The Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced, on Monday, the names of the winners of its 16th session, which is held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Organized by the Abu Dhabi Center for the Arabic Language of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the award received wide participation from the category of young writers from different countries of the world. Writers, thinkers and translators, in addition to the Library of Alexandria.
Emirati poet and novelist Maysoon Saqr won the “Letters Branch” award for her book “Cafe of Feathers, Eye on Egypt,” issued by Nahdet Misr Publishing House in 2021. The Glass Ball Puzzle”, published by Dar Al-Saqi in 2021, while the writer Dr. Mohamed Al-Maztouri from Tunisia won the award for the “Young Author” branch, for his book “Badawa in Ancient Arabic Poetry”, issued by the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Humanities – Manouba University and the Foundation GLD (Al-Atrash Complex for Specialized Books) in 2021.
The award for the “translation” branch was won by Dr. Ahmed El-Adawy from Egypt, who translated the book “The Rise of Humanities in Muslims and in the Christian West,” by George Makdisi, and published by Madarat for Research and Publishing in 2021, from English into Arabic, while Moroccan writer Muhammad Al Dahi, Prize for the “Arts and Critical Studies” branch for his book “The Narrator and the Twin of the Soul: From Acting to Syntax,” issued by the Cultural Center for Book, Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
The branch of “Arabic Culture in Other Languages” was awarded to Dr. Mohsen Jassim Al-Mousawi from Iraq / USA, for his book: “One Thousand and One Nights in the Cultures of the Contemporary World: Global Commodity, Translation and Cultural Industrialization”, published by Cambridge University Press in 2021, while I went The award is in the “Publishing and Cultural Techniques” branch of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt.
In this context, Saud Abdul Aziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, member of the Award’s Board of Trustees, said: “Since its inception in 2006, the Award has worked to consolidate its presence as one of the most important and prestigious literary and cultural awards at the regional and global levels. Today, in the sixteenth session We celebrate a new constellation of creators in various fields and branches who have added new creative achievements to Arab literature, and we congratulate the winners whose works contributed to conveying an honorable image of the reality of Arab culture to the world.”
For his part, Dr. Ali bin Tamim, President of the Abu Dhabi Center for the Arabic Language and Secretary-General of the award, said: “Course after cycle, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which is one of the most prominent and leading cultural awards in the Arab world, is witnessing authentic and qualitative achievements that contribute to enriching the cultural and creative scenes with a lot. of knowledge and aesthetics, and we are pleased to witness this diversity and the intellectual, linguistic and creative richness that was presented by all the participants.In this year’s session, we touched a lot of diversity in terms of methods, subtraction, language and research patterns that were characterized by renewal, comprehensiveness and modernity of the topics that were focused on, and this is an important factor that enriches The position of the award, and its presence and qualitative depth, both Arab and international, confirms the contents it deals with raising the reality of translation, advancing the various fields of literature, and emphasizing the importance of publishing as a basic pillar of cultural work in general. We look forward to seeing more innovations in the coming years.”
Rationale for winning the prize
Sheikh Zayed Book Award for the Arts Branch The book “Feathers Cafe, Eye on Egypt” issued by “Nahdat Misr Publishing House” in 2021 by the writer Maysoon Saqr from the Emirates. This work belongs to the world of literary writing that is open to different literary forms, especially what is known as narration of places, as the Riche Café in Cairo has a wide cultural history and a wide creative and social legacy. The book was based on an effort that combines the historical and the narrative, which makes the book a documented historical biography on the one hand, and creative on the other. It also provides documentation of an important era of the cultural history of Egypt by tracking cultural and social transformations in modern Egyptian history and stopping at the most prominent intellectuals and creators associated with the café and the history of intellectual life in Egypt.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Children and Young People’s Literature The story “The Puzzle of the Glass Ball”, published by Dar Al-Saqi in 2021 by the Syrian writer Maria Daadoush. The work deals with two issues: children’s fondness for electronic games, and the pollution to the environment worldwide. This was done through an interesting story, the hero of which is a twelve-year-old child who accompanies his grandfather on a journey by the ancient desert train for tourists. There he lives a series of interesting adventures. The work is characterized by a bright language, a beautiful narrative structure, and a tight plot that achieves the goals of the work.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award for the Young Author Branch The book “Badawa in Ancient Arabic Poetry” by Dr. Mohamed Al-Maztouri from Tunisia, issued by the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Humanities – Manouba University and the GLD Foundation (Al-Atrash Complex for Specialized Books) in 2021. The researcher presents in this book A serious academic study of the concept of Bedouin in ancient Arabic poetry, and discusses its various concepts and its many manifestations, as a culture with special features and a lifestyle that is inseparable from place, environment and geography. The author proceeds from explaining the reasons that made Bedouin one of the pillars of ancient Arabic poetry that extended from the period before the emergence of Islam until it reached the end of the fourth century AH, according to a clear methodology that relies on focusing on addressing the original and sub-themes related to Bedouin.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award for the Translation Branch The translation of the book “The Rise of Humanities among Muslims and in the Christian West”, by George Makdisi, and the translation of Ahmed El-Adawy from Egypt, from English into Arabic, from the publication of Madarat for Research and Publishing in 2021. This translation is characterized by clarity and smoothness. And the tight control, and reveal the translator’s deep understanding of the concepts and terms, which he mastered in transferring them into Arabic honestly and accurately. What distinguishes this translation is that it was free from errors resulting from misunderstanding the connotations of the original text or falling into a literal translation, which usually leads to weakness and ambiguity. It is credited to the translator that he excelled in creating a balance between honesty in highlighting the intentions of the original text and its general and precise connotations, and between keenness to adhere to the spirit of Arabic and its stylistic characteristics and aesthetic standards. As for the importance of the book, it lies in the scholarly effort made by the late scholar George Makdisi in presenting a solid academic study, taking a comparative approach that aims to read the origins of humanism in classical Islamic civilization, its literature and cultures, and the circumstances surrounding its emergence in the Western Christian world.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Arts and Critical Studies The book “The Narrator and the Soul’s Twin from Representation to Synthesis” by Moroccan writer Mohamed El-Dahi, issued by the Cultural Center for Book, Publishing and Distribution in 2021. The book is a classification of formats related to autobiographical narratives within the general literary discourse, which includes diaries and letters. Confessions, memoirs, self-imagination, and self-narration. The book is distinguished by its smooth presentation, clarity of concepts, accuracy of analysis, modern and comprehensive references, and its reading of ancient and modern Arab narrative works. The book narrates the complex relationship between writing, existence, the text and what it contains within the framework of representing the real self and transferring it to the world of the book.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award for the Branch of Arab Culture in Other Languages The book “One Thousand and One Nights in the Cultures of the Contemporary World: Global Commodity, Translation and Cultural Industrialization” in English, by Dr. Mohsen Jassim Al-Moussawi from Iraq/USA, published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. This serious academic work discusses the profound influences that the tales of the Thousand and One Nights have had on global cultures in the modern era. He analyzes, in depth and ingenuity, the mechanisms of receiving intellectual visions in the tales of the Thousand and One Nights and their authentic narrative techniques for poets, novelists, critics and intellectuals in the West. It also deals with the ways in which the Arabian Nights were translated, attempts to reformulate their perceptions in new cultural contexts, and the misunderstandings, transfer and employment that occurred. The book’s readings of the forms of presence of One Thousand and One Nights are not confined to traditional literary genres, but rather go beyond that to analyze their effects on music, paintings, visual arts, films of all kinds, and political and digital spaces. In this book, Al-Mousawi selects a number of the most important tales of the Thousand and One Nights, such as Scheherazade, Shahryar, Ali Baba, the Forty Thieves, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, and the famous travels of Sinbad, analyzing their profound impact on contemporary global cultures. In addition, the book reveals the spirit of the scientific researcher, which combines depth of analysis, clarity of thought, and coherence of the method. Al-Moussawi told the world of the Thousand and One Nights, which resulted in the authoring of a number of valuable reference books that dealt with the Arabian Nights, and this winning book is one of his books that are distinguished by sobriety and renewal.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award for the Publishing and Cultural Techniques Branch was won by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The Library of Alexandria is a cultural heritage that carries the civilization of the past and its fragrance, as it is a revival of the old Library of Alexandria. This new library came as the largest library of its time and was opened on October 16, 2002 with global participation. The library includes millions of books in different languages and an internet archive that provides readers all over the world with the books they require. The Knowledge Embassy project has also established branches in Egyptian universities in the governorates of Egypt to facilitate for students, youth and researchers branches of science with its various sources and references without moving to the Library Center in Alexandria. By inviting senior intellectuals and thinkers to cultural conferences and symposia in presence and through cyberspace, which is considered a movement of the sea of Arab culture and presenting it to the world through modern technologies. Its cultural and intellectual role, book publishing and cultural activities are clear and effective.
In this context, it was decided to withhold the award in the Development and State Building Branch for this year because the participating works did not achieve scientific and literary standards and did not meet the general conditions of the award.
The winner of the “Cultural Personality of the Year” award will be announced in the coming weeks. The award will honor the winners in a ceremony to be held in conjunction with the launch of the activities of the 3rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, next May. The winner of the title of “Cultural Personality of the Year” will be honored and awarded with a “golden medal” bearing the award logo and a certificate of appreciation, in addition to a sum of one million dirhams, while the winners in other branches will receive a “golden medal” and a “certificate of appreciation,” and a financial prize of 750 thousand UAE dirhams.