perspectives is the media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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