The Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced the closure of the nominations phase for its sixth session of 2011/2012, collecting a total of 560 nominations received across its nine categories. The nominations came in from 26 countries with impressive variety, including the Arab World, Europe, North America and Africa. Arab Nationals, representing 18 Arab countries, including UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Qatar and Oman. Egypt scored highest as last year with 187 nominations, followed by Syria and Jordan with 43 and 42 nominations respectively, while Iraq and KSA contributed equally with 41 nominations each. The Award also received nominations from UK, France, Canada, Senegal, United States, Netherlands, Sweden, and Belgium.
“Literature (novels, short stories and poetry)” led the rest of the categories with 26% of total nominations, followed closely by “Young Author” with 25%, and the “Contribution to the Development of the Nation” category which stood at 21% of total. Meanwhile, the categories of Children’s Literature, Translation and Fine Arts were less fortunate with 10%, 7% and 6% of total nominations received, respectively. The Award received varying number of nominations in the rest of its categories.
With the conclusion of the nominations phase, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s judging panels commenced its work across all categories. Each category has three judges specialized in the same field. The judges evaluate the nominations and submit their reports against a stringent, quantifiable scoring criterion to ensure the decision is truly reflective of their independent and expert views. The assessment results are then calculated for each category and collectively evaluated by the Scientific Committee of the award. Consequently, the short-listed winners will be subject to the approval of the Award’s board of Trustees, scheduled for announcement in February 2012 prior to the commencement of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
Over the past six years the Award has recognized the creative literary and cultural achievements of 33 entities, including Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi; Novelist Wacini Laredj; Orientalist Prof. Pedro Martinez Montavez; Novelist Ibrahim al-Kouni; Orientalist Chung Jikon and many more.