Sheikh Zayed Book Award: The 18th Edition Shortlists

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Issuing this year’s shortlists in seven categories, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee concludes its deliberations.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee meets to discuss and approve recommended books for the program’s 18th edition shortlists. Image: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

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

An Awards Ceremony Is Anticipated in Late April
Following a meeting of the  Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, who is secretary-general of the award and chair of the  Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has announced the shortlists for the program’s 18th edition.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the Zayed Award program comprises 10 catetories:

  • Editing of Arabic Manuscripts
  • Arab Culture in Other Languages
  • Children’s Literature
  • Literature
  • Literary and Art Criticism
  • Translation
  • Young Author
  • Publishing and Technology
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations
  • Cultural Personality of the Year

Needless to say, this makes for extensive work and expertise, especially for the Scientific Committee as it works to make its decisions.

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

The committee meeting included:

  • Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, executive director of the Arabic Language Centre
  • Khalil Al Sheikh from Jordan
  • Badria Al Bishr from Saudi Arabia
  • Frankfurter Buchmesse president and CEO Juergen Boos from Germany
  • Floréal Sanagustin from France
  • Nadia El Cheikh from Lebanon
  • Amany Fouad Gadallah from Egypt
  • Mustafa Al-Slaiman from Jordan and Germany

The meeting was also attended by Abdulrahman Mohamed Alnaqbi, literary awards department director at the Arabic Language Centre.

The Zayed Award is among the richest prize programs for books and publishing in the world. The program carries a purse of 750,000 United Arab Emirates dirhams (US$204,209) in each of its book categories and has annually been worth a total of 7 million dirhams (US$1.9 million). That includes the special Cultural Personality of the Year Category. The program’s total purse is expected to grow with the addition of the 10th category.

This Year’s Shortlists

Debate at the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee on the program’s 18th edition shortlists. Image: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

Our coverage of the longlists that precede today’s (March 7) announcement of the shortlists is here and here.

The Zayed Award has decided to withhold the award in two categories this year: Children’s Literature and Literary and Art Criticism. In the past, the holding back of the award in one or another category has indicated that the program simply felt it didn’t see work of the caliber and criteria iun those categories that it felt is required to recommend conferring an award.

This year’s submissions have set a new record, with a total of 4,240 submissions from 74 countries, including 19 Arab nations and 55 from other markets.  This surge is understood by the award’s organizers to highlight the program’s significance and credibility in the realms of culture, literature, and academia.

As in each year, the award’s winners’ ceremony is anticipated to take place early in the run of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (April 29 to May 5).

Literature Category Shortlist

  • Fursat al-Gharam al-Akheer (A Chance for One Last Love) by Hassan Dawood from Lebanon, published by Hachette Antoine/Nofal in 2022
  •  Al Halwani: Thulathiyat al-Fatimiyeen (Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy) by Reem Bassiouney from Egypt, published by Nahdet Misr Publishing, Printing and Distribution in 2022
  •  Nasheej al-Duduk (The Duduk’s Whimper) by Jalal Barjas from Jordan, published by the Arab Institute for Research and Publishing in 2023

Young Author Category Shortlist

  • Na eesh li-Nahki: Balaghat al-Takhyeel fi Kalila wa Dimna (Living to Narrate: The Eloquent Imagination in Kalīla wa-Dimna) by Mustapha Rajouane from Morocco, released by Kunouz Al-Ma refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023
  • Simya iyat al-Qira a: Dirasa fi Shurooh Diwan al-Mutanabbi fi al-Qarn al-Sabe Hijri (The Semiotics of Reading: a Study of the Seventh Hijri Century Interpretation of the Al-Mutanabbi s Diwan), by Alawi Ahmed Al Malgami from Yemen, released by Kunouz Al-Ma refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023
  • Al Mashhad al-Moriski: Sardiyat al-Tard fi al-Fikr al-Espani (The Morisco Landscape: Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought), by Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia, released by the Center for Research and Knowledge Intercommunication in 2023

Translation Category Shortlist

  • Al-Aalam Iradatan wa-Tamathulan ( Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung – The World: Will and Imagination) by Arthur Schopenhauer, translated from German to Arabic by Said Tawfik from Egypt, published by ‏Dar Al Kitab Al Jadeed, in 2023
  • Limatha Naqraa’ al-Adab al-Classiki? (Perché Leggere I Classici:Why Do We Read Classic Literature?) by Italo Calvino, translated from Italian to Arabic by Dalal Naserallah from Kuwait, published by Al Mada for Media, Culture, and Arts, in 2021
  • Al-Ilm al-Jadeed (La Scienza Nuova – The New Science) by Giambattista Vico, translated from Italian to Arabic by Ahmed Somai from Tunisia, published by Adab Publishing and Distribution, in 2022

Contribution to the Development of Nations Category Shortlist

  • Al-Asmaa’ al-Jughrafiya – Thakirat Ajyal (Geographical Names: Legacy of Generations) by Khalifa Alromaithi from the UAE, published by Austin Macauley Publishers, in 2022
  • Sikkat al-Tramway: Tareeq al-Hadatha Marra bi-Dimashq (Tramway Railway: The Path of Modernity Passed Through Damascus) by Sami Marwan Moubayed from Syria/UK, published by Riad El Rayyes Books, in 2022
  • Al-Arabiya Lughat al-Aayn: Dirasa Dalaliya Uurfaniya (The Arabic Language: A Study of Cognitive Semantics) by Fatima Bakouch from Tunisia, published by Dar Meskeliani Editions, in 2023

Arab Culture in Other Languages Category Shortlist

  • The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam by Frank Griffel, published in English by Oxford University Press in 2021
  • On Earth or in Poems: The Many Lives of al-Andalus by Eric Calderwood, published in English by Harvard University Press in 2023
  • Warum es kein islamisches Mittelalter gab (Why There Was No Islamic Middle Ages) by Thomas Bauer, published in German by C.H. Beck Verlag in 2018
  • La letteratura d’adab (The Literature of Adab) by Antonella Ghersetti, published in Italian by Istituto per l’Oriente Carlo Nallino in 2021
  • Louis Massignon et la mystique musulmane: Analyse d’une contribution à l’islamologie (Louis Massignon and Islamic Mysticism: An Analysis of a Contribution to Islamology) by Florence Ollivry, published in French by Brill Publishing in 2023

The Editing of Arabic Manuscripts Category Shortlist

  • Sharh Diwan Thi-Al Rimma li Abi al-Hasan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi  (Interpretation of the Diwan of Thi Al Rimma by Abi Al Hassan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi) by Awad bin Mohammed Salem Al Daheel Al Awlaqi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Al Nawader – Al Madina Al Munawwarah Literary Publishing Club in 2019
  • Al-Fawa id al-Sunniya fi al-Rihla al-Madaniya wal-Rumiya, Tathkirat al-Nahrawali  (Sunni Benefits in the Madani and Roman Journey  Nahrawali Diary ) by Al-Mahdi Eid Al-Rawadieh from Jordan, published by the Orient-Institut Beirut in 2022
  • Safinat al-Mulk wa-Nafisat al-Fulk (Shehab al-Din al-Muwashah wa-Musiqa al-Maqam al-Natiqa bil-Arabiya bayn al-Tantheer wal-Maras)  (The Ship of Possession and the Precious Ship (Shehab al-Din – Muwashah and Arabic-speaking Maqam Music between Theory and Practice) by Mustafa Said from Egypt, published by El Ain Publishing in 2023

Publishing and Technology Category Shortlist

  • The International Youth Library (Internationale Jugendbibliothek) in Munich
  • Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas)
  • Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries in China
  • Finjan Podcast in Saudi Arabia

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award recognizes authors who write about Arab culture and civilization in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.

Members of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee at their 18th edition meeting to select shortlists. Image: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

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 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.

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