Shortlists for 2024 Sheikh Zayed Book Award

Sheikh Zayed Book Award
unveils the shortlists for its 18th edition



The Award revealed shortlists across a range of categories, including Literature, Young Author, Translation, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Editing of Arabic Manuscripts and Publishing and Technology.

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 7 March 2024
: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), has unveiled the shortlists for its 18th edition, showcasing an array of remarkable literary works from around the world. The Award revealed shortlisted nominations across its Literature, Young Author, Translation, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Editing of Arabic Manuscripts and Publishing and Technology categories.

 Shortlists were announced following a meeting of the SZBA Scientific Committee, chaired by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary-General of the SZBA and Chairman of ALC, and attended by Committee members,: H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC; Prof. Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh from Jordan; Dr. Badria Al Bishr from Saudi Arabia; Mr. Juergen Boos from Germany; Prof. Floréal Sanagustin from France; Dr. Nadia El Cheikh from Lebanon; Dr. Amany Fouad Gadallah from Egypt; and Mr. Mustafa Al-Slaiman from Jordan/Germany. The meeting was also attended by Abdulrahman Mohamed Alnaqbi, Literary Awards Department Director at the ALC.

H.E. Dr. bin Tamim applauded the Committee members for their significant contributions and role in promoting the Award, noting that their extensive experience and knowledge add tremendous value to the Award and raise its global profile. H.E. bin Tamim asserted that Committee members’ recommendations and systematic approach has contributed to the development of the Award’s standards throughout its past editions, reflecting and reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s cultural and literary prominence.



The shortlist for the Literature category consisted of three works, namely ‘Fursa L-Gharam Akheer’ (A Chance for One Last Love) by Hassan Dawood from Lebanon, published by Hachette Antoine/Nofal in 2022; ‘Al Halwani...Thulathiyat al-Fatimiyeen’ (Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy) by Reem Bassiouney from Egypt, published by Nahdet Misr Publishing, Printing and Distribution in 2022; and ‘Nasheej al-Duduk’ (The Duduk’s Whimper) by Jalal Barjas from Jordan, published by the Arab Institute for Research and Publishing in 2023.


The shortlist for the Young Author category features three works: ‘Na’eesh li-Nahki: Balaghat al-Takhyeel fi Kalila wa Dimna’ (Living to Narrate: The Eloquent Imagination in Kalīla wa-Dimna) by Mustapha Rajouane from Morocco, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023; ‘Simya’iyat al-Qira’a: Dirasa fi Shurooh Diwan al-Mutanabbi fi al-Qarn al-Sabe’ Hijri’ (The Semiotics of Reading: a Study of the Seventh Hijri Century Interpretation of the Al-Mutanabbi's Diwan), by Dr. Alawi Ahmed Al Malgami from Yemen, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023; and ‘Al Mashhad al-Moriski: Sardiyat al-Tard fi al-Fikr al-Espani’ (The Morisco Landscape Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought), by Dr. Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia, issued by the Centre for Research and Knowledge Intercommunication in 2023.


 The shortlist for the Translation category consisted of ‘Al-Aalam Iradatan wa-Tamathulan’ (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung – The World: Will and Imagination), authored by Arthur Schopenhauer, translated from German to Arabic by Said Tawfik from Egypt, published by Dar Al Kitab Al Jadeed, in 2023; ‘Limatha Naqraa’ al-Adab al-Classiki?’ (Perché Leggere I Classici – Why Do We Read Classic Literature?), authored by Italo Calvino, translated from Italian to Arabic by Dalal Naserallah from Kuwait, published by Al Mada for Media, Culture, and Arts, in 2021; and ‘Al-Ilm al-Jadeed’ (La Scienza Nuova – The New Science), authored by Giambattista Vico, translated from Italian to Arabic by Dr. Ahmed Somai from Tunisia, published by Adab Publishing and Distribution, in 2022.


Three works made it to the shortlist for the Contribution to the Development of Nations category including: ‘Al-Asmaa’ al-Jughrafiya – Thakirat Ajyal’ (Geographical Names – Legacy of Generations), by Dr. Khalifa Alromaithi from the UAE, published by Austin Macauley Publishers, in 2022; ‘Sikkat al-Tramway: Tareeq al-Hadatha Marra bi-Dimashq’ (Tramway Railway: The Path of Modernity Passed Through Damascus), by Sami Marwan Moubayed from Syria/UK, published by Riad El Rayyes Books, in 2022; and ‘Al-Arabiya Lughat al-Aayn: Dirasa Dalaliya Uurfaniya’ (The Arabic Language: A Study of Cognitive Semantics), by Dr. Fatima Bakouch from Tunisia, published by Masciliana Editions, in 2023.


Furthermore, the shortlist for the Arab Culture in Other Languages category consisted of five works including: ‘The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam’ by Frank Griffel, published in English by Oxford University Press in 2021; ‘On Earth or in Poems: The Many Lives of al-Andalus’ by Eric Calderwood, published in English by Harvard University Press in 2023; ‘Warum es kein islamisches Mittelalter gab’ (Why There Was No Islamic Middle Ages) by Thomas Bauer, published in German by C.H. Beck Verlag in 2018; ‘La letteratura d’adab’ (The Literature of Adab) by Antonella Ghersetti, published in Italian by Istituto per l'Oriente Carlo Nallino in 2021; and‘Louis Massignon et la mystique musulmane: Analyse d’une contribution à l’islamologie’ (Louis Massignon and Islamic mysticism: An analysis of a contribution to Islamology) by Florence Ollivry, published in French by Brill Publishing in 2023.


 The shortlist for the Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category consisted of ‘Sharh Diwan Thi-Al Rimma li Abi al-Hasan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi’ (Interpretation of the Diwan of Thi Al Rimma by Abi Al Hassan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi) by Awad bin Mohammed Salem Al Daheel Al Awlaqi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Al Nawader - Al Madina Al Munawwarah Literary Publishing Club in 2019; ‘Al-Fawa’id al-Sunniya fi al-Rihla al-Madaniya wal-Rumiya, Tathkirat al-Nahrawali’ (Sunni Benefits in the Madani and Roman Journey ‘Nahrawali Diary’) by Al-Mahdi Eid Al-Rawadieh from Jordan, published by The Orient-Institut Beirut in 2022; ‘Safinat al-Mulk wa-Nafisat al-Fulk (Shehab al-Din) al-Muwashah wa-Musiqa al-Maqam al-Natiqa bil-Arabiya bayn al-Tantheer wal-Maras’ (The Ship of Possession and the Precious Ship (Shehab al-Din) - Muwashah and Arabic-speaking Maqam Music between Theory and Practice) by Dr. Mustafa Said from Egypt, published by ElAin Publishing in 2023.


 Finally, the Publishing and Technology category shortlist includes The International Youth Library (Internationale Jugendbibliothek) in Munich – Germany; Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) – Spain; Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries – China; and Finjan Podcast – Saudi Arabia.

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The Sheikh Zayed Book Award decided to withhold the Award from “Children’s Literature” and “Art & Literary Criticism” from this cycle. This year’s edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has seen the largest participation in its history, with a total of 4,240 submissions from 74 countries, including 19 Arab nations and 55 from around the world. This remarkable surge highlights the Award's profound significance and unwavering credibility in the realms of culture, literature, and academia, solidifying its position as a respected entity both regionally and internationally. As a beacon of literary and scholarly excellence, the Award continues to draw submissions from diverse corners of the world, a testament to its universal appeal and enduring impact.


The Award honours creative minds and thinkers in the fields of literature, arts, and humanities in Arabic, as well as other languages, in recognition of distinguished achievements. The SZBA provides new opportunities for Arabic-speaking writers and recognises authors who write about Arab culture and civilisation in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.




Published Date - 08/03/2024