Sheikh Zayed Book Award Literature Longlist


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Zayed Book Award Longlist Announced for ‘Literature’ Category (2017-2018)

Abu Dhabi:
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) has announced its Literature Category long list for its twelfth edition, consisting of 13 titles out of the 337 nominations received in the category since last May. The 337 nominations came mostly from Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

The 13 titles include two works published by Al Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah, Cairo:

1          ‘khareef al- balad al-kabeer’ (The Autumn of The Big City) by Egyptian author Mahmoud al-Werwary, published in 2017

2           ‘yakfi annana ma’an’ (At Least We are Together) by Egyptian writer Ezzat el-Kamhawi, published in 2017


Two titles published by Nofal-Hachette Antoine, Beirut:

3           ‘Ikhtibar al-nadam’ (Remorse Test) by Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh (2017)

4           ‘al -shaytan yoheb ahyanan’ (The Devil May Love Sometimes) by Saudi author Zainab Hifni, published in 2017


And two titles published by Dar Al Saqi, Beirut:

5           ‘fi ‘ithr ghaymah’ (Tracing a Cloud) by Lebanese author Hassan Daoud, published in 2017

6           ‘al badawi al-sagheer’ (The Young Bedouin) by Saudi novelist Maqbul al-Alawi, published in 2016


The remaining titles are as follows:

7           ‘metro halab’ (Aleppo Metro) by Syrian/French novelist Maha Hasan, published by Dar al-Tanweer, Beirut, 2016.

8         ’anaqeed al-ratheelah’ (Grapes of Vice) by Mauritanian novelist Ahmad Hafid, published by Arab Scientific Publishers Inc., Beirut, 2016.

9       The literary biography ‘bah’than ‘an al-sa’adah’ (In Pursuit of Happiness), by Tunisian author Hassouna Mosbahi, published by Editions Arabesques, Tunisia, 2017

10     ‘fi souq al -sabaya’ (In the Market of Captive Women) by Iraqi/American novelist Dunya Mikhail, published by Almutawassit Books, Italy, 2017

11     ‘al- shahed al- mash’houd’ (The Witnessed Witness) by Jordanian novelist Walid Saif, published by Al Ahliah Publications, Jordan, 2016

12     ‘rehlat al-damm’ (The Blood Journey) by Egyptian author Ibrahim Eissa, published by Dar Al Karma, Cairo, 2016

13     ‘Jano, ante hekayati’ (Jano, You are My Story) by Iraqi novelist Maysaloon Hadi, published by Dar Al-Hikma, London, 2017

The work of the Award’s reading panels for all categories has now concluded. The panels reviewed a total of 1,250 nominations across all categories, with the Literature and Young Author categories leading for the fifth year in a row with the highest number of participations – 337 and 307 respectively. Further announcements on longlisted titles in the rest of categories will be made in the coming few weeks.

About the 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 AED 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 adolescents books]

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

  • Translation

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

  • Literature

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.


Posted 15 November 2017

Published Date - 15/11/2017