Dubai: Winners of the 2020 Sheikh Zayed Book Award were announced on Wednesday.
A record-breaking year for submissions saw seven awards go to recipients of six countries - UK, US, the Netherlands, Iraq, Tunisia and Palestine.
Each winner received Dh750,000.
Salma Khadra Al Jayussi, 94, was awarded Cultural Personality of the Year for her profound contribution to Arabic literature and culture.
The prize for Literature went to Tunisian poet Moncef Ouhaibi for his book Belkas ma Qabl Al Akheera (The Penultimate Cup).
The Young Author award went to Iraqi writer and academic Hayder Qasim for his book ilm Al Kalam Al Islami fi Derasat al Mustashrikeen Al Alman (Islamic Theology in the Studies of German Orientalists). Children’s Literature was awarded to Palestinian-American author Ibtisam Barakat for her book Al-Fatah Al-Laylakeyyah (The Lilac Girl)
Publishing & Technology was awarded to Banipal Magazine in London, UK.
Arabic Culture in Other Languages was awarded to the Dutch author, translator, and scholar Richard van Leeuwen for his book The Thousand and One Nights and Twentieth-Century Fiction: Intertextual Readings.
Translation was awarded to the Tunisian translator and academic, Mohamed Ait Mihoub for Al-Insan Al-Romantiq (L’homme romantique) by French philosopher Georges Gusdorf, translated from French to Arabic and published by Dracher Sinatra/Tunis Institute for Translation in 2018.
The annual Award aims to recognise some of the most challenging and exciting work coming out of the Arab world or engaging with its culture, including both literary and scholarly works. Writers, translators, academics, and publishers from around the world are awarded for their exceptional contributions to advancing Arabic literature and culture. In the words of this year’s Children’s Literature winner Ibtisam Barakat, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is “the Arab world’s equivalent to the Nobel prize”.