On the fifth round of Sheikh Zayed’s Book Award, Egyptian author, Afaf Tabbala won first place in the children’s literature category for her book “Al Bayt Wal Nakhlah” (The House and the Palm Tree).
The book was described as “a sophisticated diversion from ‘mainstream’ children’s literature. It explores the inner worlds of children in a masterful story-telling style, leaving ample room for the young readers to view their surroundings in light of what they read.”
Afaf was the head of Nile Drama, one of the national Egyptian satellite channels, between 1996 and 2001 and before that supervised Egyptian satellite broadcasting 1994-1995.
The judges selected Professor Chung JiKon from China as the Cultural Personality of the Year for his contributions spanning half a century through teaching Arabic, his translations and research in the Arabic language in the Far East.
Chung is the author of the History of Arabic Literature encyclopaedia, which comprises 1140 pages in two volumes. He currently works in various capacities, among which are Professor of Arabic Language in the University of Peking. He has translated major works of iconic Arab novelists, including Kahlil Jibran, Naguib Mahfouz and Ih’san Abdul Quddus.
For the rest of the award categories, the winners were as follows: Dr Abdel Raouf Sinno from Lebanon won the Best Contribution to the Development of Nations award for his book “Harb Lubnan 1975-1990” (The Lebanese War), deemed “an accurate resource on the historical era of Lebanon;” Dr Mohammad Miftah from Morocco won the Best Book in Literature award for his three-volume book “Mafaheem Muwasa’a Li Nazaryah Shi’ryah” (Broader Concepts on the Theory of Literature) which according to the judges “combines descriptive, analytical and exploratory methodologies in one scientific study of linguistics, music and psychology, in an attempt to establish a theory that links poetry to mysterious forces of the universe,” and finally Dr Mohammad Ziyad Kibbeh from Syria won the Best Book in Translation award for his translation of “Revolutionary Wealth" by Alvin and Heidi Toffler, Random House 2007, for offering “excellent language while preserving the essence of the original script.”
Awards for “Young Author,” "Fine Arts,” “Publishing and Distribution” and “Best Technology in the Field of Culture” were withheld for this session. “This year’s nominees in these categories did not meet the award’s stringent standards and the advisory council opted to withhold them, as a result” explains spokesperson, Al Oraimi
The winners will be announced at the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Grand Ceremony awards ceremony to be held in The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on 16 March, 2011, which runs at the same time as the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.