SZBA Longlists announced for 2023 Awards


Sheikh Zayed Book Award
announces longlists for 17
th edition
in Literature, Children’s Literature,
and Young Author categories


Abu Dhabi, UAE – 10 November 2022:  The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has revealed the longlists for its 17th edition (2022/2023) in the Literature, Children’s Literature, and Young Author categories. The announcement was made as the SZBA judging committees begin the evaluation process for all the longlisted entries.

The Young Author category saw 954 submissions this year, an increase of more than 8 percent from the 881 received last year. The Young Author recorded the highest growth in number of submissions among all categories, and now accounts for 30 percent of total nominations across all categories.

The Literature category received 688 submissions this year, ranking second in terms of submissions, while the Children’s Literature category saw 386 participations, up nearly 63 percent from the 236 submissions registered last year.


In the Literature category, 12 titles made it onto the longlist by novelists, writers and poets, representing eight countries: Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sudan and Iraq. The titles are:

  • Almer: Akhtam Al Madeenah Al Fadelah: (Almer: Seals of the Utopian City) by Abdelillah Benarafa from Morocco, issued by Dar Al Adab Publishing & Distribution in 2022.
  • Hijab Al Saher (A Magician’s Veil) by Ahmed Al Shahawi from Egypt, issued by Al-Dar Al-Masriah Al-Lubnaniah in 2022.
  • Aseer Nish: Rakan bin Falah bin Hethlain (Prisoner of Nish: Rakan bin Falah bin Hethlain) by Ahmed Hamad AlSubait from Saudi Arabia, issued by United Takween Group Press, Publishing & Distribution in 2022.
  • Rasasa fi Al Raas (A Bullet in the Head) by Ibrahim Issa from Egypt, issued by AlKarma Books in 2021.
  • Hourrass Al Houzn (Guardians of Sadness) by Amir Tag Elsir from Sudan, issued by Hachette Antoine / Nofal in 2022.
  • Al-Qata’i: Thoulatheyat Ibn Tulun (Al-Qata’i: Ibn Tulun’s Trilogy) by Reem Bassiouney from Egypt, issued by Nahdet Misr Publishing in 2022.
  • Abnaa Hura (The Sons of Hura) by Abdelrahim Kamal from Egypt, issued by AlKarma Books in 2021.
  • Ifrah ya Qulbi (Rejoice, My Heart) by Alawiya Sobh from Lebanon, issued by Dar Al Adab Publishing & Distribution in 2022.
  • Ila Ayn Ayyathouha Al Kaseedah (Whereto, O Poem? An Autobiography) by Ali Jaafar Alallaq from Iraq, issued by Alaan Publishing in 2022.
  • Antakia Wa Molouk Al Khafaa (Antioch and the Kings of Secrecy) by Lina Hawyan Alhasan from Syria, issued by Dar Al Tanweer Publishing & Distribution in 2021.
  • Moujazafat Al Aref”(Knowledgeable Risk) (Poetic Work) by Mohammed Ibrahim Yaghob from Saudi Arabia, issued by Tashkeel Publishing & Distribution in 2022.
  • Kullo Aoushbaten Sawtouha wa Kullo Ghaimaten Kathalek (To Every Grass Leave Its Sound, and to Every Cloud as Well) (Poetic Work) by Mohamed Ghozi from Tunisia, issued by Contraste Editions in 2022.


The longlist for the Young Author category ranged from theses to literary works and included 12 titles, submitted from eight Arab countries: Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, UAE, Iraq, Oman, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. The works on the longlist are:

  • Madeeh Al Ikhtilaf: Derasat fi Falsafat Al Ketaba wa Siasat Alhawiya (Praise of Difference: Studies in the Philosophy of Writing and Identity Politics) by Mohamed Bekkaye from Algeria, issued by Al Rawafed Culture and Nadim Edition in 2022.
  • Al Khetab Al Kasasi fi Ayyam Al Arab fi Al Jahileya: Kiraah Tadawouleyah Hijajeyah (Narrative Discourse in the Days of Arabs in the Pre-Islamic Era: A Pragmatic and Argumentative Examination) by Dr. Abdessattar Al Jamai from Tunisia, issued by Dar Kunouz Al-Marefa Publishing & Distribution in 2021.
  • Al Badawi Al Abiad (The White Nomad) by Mutaz Albader from Saudi Arabia, issued by Dar Al Tanweer Publishing & Printing in 2021.
  • Aroos Al Kamar, Hekayat Al Holm Al Afriki (The Comoros Bride: An African Dream Tale) by Mohammad Tarazi from Lebanon, issued by Arab Scientific Publishers Inc. in 2021.
  • Al Wahl wa Al Noujoom (Dirt and Stars) by Ahmad Lutfi from Egypt, issued by Aseer AlKotb in 2022.
  • Al Tajreeb fi Al Khetab Al Sheary Al Emarati Al Mouaaser (Experimentation in Contemporary Emirati Poetic Discourse) by Dr. Hessa Abdulla Al Ketbi from the UAE, issued by Sharjah Department of Culture in 2021.
  • Haraket Alfadh Al Hadarh Al Arabieyah min Bayan Al Jahedh to Aked iben Abd Rabbeh (The Movement of Words in the Arab Civilization: From the Statement of Al Jahiz to the Unique Contract of Ibn Abd Rabbeh) by Dr. Ali bin Hamad Al Riyami from the Sultanate of Oman, issued by Alaan Publishers & Distributors & The Omani Society for Writers & Literati in 2022.
  • Nehayat Al Sahra’a (The End of the Desert) by Said Khatibi from Algeria, issued by Hachette Antoine / Nofal in 2022.
  • Fawka Jisr Al Joumhoureyah (Over the Republic Bridge) by Shahid Alrawi from Iraq, issued by Dar Alhikma Publishing & Distribution in 2020.
  • Al Belad Al Tounnouseaya fi Oyoun Al Rahhalah Al Alman (Tunisia in the Eyes of German Travelers (1535-1881 AD) by Dr. Atef Salem from Tunisia, issued by Editions Arabesques in 2021.
  • Naqd Al Naqd Wa Tajalleyatoh Fi Al Tourath Al Nakdi Wa Al Balaghi Al Arabi (Criticism of Criticism and Its Manifestations in the Arabic Rhetoric and Critical Heritage) by Dr. Issam Benchellel from Algeria, issued by Difaf Publishing & El-lkhtilef Publishing in 2021.
  • Fareedah Wa Sedi Al Mathloum (Farida and My Oppressed Master) by Heba Ahmad Hassab from Egypt, issued by Al Mahrousa Center for Publishing, Press Service, and Information in 2021.


The Children’s Literature category received ‫submissions from nine Arab countries: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq. The 12 titles longlisted are:


  • La Ahad Yal’ab Ma’ai (No One Plays With Me) by Mohammed Alohaly from Saudi Arabia, issued by Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
  • Lu’bat al-Nujoom (The Star Game) by Afra Mahmood from the UAE, issued by Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
  • Min al-Fajr ila al-Ghuroob maa’ Toyour Ghabat Alkharuwb (From Dawn to Dusk with the Birds of the Carob Forest) by Flora Majdalawi from Jordan, issued by Majdalawi Masterpieces Books in 2022.
  • Mala Narah” (What We Don’t See) by Shaima Alwatani from Bahrain, issued by Afkar for Culture & Publishing in 2021.
  • Aba’at Abi” (My Father’s Gown) by Basemah Alwazzan from Kuwait, issued by National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature in 2022.
  • Jaddi wa al WhatsApp (My Grandfather and WhatsApp) by Parween Habib from Bahrain, issued by Dar Al Saqi in 2022.
  • lastu Wahedan (I Am Not Alone) by Rami Tawil from Syria, issued by Dar Al Saqi in 2021.
  • Rabieon Samet (Silent Spring) by Razan Al Naeemy from Iraq, issued by Qindeel printing, publishing & distribution in 2022.
  • Abhathu an Shai’ (I Am Looking for Something) by Sahar Naja Mahfouz from Lebanon, issued by Dar Kiwi Stories in 2022.
  • ‫" Einstein: Asrar Alkoutaa 99 (Einstein and the Secrets of the 99th Element) by Sharif Saleh from Egypt, issued by Wow for Publishing & Educational Services in 2022.
  • Rehla Dafeaa Molawana (A Colourful Warm Journey) by Doha Jawad from Syria, issued by Dar Ashjar Publishing & Distribution in 2020.“Al Sorra Al Ajeebah” (The Wonder Bundle) by Nadia AlNajjar from the UAE, issued by Alfulk Translation & Publishing in 2022.


The Sheikh Zayed Book Award will soon be announcing the longlisted titles for the remaining categories in the 17th edition.

About Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, established following a directive from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, as part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, works to support Arabic language development and modernisation through comprehensive strategies and frameworks, enrich the scientific, educational, cultural and creative contributions of the Arabic language, promote Arabic language proficiency and cultural understanding, and support Arab talents in the fields of writing, translation, publishing, scientific research, arts, content creation and organisation of book fairs. The Centre works to realise its foundational vision through dedicated programmes, human expertise, and meaningful partnerships with the world’s most prestigious technical, cultural, and academic institutions.


About the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi's culture, tourism and creative sectors, fuels economic progress and helps achieve Abu Dhabi's wider global ambitions. By working in partnership with the organisations that define the emirate's position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of the emirate's potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies, and systems to support the culture and tourism industries.

DCT Abu Dhabi's vision is defined by the emirate's people, heritage, and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi's status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives and creative thought.


About Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) commemorates the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and his pioneering role in promoting national unity and development. The Award, and its associated accolades, are presented annually to outstanding writers, intellectuals, and publishers, as well as young talent whose writing and translation in humanities objectively enriches Arab intellectual, cultural, literary, and social life. The Sheikh Zayed Book Award at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) is an independent cultural initiative administered by Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).


Published Date - 10/11/2022