The Shaikh Zayed Book Award’s “Translation” category has been attracting significant attention from participants in the Award’s seventh session of 2012 / 2013 which wraps up its nominations phase by end of coming September.
The category gains amplified prominence due to its role in bridging the gap between the Eastern and Western worlds and building channels of communication across nations.
Six renowned academics won the category’s prize over the past six cycles since the inception of the Award, for their impressive works in translation ranging from literature and arts, to economics, sociology, and even biological science.
Professor Georges Zinati from Lebanon was the first to be named winner back in 2006 for his book “Althat a’inha Ka’khr” (translated from the French works of Paul Ricoeur in Philosophy), followed by Professor Fayez Al-Suyyagh from Jordan in 2007 for his book “Sociology”, and Professor Sa’ad Maslouh from Egypt in 2008 for his book “Translation theory: contemporary trends”. Between 2009 to 2011, three more winners joined the hall of fame; Professor Albert Mutlaq from Lebanon; Professor Mohammad Ziad Kebbeh from Syria, and Professor Abu Ya’rub al Marzouqi from Tunisia.
Professor Ziad Kebbeh, winner of “Translation” Award for the year 2010, shares how winning the prize contributed to his professional and personal progression, saying: “Winning the Award had an immense effect on my drive and passion, as it energized me to increase my efforts for the benefit of the Arab audience; it was a great joy for me and my family, and an unforgettable moment in my career”. Professor Kebbeh won the Award for his book “Al Tharwah wa Iqtisad Al Ma’rifah”, as translated from “Revolutionary Wealth” by Alvin and Heidi Toffler (Random House 2007). His work was well received by the judging panel as it offers solutions to critical contemporary quandaries which he has successfully communicated using excellent language while preserving the essence of the original script.
From his side, Professor Albert Mutlaq, the 2009 winner of the category, commented on his win, saying: “I was hesitant to participate, as I was convinced that winning Awards is only a privilege for those in the limelight. But all this changed the moment I received the news that I won! I felt unmatched contentment and pride, and I knew that Sheikh Zayed Book Award is dedicated to quality -and quality alone- beyond any other considerations”.
Professor Mutlaq won the Award for his book “The Animal Encyclopedia” (by Lebanon Bookshop, Beirut 2009). The Award’s decision was due to the scientific and educational value of the encyclopedia, written in a professional yet a simple style that makes it a treasured, easy and joyful resource to Arab readers of all ages. Dr. Mutlaq employed accurate scientific terminologies in an accessible and understandable structure that resulted in a well-crafted reference to last for decades.
“What touched me deeply was the proof beyond doubt that Sheikh Zayed Book Award reaches out to any creative individual even if a stranger to the media hype.” Professor Mutlaq continues. “The Award broke all boundaries between hopes and fulfillment, which gives the chance every year for more and more contenders to join the contest of creativity. And this, I believe, is the best that could ever happen to Arabic Culture”, he adds.
Meanwhile, Professor Abu Ya’rub Al Marzouqi elaborates on what lies behind his ingenuity that won him the Translation Category Award in 2012: “It is the love of literary work and commitment to scientific excellence that motivates me in what I do. And this is my advice to all participants; keep all awards out of your considerations while working. Awards and prizes are not the target we aim for but they are the recognition we deserve for determination and creativity”. Professor Al Marzouqi won the 2012 prize for his book “A Prelude to Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy” translated from of the work of Edmund Horsel in German. The Scientific Committee considered the book a valuable addition to the Arab readers, not to mention the substantial effort put by the author to produce a work that is sincere to such a complicated original transcript.
Over the past six years the Shaikh Zayed Book Award has recognized the creative literary and cultural achievements of more than 40 entities, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO which was named the “Cultural Personality of the Year” in the Award’s last session. UNESCO joined The Award’s hall of fame alongside Brill Publishing House, Paju Book city, HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi; Novelist Wacini Laredj; Professor Pedro Martinez Montavez; Novelist Ibrahim al-Kouni; Orientalist Chung Jikon, and many more.