Sheikh Zayed Book Award: The 17th Edition Winners

In News by Porter Anderson

The winners of the 17th edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award will be honored this month at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Image: Sheikh Zayed Book Award

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

See also:
Sheikh Zayed Book Award: Winners Approved for the 17th Edition in the United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Zayed Shortlists: Literature, Young Author, Criticism
Sheikh Zayed Shortlists: Translation, Publishing and Technology, and Arab Culture

Al Mubarak: A ‘Milestone in a Ground-Breaking Journey’
As Publishing Perspectives readers will recall, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, a program of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, the program had the highest number of submissions across all nine categories since the award’s launch, receiving a total of 3,151 entries from 60 countries, including 22 Arab nations and 38 countries outside the Arab world.

Nevertheless, this year, the program “decided to withhold the award from the Contribution to the Development of Nations and Children’s Literature categories for this edition.”

So it is that the category awards announced today (May 2) number six instead of the usual eight. The program carries a purse of 750,000 United Arab Emirates dirhams (US$204,209) in each of its book categories and is worth a total of 7 million dirhams (US$1.9 million), which includes a special Cultural Personality of the Year Category.

The winner of that Cultural Personality honor will be announced in coming weeks.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the department of culture and tourism in Abu Dhabi and a Zayed Award board member, says, “The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is symbolic of the revival of Arab intellectual, cultural, and social life through a literary lens.

“The 17th edition of the award is the latest milestone in a ground-breaking journey that has, over many years, showcased prominent works from the Arab region and beyond to ever wider audiences, enabling everyone to participate and share their talents on the world stage.

“The SZBA will remain committed to its mission to encourage intellectuals and creative talent who can lead a true shift and spearhead the contemporary cultural movement of the Arab world, building upon an enormous legacy of history and heritage.”

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

And in his prepared comment on today’s news of the winners, the award’s secretary-general and chair of the Arabic Language Center, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, is quoted, saying, “The Sheikh Zayed Book Award reflects our wise leadership’s commitment to promoting the significance of books as a central point for the convergence of global cultures, encouraging the exchange of ideas and cultures, and producing new literary and cultural works that enrich intellectual life in the UAE, the region, and the world.

“Every year, the winning works represent the top intellectual creations of a distinguished group of writers, authors, and thinkers from around the world. We congratulate them on their well-deserved win, and encourage everyone to excel and work hard, starting today, to take part in the next round of the award.”

Winners of the 17th Sheikh Zayed Book Award

Winners in the six active categories of this year’s program comprise the following group, and they’ll be honored later this month during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Literature: Iraqi poet Ali Jaafar Alallaq for Ila Ayn Ayyathouha Al Kaseedah (Whereto, O Poem? An Autobiography), from Alaan Publishing, Jordan, in 2022.

Arab Culture in Other Languages: French author Mathieu Tillier for L’invention du cadi: La justice des musulmans, des juifs et des chrétiens aux premiers siècles de l’Islam’(The Invention of the Cadi: Justice among Muslims, Jews, and Christians during the First Centuries of Islam), from Éditions de la Sorbonne in 2017.

Young Author: Algerian author Said Khatibi for his novel Nehayat Al Sahra’a (The End of the Desert), from Hachette’s Antoine/Nofal in 2022.

Translation: Tunisian author Chokri Al Saadi for his translated book Al-Ibara wa-al-Mi’na: Dirasat fi Nathariyat al-A’amal al-Lughawiya (Expression and Meaning: Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts) by John R. Searle, issued by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs – Tunisian Institute for Translation in 2021 and translated from English to Arabic.

Art and Literary Criticism:  Jalila Al Tritar from Tunisia for Mara’i an-Nisaa: Dirasat fi Kitabat al-That an-Nisaa’iya al-Aarabiya (Women Views: Studies on Arab Women Self Writings), from La Maison Tunisienne Du Livre in 2021.

Publishing and Technology: The Egyptian publishing house Dar ElAin Publishing, a cultural institution that works to “engage with reality and develop book-writing in both content and form.”

Bin Tamim: ‘A Renewed Cultural Movement’

In his commentary today, Bin Tamim adds, “The Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s success over the past few years is the result of tireless efforts from our teams at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and the support of the department of culture and tourism in Abu Dhabi9.

“I thank the members of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s board of trustees, along with its Scientific Committee and its judges for their work in this current edition, which helped shed light on a new and distinguished collection of intellectual and literary works.

“We count on to these to be the nucleus of a renewed cultural movement that enriches the cultural scene in the region and the world.”


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.