Sheikh Zayed Book Award Announces Longlists in Literature, Children’s Literature, and Emerging Author Categories

NOVEMBER 10, 2022 — The Sheikh Zayed Book Award today announced their 2023 longlists in three key categories: “Literature,” “Children’s Literature,” and “Emerging Author.”

The announcement came, organizers said, just as the SZBA judging committees “begin the evaluation process for all the longlisted entries.”

As is generally the case, the prize received an outsized number of entries: 881 in the emerging author category, 688 in the literature category, and 386 in the children’s-literature category.

The twelve-book list in the literature category is dominated by Egyptian authors, of which there are four. They are joined by authors from Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sudan and Iraq. The list includes both poetry and prose; a number of the authors have multiple works translated to English, including Amir Tag Elsir, Reem Bassiouney, and Alawiya Sobh.

Almer: Akhtam Al Madeenah Al Fadelah: (Almer: Seals of the Utopian City) by Abdelillah Benarafa from Morocco, issued by Dar Al Adab Publishing & Distribution in 2022.

“Hijab Al Saher” (A Magician’s Veil) by Ahmed Al Shahawi from Egypt, issued by Al-Dar Al-Masriah Al-Lubnaniah in 2022.

“Aseer Nish: Rakan bin Falah bin Hethlain” (Prisoner of Nish: Rakan bin Falah bin Hethlain) by Ahmed Hamad AlSubait from Saudi Arabia, issued by United Takween Group Press, Publishing & Distribution in 2022.

“Rasasa fi Al Raas” (A Bullet in the Head) by Ibrahim Issa from Egypt, issued by AlKarma Books in 2021.

“Hourrass Al Houzn” (Guardians of Sadness) by Amir Tag Elsir from Sudan, issued by Hachette Antoine / Nofal in 2022.

“Al-Qata’i: Thoulatheyat Ibn Tulun” (Al-Qata’i: Ibn Tulun’s Trilogy) by Reem Bassiouney from Egypt, issued by Nahdet Misr Publishing in 2022.

“Abnaa Hura” (The Sons of Hura) by Abdelrahim Kamal from Egypt, issued by AlKarma Books in 2021.

“Ifrah ya Qulbi” (Rejoice, My Heart) by Alawiya Sobh from Lebanon, issued by Dar Al Adab Publishing & Distribution in 2022.

“Ila Ayn Ayyathouha Al Kaseedah” (Whereto, O Poem? An Autobiography) by Ali Jaafar Alallaq from Iraq, issued by Alaan Publishing in 2022.

“Antakia Wa Molouk Al Khafaa” (Antioch and the Kings of Secrecy) by Lina Hawyan Alhasan from Syria, issued by Dar Al Tanweer Publishing & Distribution in 2021.

“ Moujazafat Al Aref” (Knowledgeable Risk) (Poetic Work) by Mohammed Ibrahim Yaghob from Saudi Arabia, issued by Tashkeel Publishing & Distribution in 2022.

“Kullo Aoushbaten Sawtouha wa Kullo Ghaimaten Kathalek” (To Every Grass Leave Its Sound, and to Every Cloud as Well) (Poetic Work) by Mohamed Ghozi from Tunisia, issued by Contraste Editions in 2022.

In the children’s literature category, there were also well-known names, including Lebanese children’s-book author Sahar Naja Mahfouz; Syrian author Rami Tawil, whose work has been published in ArabLit Quarterly, and Jordanian children’s-book author Flora Majdalawi. However, there were also a number of newer authors, particularly from Gulf countries.

The illustrators’ names were unfortunately not listed in the news release.

The full list:

“La Ahad Yal’ab Ma’ai” (No One Plays With Me) by Mohammed Alohaly from Saudi Arabia, issued by Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution in 2022.

“Lu’bat al-Nujoom” (The Star Game) by Afra Mahmood from the UAE, issued by Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution in 2022.

“Min al-Fajr ila al-Ghuroob maa’ Toyour Ghabat Alkharuwb” (From Dawn to Dusk with the Birds of the Carob Forest) by Flora Majdalawi from Jordan, issued by Majdalawi Masterpieces Books in 2022.

“Mala Narah” (What We Don’t See) by Shaima Alwatani from Bahrain, issued by Afkar for Culture & Publishing in 2021.

“Aba’at Abi” (My Father’s Gown) by Basemah Alwazzan from Kuwait, issued by National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature in 2022.

“Jaddi wa al WhatsApp” (My Grandfather and WhatsApp) by Parween Habib from Bahrain, issued by Dar Al Saqi in 2022.

“Lastu Wahedan” (I Am Not Alone) by Rami Tawil from Syria, issued by Dar Al Saqi in 2021.

“Rabieon Samet” (Silent Spring) by Razan Al Naeemy from Iraq, issued by Qindeel printing, publishing & distribution in 2022.

“Abhathu an Shai’”(I Am Looking for Something) by Sahar Naja Mahfouz from Lebanon, issued by Dar Kiwi Stories in 2022.

” Einstein: Asrar Alkoutaa 99” (Einstein and the Secrets of the 99th Element) by Sharif Saleh from Egypt, issued by Wow for Publishing & Educational Services in 2022.

“Rehla Dafeaa Molawana” (A Colourful Warm Journey) by Doha Jawad from Syria, issued by Dar Ashjar Publishing & Distribution in 2020.

“Al Sorra Al Ajeebah” (The Wonder Bundle) by Nadia AlNajjar from the UAE, issued by Alfulk Translation & Publishing in 2022.

The “emerging author” category is perhaps the prize’s most mixed category, as it includes both scholarly and creative works. There are both novels by well-known young writers such as Algerian novelist Said Khatibi and Iraqi novelist Shahd al-Rawi, as well as works of history and literary criticism. The full list:

“Madeeh Al Ikhtilaf: Derasat fi Falsafat Al Ketaba wa Siasat Alhawiya ” (Praise of Difference: Studies in the Philosophy of Writing and Identity Politics) by Mohamed Bekkaye from Algeria, issued by Al Rawafed Culture and Nadim Edition in 2022.

“Al Khetab Al Kasasi fi Ayyam Al Arab fi Al Jahileya: Kiraah Tadawouleyah Hijajeyah (Narrative Discourse in the Days of Arabs in the Pre-Islamic Era: A Pragmatic and Argumentative Examination) by Dr. Abdessattar Al Jamai from Tunisia, issued by Dar Kunouz Al-Marefa Publishing & Distribution in 2021.

“Al Badawi Al Abiad” (The White Nomad) by Mutaz Albader from Saudi Arabia, issued by Dar Al Tanweer Publishing & Printing in 2021.

“Aroos Al Kamar, Hekayat Al Holm Al Afriki” (The Comoros Bride: An African Dream Tale) by Mohammad Tarazi from Lebanon, issued by Arab Scientific Publishers Inc. in 2021.

“Al Wahl wa Al Noujoom” (Dirt and Stars) by Ahmad Lutfi from Egypt, issued by Aseer AlKotb in 2022.

“Al Tajreeb fi Al Khetab Al Sheary Al Emarati Al Mouaaser” (Experimentation in Contemporary Emirati Poetic Discourse) by Dr. Hessa Abdulla Al Ketbi from the UAE, issued by Sharjah Department of Culture in 2021.

“Haraket Alfadh Al Hadarh Al Arabieyah min Bayan Al Jahedh to Aked iben Abd Rabbeh” (The Movement of Words in the Arab Civilization: From the Statement of Al Jahiz to the Unique Contract of Ibn Abd Rabbeh) by Dr. Ali bin Hamad Al Riyami from the Sultanate of Oman, issued by Alaan Publishers & Distributors & The Omani Society for Writers & Literati in 2022.

“Nehayat Al Sahra’a” (The End of the Desert) by Said Khatibi from Algeria, issued by Hachette Antoine / Nofal in 2022.

“Fawka Jisr Al Joumhoureyah” (Over the Republic Bridge) by Shahid Alrawi from Iraq, issued by Dar Alhikma Publishing & Distribution in 2020.

“Al Belad Al Tounnouseaya fi Oyoun Al Rahhalah Al Alman” (Tunisia in the Eyes of German Travelers (1535-1881 AD) by Dr. Atef Salem from Tunisia, issued by Editions Arabesques in 2021.

“Naqd Al Naqd Wa Tajalleyatoh Fi Al Tourath Al Nakdi Wa Al Balaghi Al Arabi” (Criticism of Criticism and Its Manifestations in the Arabic Rhetoric and Critical Heritage) by Dr. Issam Benchellel from Algeria, issued by Difaf Publishing & El-lkhtilef Publishing in 2021.

“Fareedah Wa Sedi Al Mathloum” (Farida and My Oppressed Master) by Heba Ahmad Hassab from Egypt, issued by Al Mahrousa Center for Publishing, Press Service, and Information in 2021.

Organizers did not set a date for the release of the shortlist, although they are usually released in the spring.