May 1, 2024

Celebrating the winners of the 18th Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The SZBA 18th edition awards presentation ceremony

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On Tuesday, April 30, 2024, Sheikh Zayed Book Award honored its winners at ADNEC Centre Abu Dhabi ”ADNEC,” coinciding with the events of the 33rd edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Sheikh Theyab bin Zayed honors the winners

Sheikh Theyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed, Deputy Chairman of  Presidential Court for Development Affairs and Martyrs’ Families, honored the winners of Sheikh Zayed Book Award under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in its eighteenth edition. The winners demonstrated excellence in various literary, intellectual, and linguistic fields that enrich Arabic culture. The names of the winners were announced at the beginning of April 2024.

Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book word

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, President of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, stated: “This award holds great significance by bearing the name of its founder, Sheikh Zayed. It embodies Abu Dhabi’s commitment to the values upon which we were raised, fostering creativity, knowledge, and culture. The award aims to support the culture of learning and encourage creativity and innovation.

Bin Tamim added: ‘This year’s edition received 4240 submissions from 74 countries, including 19 Arab countries. This represents the highest number of submissions since the inception of the award, reflecting the depth of presence, influence, and credit, all attributed to the support of the leadership of the United Arab Emirates.

The names and details of the winners of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award

1- Literature Branch:

The Egyptian writer Reem Bassiouney won the Literature Branch award for her novel “Al-Hilwani: The Fatimid Trilogy,” published by Nahdet Misr Online Store in 2022. This novel crowns a distinctive project that examines the historical and societal development of Egypt in the Middle Ages, highlighting the nature of the Egyptian character during that extended historical period. The narrative, characterized by a blend of poetry, architecture, and legend, is rendered in a language that resonates with its intellectual and societal dimensions, ultimately championing the human aspect.

2- Young Author Branch:

Dr. Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia won the ”Young Author” Branch award for his work “The Morisco Scene: Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought,” published by Center for Research and Knowledge Intercommunication in 2023. The work sheds light on the expulsion of the Moriscos who remained in Spain, through a historically documented material in Spanish on the subject, to address the sociological-cultural dimensions and the relationship of memory to historical identity. It presents a clear effort in investigation, documentation, analytical and critical presentation, and methodological approach, making it an addition to bilateral historical studies that examine civilizations and their relationships from a scientific perspective.

3- Manuscript Investigation Branch:

Dr. Mustafa Said from Egypt won the award for his study titled “The Ship of Kings and the Jewel of Ships (Shihab al-Din): The Muwashshah and the Arabic Speaking Melodic Modes between Theorization and Application,” published by Elain Publishing House in 2023. The researcher’s dedication to serving the text is evident in its organization, investigation, and presentation to the reader in a study based on a comprehensive methodological vision and a deep analytical approach. This is followed by innovative statistical tables of melodies and connections, demonstrating mastery of scientific material, and an ability for analysis, understanding, and critique, making it the first comprehensive investigation in the scientific concept.

4- Development and State Building Branch:

Dr. Khalifa Al-Romaithi from the United Arab Emirates won it for his book “The Geographical Names – Memory of Generations,” published by Austin Macauley Publishers in 2022. The book is characterized by a scholarly spirit, linguistic accuracy, and clarity of style in studying geographical names in the UAE, using historical and geographical methodologies, enriched with clear data, numbers, maps, and historical tracking, skillfully utilized to make it an outstanding work of precision and a significant reference for researchers.

5- Translation Branch:

Dr. Ahmed Al-Samai from Tunisia won the Translation Branch award for his translation of “New science” by Giambattista Vico from Italian to Arabic, published by Dar Al-Adab for Publishing and Distribution in 2022. This translated book from Italian represents a valuable addition to the Arabic library, distinguished by its precision, high professionalism, and proficiency in conveying terms in their structure and formulation scientifically reflecting the context in which they were used. Its introduction is significant both in terms of form and content, and the numerous footnotes included aid in clarifying the ideas presented in the text and the information contained within.

6- Branch of Arabic Culture in Other Languages:

Frank Griffel won the award for his book “The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam,” published by Oxford University Press in English in 2021. His work sheds light on the essential contributions of Islamic philosophy and its influence on subsequent developments in jurisprudence, sciences, and literature. It explores the transformations that reshaped philosophical discourse in Islam during the twelfth century, revealing profound discussions on philosophy during that era, including metaphysics, ethics, theory of knowledge, and the complex relationship between revelation and reason. Griffel clarifies numerous innovative ideas, notably the synthesis of Greek, Arab, and Islamic philosophical thoughts, and the scientific attempts to reconcile these diverse traditions, as demonstrated by figures such as Al-Farabi and Ibn Sina. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the personalities and movements that influenced Islamic philosophy, making it a valuable contribution to understanding post-classical eras in Islamic philosophy.

7- Publishing and Cultural Technologies Branch:

Beit Al Hikmah Cultural Industries Group in China won the Publishing and Cultural Technologies Branch award for its success in creating a cultural bridge between Chinese and Arab cultures. Through this initiative, they published and translated over 300 books, along with a vast number of documents and newspapers, leveraging an exceptional abundance of linguistic databases in both Chinese and Arabic. They have placed these resources at the service of cultural exchange between the two sides within the framework of a comprehensive cultural project operating in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and China. The group manages diverse projects aimed at connecting the East with the Far East and fostering a deep understanding through publishing, translation, education, cultural, and creative industries. They emphasize diversifying publishing methods, utilizing modern technologies, and showing remarkable attention to children and youth through illustrated stories, skill development books, educational tools, and motivational novels.

8- Cultural Personality of the Year:

Casa Árabe in Spain was awarded the “Cultural Personality of the Year” award in its eighteenth edition, in recognition of its achievements as a bridge connecting Arab and Spanish cultures, and its role in promoting Arab culture and language in Europe and Latin American countries.

About the Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The winner of the “Cultural Personality of the Year” award receives a gold medal and a certificate of appreciation, along with a financial prize of one million dirhams, while winners in other branches receive a gold medal and a certificate of appreciation, along with prizes worth 750,000 dirhams.

The submissions during this edition mark the largest in the history of the award, with a total of 4,240 nominations, representing a 35% increase compared to the previous year’s edition, which had 3,151 nominations. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of participating countries, reaching 74, including 19 Arab countries, and 55 other countries.

In recognition of the esteemed stature of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may he rest in peace, and his pioneering role in unification, development, nation-building, and human advancement, it was decided to establish a scientific award bearing the name “Sheikh Zayed Book Award.” This award is an independent recognition bestowed annually upon cultural influencers, intellectuals, creatives, publishers, and youth for their contributions in the fields of development, authorship, and translation in the humanities, which have had a clear impact in enriching cultural, literary, and social life. These recognitions are based on scientific and objective criteria.

This award, affiliated with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, was established with the support and sponsorship of Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism . The total value of the award amounts to 7,750,000 Emirati Dirhams.



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