SZBA announces Cultural Program for 9th Session

ABU DHABI – The Arab World’s most prestigious and well-funded prizes is planning a full-fledged Cultural Program to be run parallel to its ninth cycle proceedings for the season of 2014/2015. The program will comprise a series of cultural seminars and intellectual assemblies around the world, in Jordan, France, Spain and Japan.

The program will highlight Abu Dhabi’s cultural mandate and its role in supporting the book industry in the region, in line with the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s efforts to reach out to international audiences and promote the Award’s objectives at cultural gatherings around the world.

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Secretary General of Sheikh Zayed Book Award, elaborated that this approach towards further interaction with the global cultural communities, builds on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s vision of cultural diversity, peaceful co-existence and reinforcement of creativity of any origin. “Through these collaborations, we thrive to promote the Award’s efforts around the world and enrich the cultural dialogue to bridge the gap between civilizations within the worldly cultural arena, on both regional and global frontiers.” He added.

Bin Tamim also stressed the key role these seminars and cultural assemblies play in supporting the association of intellectuals, academics, and scholars with the Award, through encouraging them to participate in the various categories of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and specially the “Arabic Culture in Other languages” category.

The program will commence in Amman, Jordan on August 18th with the first session on “Contemporary Arab Discourse and Critique” hosted in cooperation with Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation and joining Dr. Rami Abu Shihab, Critic, Author and Winner of Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2014, and Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh, Member of Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee.

The second seminar, entitled “Arabic Culture in Other Languages”, will follow on December 11th in Paris, France in collaboration with the Arab World Institute, (abbreviated "AWI"; French: Institut du Monde Arabe, abbreviated "IMA"). The seminar will bring together Historian and Professor Mario Liverani, Winner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2014, and Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Secretary General of Sheikh Zayed Book Award alongside Mr. Kadhim Jihad, Member of the Award’s Scientific Committee and Writer, historian and publisher Farouk Mardam-Bey,

Additionally, two more seminars will take place in each of Spain and Japan, building on Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s initiative to accept literary works in Spanish and Japanese for the “Arabic Culture in Other Languages” category in its ninth session of 2014/2015. The seminar in Spain will be held on September 25th, with the support of “Casa Arabe” [Spanish for The Arabic House] and the UAE’s Embassy in Spain and will join Professor Pedro Montavez, the renowned Spanish Arabist, scholar, translator and author, and Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s winner of the Cultural Personality of the Year Category in 2009; and Dr. Ali Bin Tamim. The seminar in Japan will be hosted by the Japan Foundation with more details to be announced soon.

Back in May, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced call for for nominations for its ninth cycle of 2014/2015, due by September 1, 2014, in any of the Award’s nine categories; Best Contribution to the Development of Nations, Children’s Literature [including adolescents books], Young Author, Translation, Literature, Literary and Art Criticism, Arabic Culture in Other Languages, Publishing and Cultural Technologies, and Cultural Personality of the Year.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award's first installment was in 2007, intended to promote scholarship and creativity in Arab culture. It carries cash prizes totaling Dhs7 million - with Dh750,000 per winner in all eight categories (including the Arab Culture in non- Arabic languages category). The winners also receive a certificate of merit and a Gold Medal.