By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Shedding Light on Emirati Folktales and NarrativesAs the opening of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair approaches (May 22 to 28), its producer the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center under the direction of Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, has announced the members of the higher committee of its new Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award, launched in December 2022 to honor notable works by local and international creative minds in the genre of Arab prose.
The Golden Narrative Award aims to shed light on Emirati folktales and narratives, highlight inspiring works in this field, and celebrate the talented narrators who, through this art form, have helped to preserve the United Arab Emirates’ history, lifestyle, and popular heritage over the decades.
The higher committee brings together experts from a range of fields including literary criticism and cultural narratives, libraries and archiving, short stories, popular culture, and Arabic language and literature.
The group is headed by Abdullah Majid Al Ali, director general of the National Library and Archives.
- Bahraini academic and critic Dheya Al Kaabi
- Egyptian writer Miral al-Tahawy
- Emirati director, writer, and producer Nasser Al Dhaheri
- Saïd Yaktine, Moroccan narratologist and critic
Khalil Al Sheikh, a researcher, scholar, and literary critic, serves as the committee’s rapporteur.
In a prepared comment, Al Ali is quoted, saying, “The Golden Narrative Award is an exciting addition to the UAE’s cultural landscape, enriching the field of storytelling and reflecting our nation’s unique identity by highlighting local values, customs, and heritage.
“The award recognizes and supports creative minds, and will help enable their important work in preserving and passing down to future generations the folk heritage of the UAE, in line with both the center’s mission and Abu Dhabi’s overarching cultural vision.
“We hope it will establish a productive environment for creativity and innovation that encourages talent across all literary disciplines.”
The higher committee recently held its first meeting, where it discussed the nomination procedure and the criteria for selecting the winners, as well as reviewed the internal processes and function of the award.
Categories of the Golden Narrative Award
- The Short Story Prize, in which talented writers’ unpublished creations are evaluated, honored, and published
- The Short Story Collection Prize, which recognizes published Emirati or Arab stories that draw inspiration from heritage
- The Popular Narratives Prize, which honors collections of popular folktales that build shared memory and contribute to the formation of a cultural identity, or notable studies that analyze these tales
- The Narrators and Biographers Prize, which celebrates narrators of popular literature and biographies from the UAE and the wider Arab world
- The Illustrated Story Prize selects a narrative that relies on images in its structure, blending narration and graphic arts
- The Emirati Storytelling Prize honors literary works that explore Emirati identity and are inspired by the UAE’s history, geography, and symbols
More from Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is here, and more on the United Arab Emirates’ market is here. More from us on book fairs and trade shows in world publishing is here. More on translation is here, and more on Arabic in the publishing world is here. More on the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center is here.
Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. Our extended coverage of ADIBF 2023 is supported by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.