Sheikh Zayed Book Award Shortlists for 3 categories: Literature, Young Author, and Literary & Art Criticism

The 2023 Sheikh Zayed Book Award

announces Shortlists for

Literature, Young Author, and Literary & Art Criticism

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 9 March 2023: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced the shortlisted titles in its Literature, Young Author, and Literary & Art Criticism categories for its 17th edition, which consist of nine works from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.

The shortlist for the Literature category included three works, selected out of a longlist of 12 submissions. Similarly, the Young Author and the Literary & Art Criticism categories also had a longlist of 12 works each, out of which three were shortlisted for each of the two categories.

The three works on the Literature shortlists are:

  • “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
  • “Ila Ayn Ayyathouha Al Kaseedah” (Whereto, O Poem? An Autobiography) by Ali Jaafar Alallaq from Iraq, issued by Alaan Publishing in 2022
  • “Ifrah ya Qulbi” (Rejoice, My Heart) by Alawiya Sobh from Lebanon, issued by Dar Al Adab Publishing & Distribution in 2022.

The Young Author category includes:

  • “Fawka Jisr Al Joumhoureyah” (Over the Republic Bridge) by Shahid Alrawi from Iraq, issued by Dar Alhikma Publishing & Distribution in 2020
  • “Al Wahl wa Al Noujoom” (Dirt and Stars) by Ahmad Lutfi from Egypt, issued by Aseer AlKotb in 2022
  • “Nehayat Al Sahra’a” (The End of the Desert) by Said Khatibi from Algeria, issued by Hachette Antoine/Nofal in 2022.

The three works that made it to the shortlist in this category are:

  • “Mara’i an-Nisaa’: Dirasat fi Kitabat al-That an-Nisaa’iya al-Aarabiya” (Women Views: Studies on Arab Women Self Writings) by Dr. Jalila Al Tritar from Tunisia, published by La Maison Tunisienne Du Livre in 2021
  • “Suwar al-Wujood fi al-Cinema wa-al-Falsafa” (Images of Existence in Cinema and Philosophy) by Mohammed Nouraldin Affaya from Morocco, published by Le Centre Culturel du Livre in 2022
  • “Al-Mu’allafat al-Musiqiya al-Aarabiya al-Rahina: Bayn al-Maqamiya wa-al-Tonaliya” (Contemporary Arab Music Compositions: Between Maqamat and Tonality), by Dr. Fakher Hakima from Tunisia, published by Centre for Arab and Mediterranean Music and Sotumedias Publishing and Distribution in 2021.

The Young Author category attracted the highest number of entries for the Award this year, with 954 submissions, accounting for 30% of all applications, while the Literature category came in second with 688 submissions, making up 22% of all submitted works. For its part, the Literary & Art Criticism category recorded 286 submissions this year, an increase of 5 percent from last year.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award will announce the shortlists of its other categories over the coming few weeks.

About Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award 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, is an independent cultural initiative administered by Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Value of the Award

  • Each prize consists of a gold medal bearing the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, a certificate of merit, and a cash reward, comprising a total prize value of seven million UAE Dirhams (US $1.9m) annually.
  • The Cultural Personality of the Year receives a prize of one million UAE Dirhams, while the winners of the other categories receive 750,000 UAE Dirhams each.


Check out all the Award Categories here

Published Date - 09/03/2023