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 The Sheikh Zayed Book Award at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has revealed the winners of its 15th edition, the largest in its history in terms of submissions: 2,349 nominations were received in 2020/2021, an increase of 23% compared to the previous edition. The list of winners includes seven authors and researchers from Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and the United States, in addition to a Lebanese publishing house.

Egyptian writer, Iman Mersal, won the Literature category for her book that was published in 2019 by Al Kotob Khan Library, while Tunisian author, Mizouni Bannani, won the Children’s Literature award for his book Rehlat Fannan (An Artist’s Journey), published by Dar Al Mua’nasa Publishing in 2020. The Translation award went to Impostures by Al-Hariri, translated from Arabic to English by Michael Cooperson from the USA, and published by Library of Arabic Literature in 2020.

The Literary and Art Criticism award went to Tunisian researcher, Khelil Gouia, for his book, published by Med Ali Éditions in 2020. The Contribution to the Development of Nations was awarded to Dr. Saeed El-Masry from Egypt, for his book, published by Batana Publishing & Distribution in 2019, and Tahera Qutbuddin from the USA won the Arab Culture in Other Languages award for her book Arabic Oration: Art and Function, published by Brill Publishers in 2019.

The Young Author category was won by Dr. Asma Muqbil Awad Alahmadi from Saudi Arabia for the study, published by Arab Scientific Publishers Inc. in 2020. Dar Al Jadeed from Lebanon won the Publishing and Technology award, in recognition of its role in shedding light on long-forgotten topics in Arab publishing, as well as its contributions to the Arabic library with science books and linguistic and intellectual studies.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “Since its first edition in 2006, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has proved to be a beacon of culture and literature, recognised and respected internationally as a champion of creativity. Through this inspirational Award, we honour the memory of our nation’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose far-reaching vision for the UAE was intrinsically linked to the cornerstones of culture, knowledge and human development.”

HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, commented: “Despite the challenges of 2020, we were delighted to see a record-breaking year with submissions of exceptional quality. As one of the Arab world’s leading cultural awards, we are proud to support a flourishing international publishing landscape and pleased to see winners from five countries around the globe. The judges were especially impressed with the range of genres, the breadth of topics and the ambition of the scholars and writers represented here. This year’s winners highlight the depth and prestige of the Award in the Arab world and beyond. We commend their achievement and look forward to seeing more superb work in the years to come.”
The recipient of the Cultural Personality of the Year award will be announced in the coming weeks, ahead of the virtual ceremony for the 15th Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which will be held alongside the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in May. The Cultural Personality of the Year recipient will be presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit, as well as a prize of AED 1 million. Winners of all other categories will each receive a gold medal, a certificate of merit and a prize of AED 750,000.