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Winners of Sheikh Zayed Book Awards honoured in Abu Dhabi

posted on 02/05/2016: 1579 views



Seven winners of the 10th Sheikh Zayed Book Awards were given Dh5.5 million in prizes for their immense cultural contribution to society at a ceremony held at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair on Sunday evening.

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, who was accompanied by Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, presented the winners with their awards in the presence of key intellectual and literacy guests.

Six of the winners received Dh750,000 each, a gold medal and a certificate of merit with the exception of the winner for the Cultural Personality of the Year, who received Dh1 million prize.

The Lebanese-born French novelist Amin Maalouf, 2016 Cultural Personality of the Year, was the star of the evening and was praised for his achievements as an exceptional novelist.

In a moving speech, Maalouf thanked everyone who had selected him and said, "The future belongs to all those who love science, arts… the future belongs to those who love books, it belongs to those who love life.” Maalouf was the only winner to give a speech at the ceremony.

Speaking to Gulf News on the side-lines of the ceremony about the importance of the award he said: "It is important to give culture a primary place in society. We tend to give a lot of importance to other aspects of life that are important like politics or economy but culture is sometimes considered secondary while I think one cannot build self-esteem in a society without culture.”

Maalouf was given the award in recognition of his achievement as a novelist, who has conveyed in French some key moments in the history of Arab and other Eastern peoples to the entire world.

He said he was very happy when he learnt that he had won the award and "wanted to come here and meet the marvellous people who thought I deserved this award.”

Speaking about his next project he said, "When I go back to Paris at the end of this month I will begin concentrating on my next book. Like I do always, I isolate myself and then work on a new book.”

Asked what he was going to do with the Dh1 million prize money he joked: "I haven't thought about the money, there is any money?”

The Sheikh Zayed Book Awards are presented every year to outstanding Arab 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 Awards were established in memory of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his pioneering role in national unity country's development. It is an independent cultural award administered by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), with a total monetary value of seven million dirhams. Two categories, the Children's Literature and Young Author, did not meet the awards standards this year and consequently the Board of Trustees opted to withhold the awards allocated to them.



The winners of Sheikh Zayed Book Awards

About Maalouf: Cultural Personality of the Year

Born in 1949, Amin Maalouf, holds a degree in economics and sociology from Beirut University. He worked in the Beirut-based daily Al Nahar newspaper, reporting on international and political affairs. He had first-hand experience of the Lebanese civil war, and then moved to Paris with his wife and children, where he worked for the weekly newspaper Al Nahar Al Arabi and worked at the French Jeune Afrique.



Contribution to the Development of Nations Award: Al-Sarab (The Mirage) by Dr Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi from UAE.

The Literature Award: Ma Wara'a al-Kitaba (Beyond Writing) by Egyptian novelist Ebrahim Abdul Majeed.

The Literary and Art Criticism Award: Al-Fikr al-Adabi al-‘Arabi (Arabic Literary Thought) by Moroccan Professor Said Yaktine.

The Translation Award: Dr Keyan Yahya from Iraq for The Meaning of Meaning by Ogden and Richards.

The Arab Culture in Other Languages Award: ‘Angles et Grandeur' by Professor Roshdi Rashed from Egypt.

The Publishing and Technology Award: Dar Al Saqi from Lebanon. – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/education/winners-of-shaikh-zayed-book-awards-honoured-in-abu-dhabi-1.1816355

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