Sheikh Zayed Book Award Events: Abu Dhabi Book Fair

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award has seven events planned for Abu Dhabi’s book fair, with speakers from its 2023 winners’ roster.

At the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center’s stand, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is featured in the stand’s ground floor area. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

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

Seven Events from the Sheikh Zayed Book Award
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, organized by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, part of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism has announced its programming for the 32nd  Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center through Sunday (May 28).

May 23, 6 p.m. GST
Bursa Stage, Hall 12 in the National Exhibition Center
Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2023 winners’ panel

The Zayed Award’s program for the fair begins with a panel discussion bringing together the winners of the award’s 17th edition to discuss their works.

The session will be chaired by the award’s secretary-general and chair of the Arabic Language Center, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim,, with Khalil Al-Sheikh, a member of the award’s scientific committee, as moderator.

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

The winning participants are:

  • Ali Jaafar Alallaq, Literature category
  • Chokri Al-Saadi, Translation category
  • Mathieu Tillier, Arab Culture in Other Languages category
  • Jalila Al Tritar, Arts and Literary Criticism category
  • Said Khatibi, Young Author category
  • Fatima Al Boudi, representing ElAin Publishing, winner of the Publishing & Technology category
  • Composer Omar Khairat, the 2023 Cultural Personality of the Year

The panel discussion will be followed by a book signing ceremony with the winners at 7:30 p.m. GST at the Book Signing Corner, Hall 11.

May 24, 10 a.m. GST
Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Al Reem Island
Discussion with 2023 winners Jalila Al Tritar and Said Khatibi

The Zayed Award hosts a discussion in collaboration with the Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, a session moderated by Hana Sobhi, professor of literature and French language at the university, and Art and Literary Criticism winner Jalila Al Tritar on her book , Mara i an-Nisaa: Dirasat fi Kitabat al-That an-Nisaa iya al-Aarabiya (Women Views: Studies on Arab Women Self Writings) and Algerian novelist Said Khatibi, winner of the Young Author category for his novel Nehayat Al Sahra’a (End of the Desert) .

May 24, 4 p.m. GST
Bursa Stage, Hall 12 in the National Exhibition Center
Composer and musician Omar Khairat, Zayed Award Cultural Personality of the Year

Khairat will be in conversation with media host Hala Sarhan in a talk about his life and music, in honor of his decades-long career.

May 24, 5 p.m. GST
Aya Sofya Stage, Hall 10 in the National Exhibition Center
A “Joy of Arabic” Seminar

This session, produced in collaboration with the Library of Arabic Literature at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), is expected to host a group of award-winning researchers and translators to talk about the importance of discussing Arabic literary heritage and its wealth of written and translated works.

The session is moderated by Bilal Orfali, Sheikh Zayed chair for Arabic and Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut.

Speakers include:

  • Enass Khansa, professor and head of the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages
  • Michael Cooperson, Sheikh Zayed 2021 winner in the Translation category
  • Chip Rossetti, managing editor for the Library of Arabic Literature translation series
  • French author Mathieu Tillier, winner of the Zayed Award 2023 in the Arab Culture in Other Languages category

May 25, 3 p.m. GST
Aya Sofya Stage, Hall 10 in the National Exhibition Center
“Arab Fiction Literature: A Growing Trend and New Horizons for Translation”

In this event, produced in collaboration with Publishing Perspectives, speakers explore the place and importance of genre for international publishers in terms of translating more Arabic writing into other world languages.

For international publishers, genre fiction is a familiar and accessible entry point. By translating these types of books, publishers outside the Arab world can establish long-lasting relationships with Arabic publishers and pave the way for a wider range of Arabic literature to be translated into more languages.

This event is moderated by Publishing Perspectives. Speakers include:

  • Literary agent Jessica Papin
  • Ahmed Rashad, CEO of Al Dar Al Musriah Al Lubnaniah
  • Ali Abd El-Moneim, publishing and partnerships consultant with Arabookverse

May 25, 4:30 p.m. GST
Sea of Culture Foundation stand, Hall 12
Zayed Award Literature category winner Ali Jaafar Alallaq

In collaboration with the Sea of Culture Foundation, Ali Jaafar Alallaq, author of the Zayed Award Literature category-winning book Ila Ayn Ayyathouha Al Kaseedah (Where to, O Poem? An Autobiography). The book reveals the nature of the relationship between the poet and his poem, as well as Iraqi and Arab cultural reality over half-a-century.

May 27, 7:30 p.m. GST
Aya Sofya Stage, Hall 10 in the National Exhibition Center
Said Khatibi, Zayed 2023 Young Author category winner

Said Khatibi, winner of the Zayed Award 2023 in the Young Author category, speaks with Al Multaqa Literary Salon with the salon’s founder Asmaa Seddiq Al-Mutawa.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is here, more on the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center 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 Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

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 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 (Fellow, 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.