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Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2023 shortlist announced.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2023 announced their shortlists in the Literature, Young Author, and Literary & Art Criticism categories on March 9, 2023.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is presented to Arab writers, intellectuals, and publishers as well as young talent whose writings and translations of humanities have scholarly and objectively enriched Arab cultural, literary and social life. The categories handed out are Cultural Personality of the Year, Children’s Literature, Young Author, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Translation, Literature, Literary and Art Criticism, Arab Culture in Other Languages, and Publishing and Technology.  The award winners get a gold medal, a certificate of merit, and 750,000 dirhams.

For 2023, 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 longlisted books were announced on November 10 before the shortlists were made public on Thursday. They are;


  • Al-Qata’i: Thoulatheyat Ibn Tulun” (Al-Qata’i: Ibn Tulun’s Trilogy), Reem Bassiouney (Egypt), Nahdet Misr Publishing (2022).
  • Ifrah ya Qulbi” (Rejoice, My Heart), Alawiya Sobh (Lebanon), Dar Al Adab Publishing & Distribution (2022).
  • Ila Ayn Ayyathouha Al Kaseedah” (Whereto, O Poem? An Autobiography), Ali Jaafar Alallaq (Iraq), Alaan Publishing (2022).

Youth Author

  • Al Wahl wa Al Noujoom” (Dirt and Stars), Ahmad Lutfi (Egypt), Aseer AlKotb (2022).
  • Nehayat Al Sahra’a” (The End of the Desert), Said Khatibi (Algeria), Hachette Antoine / Nofal (2022).
  • Fawka Jisr Al Joumhoureyah (Over the Republic Bridge), Shahid Alrawi (Iraq), Dar Alhikma Publishing & Distribution (2020).

Literary & Art Criticism category

  • Mara’i an-Nisaa’: Dirasat fi Kitabat al-That an-Nisaa’iya al-Aarabiya” (Women Views: Studies on Arab Women Self Writings), Dr. Jalila Al Tritar from Tunisia, published by La Maison Tunisienne Du Livre in 2021
  • Suwar al-Wujood fi al-Cinema wa-al-Falsafa” (Images of Existence in Cinema and Philosophy), Mohammed Nouraldin Affaya from Morocco, published by Le Centre Culturel du Livre in 2022
  • Al-Mu’allafat al-Musiqiya al-Aarabiya al-Rahina: Bayn al-Maqamiya wa-al-Tonaliya” (Contemporary Arab Music Compositions: Between Maqamat and Tonality), Dr. Fakher Hakima from Tunisia, published by Centre for Arab and Mediterranean Music and Sotumedias Publishing and Distribution in 2021.

Shortlists of other categories will be made public over the coming weeks.

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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