16th Sheikh Zayed Book Award: Winners across 7 categories announced

Over 3,000 applications were submitted from more than 55 countries, including 20 Arab nations


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Published: Mon 9 May 2022, 10:52 PM

Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) has announced the winners for its 16th edition across seven categories, selecting six literary figures, intellectuals and translators, along with Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina, for the top honours.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the award saw great turnout from authors around the world, with more than 3,000 applications submitted from more than 55 countries, including 20 Arab nations.

Winners will be honoured in a ceremony at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair later this year. The Cultural Personality of the Year winner will be presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit, as well as an Dh1 million prize. Winners of other categories will each receive a gold medal, a certificate of merit, and a prize of Dh750,000.

In the Literature category, the award went to Emirati author and poet Maisoon Saqer for her book Maq’ha Riche, Ain Ala Massr (Eye on Egypt: Café Riche), published by Nahdet Misr Publishing in 2021.

Syrian writer Maria Daadoush won in the Children’s Literature category for her story Loghz al Kora al Zujajiya (The Mystery of the Glass Ball), published by Dar Al-Saqi in 2021.

Dr Mohamed Al-Maztouri from Tunisia won in the Young Author category with his book Al Badawa fi al She’er al Arabi al Qadeem (Bedouinism in Ancient Arabic Poetry), issued by the Faculty of Literature, Arts and Humanities at Manouba University and the GLD Foundation (Al-Atrash Complex for Specialised Books) in 2021.

The Translation category saw Dr. Ahmed Aladawi from Egypt win the award for his work translating from English into Arabic Nash’at al Insaniyat Einda al Muslimeen wa fi al Gharb al Maseehi (The Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West) authored by George Makdisi, which was published by Madarat for Research and Publishing in 2021.

Moroccan author Mohamed Aldahi’s book Al Sarid wa Taw’am al Rooh: Min al Tamtheel ila al Istinaa (The Narrator and the Soulmate: From Acting to Faking) – issued by Le Centre Culturel du Livre in 2021 – won in the Art & Literary Criticism category.

The Arab Culture in Other Languages category saw Dr. Muhsin J. Al-Musawi from Iraq/USA win for his book The Arabian Nights in Contemporary World Cultures: Global Commodification, Translation, and the Culture Industry, issued by Cambridge University Press in 2021.


The award for the Publishing & Technology category went to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt.

Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary-General of the SZBA, said: "With each edition, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award further advances the cultural ecosystem in the Arab world, highlighting brilliant works of intellectual, linguistic, and creative diversity. One of our main aims is to support creators, and it is our hope that this platform will serve to introduce these authors to wider audiences, not only in the region but around the globe."

The SZBA has decided to withhold the award for the Development of Nations category for this year’s edition, as the submissions did not meet the award’s standards and criteria.

The recipient of the Cultural Personality of the Year accolade will be announced in the coming weeks.

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