ABU DHABI, 30th April, 2018 (WAM) — Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award held the award ceremony for its 12th edition on Monday at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi, where the Arab World Institute was named the ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, honoured the eight winners in the presence of Ahmed Juma Al Za’abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs; Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi Al Dhaheri, Minister of Justice; Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police and a member of the Executive Council; Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Health Department and a member of the Executive Council; Riyad Abdulrahman Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Finance and a member of the Executive Council; Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State; Mohammed Abdulla Al-Junaibi, President of Presidential Protocol at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs; Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, and Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, alongside a number of senior officials, ambassadors and diplomats.
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “The Sheikh Zayed Book Award honours a group of the most prominent thinkers and writers who have a clear impact on society. The Award comes in recognition of the wisdom and approach of the UAE’s late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, exemplified in identifying knowledge and science as key priorities for the development of the UAE citizen and the nation as a whole. Committing to this approach requires a profound appreciation of independent thought and openness that nurtures innovation and creativity without limits, which we strive to achieve as we witness their positive effects on the advancement of societies and the future of humanity especially when joined by efforts to foster cultural dialogues, tolerance and acceptance of others.”
Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and member of the Award’s Board of Trustees, said; “This year’s award ceremony coincides with the celebrations for the ‘Year of Zayed’, the UAE’s late Founding Father who led the country on a clear path to achieve progress, development and prosperity. As one of the pillars of his vision for the future of his country revolved around the preservation of culture and advancement of education, that paved the way for the UAE’s growth and sustainable development for future generations.”
Ghobash added; “We are delighted to congratulate and commend this distinguished group of thinkers, researchers and innovators who have won this year’s award and hope that it will motivate them to work even harder in the future with the same dedication.
“The UAE takes pride in honouring thinkers and researchers – which is one of the key foundations established since the country’s formation – and extending these honours beyond the borders of the UAE or even the Arab and Muslim worlds to encompass all unique contributors and intellectuals around the world. The UAE’s devotion to this practice springs from its belief in the human connection that brings people together, regardless of different religions, languages, skin colour, countries and cultures.”
Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said; “We can learn a great deal of wise lessons through pondering on the life and unique insight of Sheikh Zayed, most importantly, that today is just an extension of yesterday and the future is the fruit of today. Additionally, we learn about the great significance of hope in lighting our path in life, which he has successfully instilled in the conscience of the nation. And today, we foresee the future of the UAE through the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the hope raised by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Bin Tamim added, “I can still hear the voice of Sheikh Zayed saying: ‘there is nothing impossible, as long as hope and determination are alive in our hearts.’ And in our present day, we hear Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed says: ‘you are better than us, and we want you to be better than us,’ addressing Emirati youth. In that particular moment, Sheikh Mohamed embodied the wisdom of the generations before him and the essence of genuine leadership that recongises hope as one of the top priorities of leadership. It was as if Sheikh Mohamed was telling young people that you are better than us with your youthful energy and new opportunities that generations before you did not have. You are better because you are the product of an educated society, and you will be even better if you invest well in these unique opportunities standing before your eyes, making you the pioneers of this outstanding process of development that we are witnessing every day.”
Bin Tamim expressed his gratitude to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed for attending the ceremony and honouring the winners, and to the esteemed Board of Trustees, the Award’s Scientific Committee, Judges’ Panels and Executive Office.
Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute in Paris, and winner of this year’s ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ Award, said, “It is a great honour to be recognised as Cultural Personality of the Year, and I am deeply moved and thankful to be here with you. The name of Sheikh Zayed, a great visionary, is a symbol of our common dreams. We can be proud of our combined efforts in the establishment of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas, thanks to the continued support of Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi. At the Arab World Institute in Paris, we will join with the UAE in marking the ‘Year of Zayed’, in recognition of his monumental achievements in the promotion and protection of the culture of the Emirates.”
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award had announced the winners of its 12th edition, revealing the Arab World Institute as the winner of the ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ Award.
The ‘Literature’ Award went to Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh for his novel ‘Ikhtibar al-Nadam’ (Remorse Test), published by Nofal-Hachette Antoine, Beirut (2017), while Emirati author Hessa Al Muhairi was named winner of the ‘Children’s Literature’ Award for her story ’Al-Dinoraf’ (The Dinoraf), published by Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution, UAE (2017).
In the ‘Young Author’ category, Egyptian writer Ahmad Al Qarmalawi won the title for his novel ‘Amtar Sayfiyyah’ (Summer Rains), published by Maktabat al-Dar al-Arabiyah lil-Kitab, Cairo (2017).
Neji Elounelli from Tunisia won the ‘Translation’ Award for his Arabic translation of the work of German author Theodor W. Adorno, ‘Nathariyya ‘estiteeqiyya’ (?sthetische Theorie), published by Al-Jamal Publications, Beirut 2017.
The ‘Literary and Art Criticism’ Award went to Moroccan academic Mohammad Mishbal, for his work, ‘Fi Balaghat Al Hajjaj: Nahwa Muqaraba Balaghiyya Hajjajiyyah Litahleel Al Khitab’ (The Rhetoric of Al Hajjaj: A Rhetorical Approach Inspired by Al Hajjaj’s Discourse Analysis), published by Kunouz Al Ma’refa Publishers, Amman (2017).
The ‘Arab Culture in Other Languages’ Award went to German researcher Dag Nikolaus Hasse for his work ‘Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance’, published by Harvard Press 2017, while Dar Al-Tanweer (Beirut/Cairo/ Tunisia) won the ‘Publishing and Technology’ Award, which was accepted by its director Hassan Yaghy.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award commemorates the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his pioneering role in promoting national unity and development. The Award, and its associated accolades, is presented annually, based on objectively-set scientific criteria, to outstanding writers, intellectuals and publishers, as well as emerging talents whose writing and translation in the humanities field enriches Arab intellectual, cultural, literary and social life. The winner of the ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ Award is presented with a gold medal inscribed with the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, a certificate of appreciation in addition to 1 million dirhams, while winners in other categories receive a gold medal with a certificate of appreciation, and a prize of AED 750,000.
This year’s edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award awarded prizes for eight of its nine categories, after no winner was declared for the ‘Contribution to the Development of Nations’ category.
The ‘Literature’ category is awarded to creative literary works in genres including poetry, theatrical plays, novels, short stories, biographies, travel literature and other literary forms.
The ‘Children’s Literature’ category recognises literary, scientific and cultural works for children and young people of different age groups. These include both fictional stories and those featuring simplified historical and scientific facts, conveyed within an attractive layout that fosters a thirst for knowledge in children.
The ‘Young Author’ Award goes to writers below the age of 40 who have contributed with works to the various branches of humanities, arts and literature, in addition to scientific theses that are published in books.
The ‘Translation’ category includes original works translated from and into Arabic, provided they convey the message of the source text, feature sound elements of linguistic accuracy, artistic transference, and contribute to the development of human knowledge, thus promoting cultural awareness.
The ‘Literary and Art Criticism’ Award covers genres of arts criticism including visual arts, film, music, theatre, and studies in the fields of imagery, architecture, Arabic calligraphy, sculpture, historic monuments, folklore arts, narrative and poetry criticism, and the history of literature along with its theories.
The ‘Arabic Culture in Other Languages’ category ??includes all published works ??on Arab civilisation and culture, including humanities, arts and literature across their various branches and stages of development throughout history.
The ‘Publishing and Technology’ Award goes to publishing houses and digital, audio and visual publishing, distribution and production projects, whether they are owned by individuals or institutions.
Finally, the ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ Award honours prominent Arab or international individuals and organisations for their intellectual and creative contributions in enriching Arab culture, provided that their work or activities embody the values ??of authenticity, tolerance and coexistence. Whereas the ‘Contribution to the Development of Nations’ Award concerns scientific literature that focuses on both theoretical frameworks or empirical procedure, including economics, sociology, politics, administration, law and religious jurisprudence, from the perspective of state-building and development.