By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Four New Scientific Committee MembersDr. Ali Bin Tamim today (August 2) has named the members of the 2022-2023 edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award‘s governing “scientific committee.”
Bin Tamim, as Publishing Perspectives readers know, is the secretary-general of the Zayed Book Award and chair of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre. The scientific committee he leads appoints international and regional literary figures who operate as jurors on nine judging committees. The scientific committee, then takes those jurors’ reports and approves theirs selections for the board of trustees’ official endorsement and final choices of winners.
This is the award’s 17th edition, and with a purse of 750,000 UAE dirhams (US$204,209) 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). That includes a special Cultural Personality of the Year Category.
With its annual submission rate steadily growing, the prize has come to be one of the highest-visibility vehicles for the promotion–and funded translation–of Arabic literature operating in the Middle East.
The 2022-2023 Zayed Award Scientific Committee
The scientific committee membership announced today comprises:
- Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, acting executive director of the Arabic Language Centre
- Khalil Al Sheikh, critic, translator, and Arabic literature professor at Jordan’s Yarmouk University
- Juergen Boos, president and CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse
- Floréal Sanagustin, French professor and researcher
- Nadia El Cheikh, a Lebanese academic and researcher
- Amany Fouad Gadallah, an Egyptian literary critic and professor
- Badria Al Bishr, a Saudi Arabian writer and novelist
- Mustafa Al-Slaiman, a Jordanian-German translator
In welcoming the newly reconstituted scientific committee, Bin Tamim is quoted, praising several outgoing committee members for having “helped strengthen the Arab cultural movement, and paved the way for many notable achievements.
“Appointing such renowned and celebrated figures who have had a remarkable impact on the cultural scene to join the Sheikh Zayed Book Award scientific committee reflects our commitment to promoting the award and advancing its status.
“We look forward to the valuable scientific knowledge and experience the new members will bring and we’re confident that they will continue along the same path as their predecessors, who made significant contributions to enrich and develop the award, which has come to enjoy a commendable presence in the Arab region and around the world.”
The four who join the committee for the first time each have contributed a comment for today’s announcement.
From the Arabic Language’s Centre’s Al Tunaijj, we read, “Being part of this prestigious committee is an honor I cherish. Over the past 16 years, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has offered a rich and important experience that has helped elevate the book industry, supported researchers and creative thinkers, and established a unique and inspiring environment for research and innovation.”
Gadallah, based at the Academy of Arts in Cairo, says, “I’m pleased to have been chosen among the members of the scientific committee, and I’m confident that the committee will do everything in its power to evolve intellectual, literary, and cultural output.”
El Cheikh, who is at New York University Abu Dhabi, says, “I’m happy to be joining the scientific committee. This pivotal award has made remarkable contributions towards serving Arab culture, in addition to supporting intellectuals and creators.”
And Bishr, the author, says, “I’m honored and delighted to be a member of the scientific committee for an international literary prize as respected as the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which strives to advance human intellect and celebrate creativity, excellence, and innovation. Joining the Committee is both an honour and a great responsibility
The submissions period for the 2022-2023 cycle in the Sheikh Zayed Book Award continues open to October 1.
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