Sharjah: Lebanese author and critic Dr Yumna Al Eid (also known as Hikmat Sabbagh) has been named Cultural Personality of the Year by Sharjah Book Authority ahead of the 38th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) at Sharjah Expo Centre from October 30 to November 9. Two thousand publishers from 81 countries will be taking part.

Al Eid’s selection is in recognition of more than four decades work in the literary world. Throughout her career, she has conducted many studies and research in literary criticism, comparative criticism, literary documentation and historical approaches, among other subjects.

Her body of work has won many Arab and international awards and honours. She received the Al Owais Cultural Foundation Award for 1992-1993 in the Literary Studies and Criticism category.

Her works include: Practices of Literary Criticism, (1973); Social Connotations of Romanticism in Lebanon, (1979); Issues in Culture and Democracy, published (1980); Knowledge of the Text, (1983); The Narrator: Standpoint and Form, (1986); In Poetic Saying (1987); Narrative Techniques, (1990); Marxism and the Philosophy of Language of Mikhail Bakhtin, and Writing, Transformation in Transformation, an Approach to Literary Writing During the Lebanese war (1993); The Art of the Arabic Novel, Between the Specifics of the Story and Distinguished Messaging; and many others.

Al Eid obtained her PhD in Arabic literature from Sorbonne University, and worked as a lecturer at various universities in Tunis, Yemen and France. She has participated in literary and intellectual conferences, and symposia in many Arab and western countries. She also officiates as the head juror of many literary events, including the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, said, “Celebrating accomplished Arab intellectuals is an integral and focal pillar of SIBF. The book fair is not only an exhibition for new Arab and international titles, but also a cultural project founded on the vision of His Highness Shaikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, focused on advancing Arabic culture, building bridges between civilisations and providing a platform for the young generations to continue on the path of renowned Arab intellectuals, authors, poets, and scientists.

“It is the right of influential and accomplished Arab literati to be celebrated. Their accomplishments should represent our Arabic culture and become a role model for the young Arab generations. For more than 40-years, Dr Yumna Al Eid has enriched Arabic libraries with valuable content and is a household name in Arabic literature studies. By hosting her as ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ at SIBF, we are paying our respects and celebrating Arab intellectuals for their valuable contributions to the Arab civilisation,” he added.