The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, the Arab World’s most prestigious and well-funded prize awards scheme, is planning a fully-fledged Cultural Programme to be run in parallel with its ninth cycle for the season of 2014/2015, comprising a series of cultural seminars and intellectual assemblies in Jordan, France, Spain and Japan.
The programme 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 the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, elaborated that this approach towards further interaction with 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 cultural dialogue to bridge the gap between civilizations within the worldly cultural arena, on both regional and global frontiers," he said.
Dr. bin Tamim also stressed the key role that 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 Award, especially the "Arabic Culture in Other Languages" category.
The programme will commence in Amman, Jordan on August 18th with the first session on "Contemporary Arab Discourse and Critique" hosted in cooperation with the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation and the second seminar, entitled "Arabic Culture in Other Languages", will follow on December 11th in Paris, in collaboration with the Arab World Institute.
Additionally, two more seminars will take place in each of Spain and Japan, building on the 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. The seminar in Spain will be held on September 25th, with the support of "Casa Arabe" [Spanish for The Arabic House] and the U.A.E.’s Embassy in Spain. The seminar in Japan will be hosted by the Japan Foundation.
In May, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced call for nominations for its ninth cycle of 2014/2015, due by September 1st, 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 session was in 2007, intended to promote scholarship and creativity in Arab culture. It now carries cash prizes totalling AED7 million - with AED750,000 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.