The Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced its twelve-book “children’s literature” longlist this week, which includes eight books for young children and four for adolescents:
The adolescent book list includes two books be celebrated writers for grown-up audiences: Syrian writer Lina Hassan Hawyan, with Al-Bahth 3an al-Saqr Ghannam (Looking for Ghannam the Falcon) was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction last year for her novel Diamonds and Women; Egyptian Ibrahim Farghali is also on the list with Massassoo al-7ibr (Ink Vampires). He won Egypt’s Sawiris Prize with his Sons of Gabalawi.
Farghali said in an interview that he became interested in writing for young people, ages 12-16, because of the dearth of Arabic literature for this age.
The other two shortlisted authors on the adolescent-prize list are Omani writer Badar al-Hamdani, with Mamlakat al-Qurood (Kingdom of Apes) and Jordanian-Palestinian writer Munir Fashah’s Hikawati ma3 al-Kalimat (My Story with Words).
Last week, the SZBA announced the titles longlisted for the Arts and Literary Criticism Award Longlist. According to a news release, the announcements will continue on a weekly basis for the remaining awards. There are nine in total, incuding awards for Young Author, Litearature, and Translation.