Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation Announces Winners, Unawarded Prizes

This year’s Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation announced its seventh annual slate of winners in a range of languages, translators working between Arabic and Chinese, Arabic and Urdu, Arabic and Amharic, Arabic and Dutch, Arabic and Greek, and Arabic and English.

The total value of the award — were all prizes to be handed out — would be $2,000,000 USD, divided into three categories: translation prizes, achievement prizes, and prizes for international understanding.

However, this year, several prizes went un-awarded. For instance, there were second and third prizes for English-to-Arabic translation, but not a first, and a second prize for Arabic-to-English translation — Ovamir Anjum’s translation of Ranks of the Divine Seekers by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya — but no first or third.

The reason for a second place with no first-place prize was not explained further in official press releases or state reporting.

In the category of Chinese-to-Arabic translation, the first prize was shared by Yara Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al Masry (for translating Can Xue) and Israa Abd Al Sayyid Hasan Muhammad Hajar, for her translation of an encyclopedia of Chinese history, edited by Zhang Qizhi. Third prize went to Hasanayn Fahmi Husayn for his translation of Chinese Food Culture by Xie Dingyuan. 

First and second prizes were given for Arabic-to-Chinese translation, first to Ge Tieying for a translation of al-Jahiz and second to Wang Fu for a translation of Raja Alem’s The Dove’s Necklace, which was co-winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2011. There was no third-place winner.

There were several “achievement” awards, including one to Egyptian publisher of Chinese literature in translation Bayt al-Hikmah and another for Amhara publisher Al-Najashi for Publishing and Distribution, as well as several for individual translators.