The four winners of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation Award. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has announced winners of the 18th edition of Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award (2022-2023), recognising the exceptional contributions of four distinguished Arab writers and thinkers in their respective fields.

The winners, Hassan Talab, Amin Saleh, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Abdul Salam Benabdelali, have been applauded for their influential works in literature and culture across the Arab world.

Abdul Hamid Ahmed, Secretary-General of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation, stated that the award’s jury has selected the winners based on their outstanding contributions to the development of literature and culture in the Arab world.

Ahmed revealed that the poetry award was bestowed upon Hassan Talab, whose work is noted for its uniqueness, diversity and the integration of poetry with Sufism and philosophical visions. Talab’s poetry is recognised for its experimental nature and evolving project that resonates deeply with audiences.

Amin Saleh, renowned for his versatility in storytelling, claimed the Short Story, Novel and Drama. Saleh’s diverse range of short stories, texts and other writings showcase his broad cultural interests and creative expertise, marking him as a significant figure in contemporary literature.

The Literary Studies and Criticism award was awarded to critic Dr. Abdullah Ibrahim. His methodological approach and focus on the Arab narrative, its transformations, and cultural issues, particularly the East-West dynamics, have been highly influential in the field of literary criticism.

Dr. Abdul Salam bin Abdul Ali was honoured with the Humanities and Future Studies Award. A leading figure in the deconstructive school within Arab culture, his works bridge the gap between specialists and lay readers, emphasising the importance of literature, writing, and translation in philosophy.

Intense competition

Ahmed also noted that the Scientific and Cultural Achievement Award would be announced later by the Award’s Board of Trustees. This special award, differing from the others, is not subject to standard judging criteria.

The competition for these awards was intense, with 1,861 candidates across all fields. The breakdown saw 231 candidates for the poetry award, 490 for the short story, novel, and drama category, 290 in literary studies and criticism, 485 in human and future studies, and 270 for the scientific cultural achievement category.

Since its inception, the Sultan bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award has recognised 101 Arab writers, thinkers and five cultural institutions. More than 270 judges and consultants from diverse cultural backgrounds have contributed to the judging process. Each field’s award is valued at $120,000.

The Sultan bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award is bestowed upon those who reflect the originality and aspirations of Arab thought. The award is known for its independence, impartiality and commitment to creative excellence, irrespective of the candidates’ political views, intellectual beliefs, colour, religion or gender.