Winners of Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s Cultural Personality of the Year Announced

ABU DHABI, 3rd April, 2019 (WAM) – Professors Jaroslav Stetkevych and Suzanne Stetkevych have been named as the winners of the 2019 Cultural Personality of the Year Award at the 13th edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

The husband and wife will receive their award at the prize winners’ ceremony held at Louvre Abu Dhabi Auditorium Plaza on 25 April, which will take place during Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.


“Through enlightening Western audiences about Arabic culture, the Stetkevyches have enriched the global perspectives of our people and traditions,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and Deputy Chairman of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Board of Trustees.

“The authors’ new methodologies focus on how Western scholars should read Arab literature, tackling orientalist takes on Arabic poetry. The Stetkevyches’ research portrays Arabic culture as one that is marked with compassion and tolerance.”

In bestowing the honour of Cultural Personality of the Year, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said: “The Stetkevyches have made a distinguished and unparalleled contribution to Arab culture and literature in the English language, and the positive impact their research has had on Arabic culture cannot be overstated.

“There have been numerous examples of Arabic families whose members have been prolific in promoting cultural projects, such as the Timur family in Egypt and the Bustani family in Lebanon. Arabic poetry has consistently seen several families rise in prominence due to their literary talents, a phenomenon which had almost disappeared in the modern era, until the Sheikh Zayed Book Award reinstated the Arabic tradition that focus largely on the importance of family by awarding this honour to the Stetkevyches.”

Arabic poetry is the central focus of the couple’s research, concentrating on this complex art form that contains numerous metaphors and linguistic tools to convey a diverse range of cultural content. The Stetkevyches’ work presents a series of key studies that demonstrate the authors’ comprehensive knowledge of Arab literature. Additionally, their work displays a critical understanding of poetry which underscores the very essence of Arabic poetic rhetoric.

WAM/Hassan Bashir

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