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Arab World Celebrates Outstanding Cultural Achievements For 2009

Sheikh Zayed Book Award Announces Winners

Sheikh Zayed Book Award, the Arab World’s most prestigious and well-funded prize, announced Professor Pedro Martinez Montavez of Spain the winner of the cultural personality of the year prize. Professor Montavez was granted the prize as a "tribute to his leading role in building bridges between Arab and Spanish cultures," said Rashed Al Oraimi, Secretary General of the Award. His portfolio includes more than 20 books in the field of Arabic literature, the History of Andalusia, Arabic Language and translation. He translated the works of many legendary Arabic poets including Nizar Qabbani, Mahmoud Darwish, Adonis and Kahlil Gibran. The Cultural Personality of the Year winner receives a prize of one million Dirhams (around 272,242 US$, 215,007 Euros), a gold medal bearing the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, and a certificate of merit. Winners in the Award’s other categories were also announced, honouring them for their achievements in fostering cultural development in the Arab World. Each winner will receive around US$ 204,182 (Euros 161,255). The winners of 2009 are: Literature - Jamal Al Ghitani; the Egyptian journalist and Novelist. Many of his works were translated into French, Swedish, English, Dutch, German, and Italian, and were studied by many Arab and foreign prominent scholars. Fine Arts - Dr. Maher Rady; Cinematographer and pillar of the Egyptian Film Industry. Translation - Dr. Saad Maslouh; Professor of linguistics in Kuwait University. He translated many works during his life, including "The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences" in 1994 and "Introduction to speech" in 2002 and "Modern Arabic poetry: the influence of Western literature in 1800-1970" published in 2003. Best contribution to the development of the country - Dr. Baqer Al Najjar; Professor of Sociology at the University of Bahrain and one of the most prominent Arab authors in Sociology. The Young Author - Dr. Youcef Oglici, Algerian writer and scholar with numerous published books and articles in literary and poetic critique. Best Publishing House - The Egyptian-Lebanese house; has more than 750 titles, and collaborates with more than one hundred translators worldwide. Both Best Technology in the Filed of Culture and Children’s Literature prizes were withheld for not meeting the standards set by the selection committees. This year the award committee reviewed 621 works from 26 countries to select the nine winners, The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is an independent cultural award established in memory of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, who served as the president of the UAE for more than 30 years. The award is supervised by a Higher Committee and an Advisory Council that manage a rigorous award selection process. The winners of 2009 will receive their prizes in a prestigious tribute ceremony on Wednesday 18 of March 2009 at Emirates Palace.

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