New Sheikh Zayed 2022 Shortlists, Including Translation

In News by Porter Anderson

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award names its shortlisted contenders in Literary and Art Criticism, Translation, Publishing and Technology and more.

At Abu Dhabi’s Qasr Al Watan, the presidential palace, completed in 2017. Image – Getty iStockphoto: RacoonBTC

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

Four Categories’ Shortlists Added for 2022
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award—organized and administered by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre under the direction of Dr. Ali Bin Tamim—has today (March 31) announced shortlists in four of its categories in the 2021-2022 iteration of the Zayed program.

Today’s announcement covers the catetories of Translation; Literary and Art Criticism; Publishing and Technology; and Arab Culture in Other Languages. You can review previously announced 2022 shortlists here—in the Literature, Young Author, and Children’s Literature categories.

This is the award’s 16th edition, and with a purse of 750,000 UAE dirhams (US$204,215) in each of the eight book categories, 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).

Readers who avidly follow our awards coverage will want to note this week’s interview with Michael Kelleher, the founding director of the Yale-based Windham-Campbell Prizes. That program, stands in that rarified club of rich awards programs, in their case distributing US$1.3 million annually.

And see also today’s announcement of the new jury chair at the Cundill History Prize, which carries the largest purse for an award of its kind, at US$75,000.

As you’ll remember, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award honors the outstanding achievements of innovators and thinkers in literature, the arts, and humanities in Arabic and other languages. It aims to advance Arabic literature and culture, providing 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 program.

Translation Category Shortlist

Chosen from a total pool of 148 submissions, the 10 longlisted nominations in the Translation category included books from publishers in six Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Morocco, and Tunisia. Most of them (six) were written in English and translated into Arabic.

The three titles now chosen for the shortlist:

  • Nash at al Insaniyat Einda al Muslimeen wa fi al Gharb al Maseehi (The Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West) authored by George Makdisi, translated by Ahmed Aladawi from Egypt, and published by Madarat for Research and Publishing in 2021
  • Ratha il al Maarifa: Bahth fi al Ahkaam al Akhlaqiya al Fikriya (Les Vices du savoir: Essai d éstique intellectuelle) authored by Pascal Engel, translated by Kassem Almekdad from Syria, and published by Ninawa Studies Publishing & Distribution in 2021
  • Fadaalat al Ikhwan fi Tayibat al Ta aam wal Alwan (Best of Delectable Foods and Dishes from Al-Andalus and Al-Maghrib: A Cookbook by 13th Century Andalusi Scholar Ibn Razin Al-Tujibi, 1227–1293), authored by Ibn Razin Al-Tajibi, translated by Nawal Nasrallah from Iraq/USA, and published by Brill Publishing in 2021
Literary and Art Criticism Shortlist

Literary and Art Criticism received 273 entries this year, marking a considerable growth of 37 percent compared to last year’s 199 submissions. That longlist featured 11 works from seven nations: Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates.

The three shortlisted titles:

  • Nahwa al Shawari: Fi Raheel al Nahw ila al Shawari  (The Role of Street Grammar in Influencing Proper Grammar) by Taoufik Alaloui from Tunisia, issued by Med Ali Editions in 2021
  • Al Sarid wa Taw am al Rooh: Min al Tamtheel ila al Istinaa (The Narrator and the Soulmate: From Acting to Faking) by the Moroccan writer M’hamed Aldahi, issued by Le Centre Culturel du Livre in 2021
  • Iqa at al Ibdaa fi al Tabee aa wal Fann (Rhythms of Creativity in Nature and Art) by Syrian author Kamal Alkontar, issued by the Syrian General Authority for Books in 2019
Publishing and Technology Shortlist

In the category of Publishing and Technology, there are three shortlisted titles:

  • Internationale Jugendbibliothek (International Youth Library), Munich
  • Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria
  • Sindbad, Actes Sud, Arles

This category, in case you’re unfamiliar with it, can include publishers, distributors, research institutions and cultural institutions “that promote culture through various forms of digital, visual, and audio processes.”

Arab Culture in Other Languages Shortlist

The category of Arab Culture in Other Languages, on which we did not have a longlist, now is out with an eight-title shortlist:

  • Revealed Sciences: The Natural Sciences in Islam in Seventeenth-Century Morocco by Justin K. Stearns (USA), issued by Cambridge University Press in 2021
  • The Arabian Nights in Contemporary World Cultures: Global Commodification, Translation, and the Culture Industry by Dr. Muhsin J. Al-Musawi (Iraq/USA), issued by Cambridge University Press in 2021
  • Avicenne: Prophétie et gouvernement du monde by Meryem Sebti (France), issued by Editions du Cerf in 2021
  • L’ Alhambra: à la croisée des histoires by Edhem Eldem (Turkey), issued by Les Belles Lettres in 2021
  • Die Deutschen und der Orient. Faszination, Verachtung und die Widersprüche der Aufklärung by Joseph Croitoru (Germany), issued by Carl Hanser Verlag in 2018
  • El perfume de la existencia: Sufismo y no-dualidad en Ibn Arabī de Murcia by Fernando Mora (Spain), issued by Almuzara in 2019
  • Surrealismi Arabi 1938-1970: Il Surrealismo e la letteratura araba in Egitto, Siria e Libano by Arturo Monaco (Italy), issued by Istituto per l’Oriente C. A. Nallino in 2020
  • Этимологический словарь древнеарабской лексики (на материале избранных текстов доисламской поэзии) (Etymologic Dictionary of Ancient Arabic (Based on the Material of Selected Texts of Pre-Islamic Poetry) by Anna Belova (Russia), issued by Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2016

Longlisted titles available in some of today’s categories can be reviewed in our coverage here. You can review the longlists in the Young Author and Children’s Literature categories here. And longlisted titles in the Literature category are here.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 64th awards report published in the 64 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.


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 world media partner of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center and 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 is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 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 was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.