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Egyptian Novelist Al Ghitani Wins Sheikh Zayed Book Award For Literature

Egyptian novelist Gamal Al Ghitani won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for best Work in Literature announced today the secretariat general of the award in a press release. Al Ghitani’s winning novel "Ran" is a work that ventures into Egypt’s ancient history in an effort to revive the myths and stories through the use of sophist parables. The novel is the 6th volume of Dafater Al- Tadween (Arabic for books) and encompasses the spiritual journey of the writer paralleled with an actual travel he assumes from the Pyramid Plateau to the Southern parts of Egypt. The book was published by Dar Al Shourouq year 2008. The advisory council decided that Jamal Al Ghitani’s work manifests the intersection of the spiritual and carnal, the artistic and intellectual, exceeding the boundaries of time and history. "The Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners this year 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. Jamal Al Ghitani was born in Juhaina village, Egypt, 1945 and has graduated from Arts School in 1962 where he studied carpet designing. He was arrested in 1966 among other writers for political reasons. Started his work for Akhbar Al Youm publishing house in 1969 and was war correspondent between 1969 and 1974. He became the Editor-in-Chief of Akhbar Al Adab in 1992 until now. Many of his works were translated into French, Swedish, English, Dutch, German, and Italian, and were studied by many Arab and foreign prominent scholars. The Sheikh Zayed Book Award , which was established in memory of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, has been running for three years with nine categories: Children’s Literature Prize was withheld this year. Al Oraimi said "Children’s Literature is a vital foundation in the development of the young generation and we take great responsibility in achieving the award’s objectives. The nominated works have not provided the necessary conditions to win the Prize". The Award Committee evaluated a total of 621 works across the nine award categories, representing submissions from more than 26 countries. The awards attracted participation from many well-known personalities in the Arab cultural arena The award offers a total annual monetary award of AED 7 million ($1,906,000) and welcomes nominations from creative individuals whose work has been published in the past two years.

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