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Sheikh Zayed Book Award Opens Nominations for 2009

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, one of the world’s most prestigious and well-funded prizes has announced the opening of nominations for the 2009 session until October 15 2008. Writers, and their publishers and agents, from across the world are now invited to apply across all nine categories of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award - with AED 7 million (GBP 1,015,050) in prize money available for the winners. One of the 2008 Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners, whose work was judged to have contributed to the Arab world’s cultural development, was based in the UK. Rifa’at Al Chadirji, who now lives in Britain and is one of the Arab World’s most influential architects, won the 2008 award for the Fine Arts. Al Chadirji, who was educated at the Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts, was responsible for some of the most important architectural developments in Iraq spanning three decades from the 1950s to 1970s. "The Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners reflect some of the most exciting and, in some cases, challenging cultural work written in Arabic today," said Rashed Al Oraimi, Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Committee. "It is our true belief that all parts of the world can benefit from the significant achievements of these winners," he added. The award, which was established under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and in memory of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, has been running for three years with nine categories open for nominations: - Literature - Children’s Literature - Translation - Young Author - Fine Arts - Publishing & Distribution - Cultural Personality of the Year - Development of the Country - Best Technology in Culture In 2008, the Award Committee evaluated a total of 512 works from more than 1,200 nominated across the nine award categories, representing submissions from more than 30 countries. The 2008 awards also attracted participation from many well-known personalities in the Arab cultural arena, with Mohammad Benaissa, former Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, walking away with the 2008 prize for Cultural Personality of the Year. The award welcomes nominations from creative individuals whose work has been published in the past two years.

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