Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdelmeguid got one of the biggest paydays in writing as he won a Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2016.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is presented annually to Arab writers, intellectuals, publishers as well as young talent whose writings and translations of humanities have enriched Arab cultural, literary and social life. The award worth AE750,000 (about US$212,000) to the winner was established in memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the principal architect of United Arab Emirates, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE from 1971–2004.

This year, the novel categories were whittled down to four players from a long list of nominees from 1169 entries from 33 countries. The longlist of fifteen writers included Egyptian novelists Sobhi Moussa and Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdelmeguid, Sudanese Amir Tag Elsir, Moroccan Hanan Derkaoui, and Tunisian Moncef Ouhaïbi.

Those shortlisted for the 2016 honours were Bakhur ‘adani (Incense from Aden, 2014) by Yemeni novelist Ali Al-Muqri;  Thi’bat al hob wal kutub (The She-wolf of Love and Books, 2015), by Iraqi novelist Muhsin al-Ramli; and Ma wara’a al kitaba (Beyond Writing, 2014), by Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdelmeguid.

The winner Ibrahim Abdelmeguid was announced on 6th April by the award organisers and he will be given his prize at the on May 1st, 2016 [along the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Apart from the AE750,000 he will be given a gold medal bearing the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, and a certificate of merit.

Said Yaktine
Said Yaktine

Also winning big in the The Literary and Art Criticism Award was Moroccan Said Yaktine for his work Al-Fikr al-Adabi al-‘Arabi (Arabic Literary Thought) published in 2014 by Difaf Publishing, Beirut. The study combines between theory and practice in contemporary criticism in Arabic and is both comprehensive in coverage and innovative in approach.

The Arab Culture in Other Languages Award went to ‘Angles et Grandeur’ by Egyptian author Roshdi Rashed, published in 2015 by the Walter De Gruyter, Berlin.