Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2016 Longlist

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Longlist Announced for
Sheikh Zayed Literature Award

Abu Dhabi, October 27, 2015: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) has announced its long list for the tenth cycle consisting of 15 titles out of 270 nominations received in four months. The 270 nominations came from 19 Arabic-speaking countries, most of which were from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, in addition to six non-Arab countries – Germany, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Holland and the United States.

The long-listed titles are:

Three titles published by Dar Al Saqi, Beirut:

1. “Salatun libidayat al Saqee’’ (A Prayer for the Beginning of Frost) by Lebanese poet Abbas Beydoun (2015)

2. “Ziryab” by Saudi Arabian novelist Maqbul al-Alawi (2014)

3. “Bakhur ‘adani” (Incense from Aden) by Yemeni novelist Ali Al-Muqri (2014)

Three titles published by Al Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah, Cairo:

1. “Al moriski al ‘akheer” (The Last Moor), by Egyptian novelist Sobhi Moussa (2015)

2. “Ma wara’a al Kitaba” (Beyond Writing) by Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdelmeguid (2014)

3. “Yahdoth fee Baghdad” (Happening in Baghdad) by Iraqi writer Rasool Mohammed Rasool (2014)


The remaining nine titles are:

1.  “Taqs” (Weather) by Sudanese novelist Amir Tag Elsir (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, 2015)

2.  “Ila ayna ta’khodoni ayyohal shi’r” (Where are you taking me, O Poetry) by Lebanese poet Chawki Bazih (Dar Al Adab, Beirut, 2015)

3.  “Nazarat la ta’rif al ‘hayaa’’ (Glances that do not know Modesty) by Syrian author Mahmoud Hassan Aljassem (Arab Scientific Publishers, Inc., Beirut, 2015)

4.  “Al malek al jahily yataqa’ad” (Al-Jahily King Retires) by Saudi author Fahd Al-Ateq (Arab Institute for Research and Publishing, Beirut, 2014)

5.  “Al kheeraf al dhalla” (Lost Sheep) by Bahraini author Ahmed Juma (Dar Al-Farabi, Beirut, 2013)

6.  “Al khasr wal watan” (The Waist and the Homeland) by Hanan Derkaoui, Moroccan writer residing in France (Afrique Orient, Morocco, 2014)

7.  “Banat qaos quzah” (Daughters of the Rainbow) by Tunisian poet Moncef Ouhaïbi (Dar Afeq Perspectives, Tunisia, 2015)

8.  “Thi’bat al hob wal kutub” (The She-wolf of Love and Books) by Muhsin al-Ramli, Iraqi writer residing in Madrid (Dar Al-Mada, Baghdad, 2015)

9.  “Murawighoon qusaa” (Ruthless Crooks) by Jordanian author Yousef Damra (Dar Fadaat, Jordan, 2014)

All the above titles will now go to 3 to 4 judges for a thorough review and assessment, a process which takes up to four months. The Judges will submit their views to the Scientific Committee for a third round of evaluations to decide on the short list of the best nominations in this category, to be finally introduced to the Board of Trustees for the winner’s announcement.

About the Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The foundation of the Award was laid out in memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of UAE for more than 30 years, and his pioneering role in national unity and the country’s development. It is presented every year to outstanding writers, intellectuals, publishers as well as young talents whose writings and translations of humanities have scholarly and objectively enriched Arab cultural, literary and social life.

The Sheikh Zayed Book award is an independent cultural award administered by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, with a total monetary value of seven million dirhams.


Award Objectives

1. Honor intellectuals, researchers, and writers, who have made significant contributions in literature, social sciences and the culture and knowledge of modern age

2. Honor prominent figures who have outstanding achievements at a regional and international level, and informing readers about them in the context of creativity and innovative thought

3. Appreciate the immense cultural role of translators who enrich culture, promote dialogue between civilizations, and bring nations together.

4. Encourage creativity of youth, and motivate them to research, and create a spirit of positive competition in this vital sector that represents the nation's present and future.

5. Honor institutions, research centers, Arab and international publishing houses that represent an inventive cultural project that caters for creativity, and promote the human values of dialogue and tolerance.

6. Encourage children and adolescent's literature, which seeks to develop this important segment of society, and their aesthetic taste, and constructs their cultural identity on the foundation of creative interaction between the past and present.



The award recognizes cultural achievement across one of the broadest and most diverse areas of any cultural awards internationally, including:

Contribution to the Development of Nations

Consists of books in the fields of economics, sociology and law which contribute to a nation's advancement, whether the study is a theoretic review or documentation of practice.

Children’s Literature [including books for adolescents]

Covers literary, scientific and cultural books addressing various children’s groups and adolescents, whether it is fictional stories or simplified factual historical and scientific narratives, put in an artistic layout.

Young Author

Recognizes works in science, literature, culture, fine arts and humanities, in addition to scientific theses that are published, produced by authors younger than 40 years


Recognizes translated works, either to or from Arabic, provided it maintains loyalty to original source, linguistic accuracy, and maintaining the context.


Represents works across various categories of literature including poetry, short stories, novels, biographies, theatrical plays and other types of arts

• Literary and Art Criticism

Covers works of criticism in the fields of art, cinema, music, theatrical plays, studies of image, architecture, sculpture, historical ruins, folkloric arts, and history of literature and theories.

• Arabic Culture in Other Languages

Recognizes written works produced in languages other than the Arabic, tackling Arab civilization and culture, including humanities, fine arts, literature (novels, shorts stories, poems) and history.

• Publishing and Technology

Includes publishers, distributors, research institutions and cultural institutions, which promote culture through various forms of digital, visual and audio processes.

• Cultural Personality of the Year (Open to individuals and organizations)

Honors a prominent Arab or international figure (or organization) who has contributed to the advancement of the Arabic culture, embodies through his/her work tolerance and promotes peaceful coexistence.


To go to the Sheikh Zayed Book Award website, click here

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Emad Fouad

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