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Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News, announces the winners at a press conference. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation in Dubai on Sunday revealed the winners of the 16th edition of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award 2018-19.

The winners include poet Ali Jaafar Al Alaq (Iraq), novelist Alawiya Sobh (Lebanon), intellectual Haidar Ebrahim Ali (Sudan), and critic Mohammad Lotfi Al Yousifi (Tunisia).

Also, the foundation’s board of trustees awarded the Cultural and Scientific Achievement Award to Shaikha Mai Mohammad Al Khalifa (Bahrain).

The announcement was made by Abdul Hamid Ahmad, the foundation’s secretary-general, who is Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News and Executive Director Publications, at a media briefing at the foundation’s head office in Deira on Sunday.

Ahmad said the panel of judges selected the creative writers and intellectuals out of 1,745 candidates for the 16th edition.

He added that the foundation is proud to have such a selection of personalities added to its list of winners, where “their creative works reflected the authentic values that expressed the concerns and aspirations of the Arab people, and for years formed a living conscience and gave inspiration to new generations for more work, knowledge and success”.

The panel of judges awarded Al Alaq the ‘Poetry’ category in recognition of his excellence and continued contribution to nurturing contemporary Arab poetry.

The panel also granted novelist Sobh the ‘Short Story, Novel and Drama’ award for being unique in working on the details of a diary to build a rich world of coherent narrative, and also for her ability to intensify the language, especially in women’s issues.

Meanwhile, the ‘Literary Studies and Criticism’ award has been given to Al Yousifi, who took a new approach in his critical studies, which tackled Western critical theories.

Ali won the ‘Humanities and Future Studies’ award, who presented, through dozens of books, an objective social vision of the concept of political Islam, discussing the phenomenon from a comprehensive perspective, and criticising the underdevelopment associated with the prevailing social relations.

Shaikha Mai was awarded the Cultural and Scientific Achievement Award for being one of the symbols of the scientific and cultural renaissance in Bahrain through her continuous effort in the social sector to enhance the presence of culture in public life.

The winners

Poetry: Ali Jaafar Al Alaq (Iraq)

Short Story, Novel and Drama: Alawiya Sobh (Lebanon)

Humanities and Future Studies: Haidar Ebrahim Ali (Sudan)

Literary Studies and Criticism: Mohammad Lotfi Al Yousifi (Tunisia)

Cultural and Scientific Achievement Award: Shaikha Mai Mohammad Al Khalifa (Bahrain)