Abu Dhabi: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced today it received a total of 65 nominations in the “Children’s Literature” category in the Award’s seventh session of 2012 / 2013 currently running.
The category aims at encouraging children and adolescent’s literature, which seeks to develop this important segment of society, and their aesthetic taste, and construct their cultural identity on the foundation of creative interaction between the past and present. The nominations phase will close by end of coming September.
Over the past six years since its inception, five literary figures were named winners of this category. Professor Mohammad Ali Ahmad from Egypt was the first to win in 2007, for his book “A Journey On Paper”, followed by Huda Al-Shawwa Qadoumi from Kuwait for her book entitled “The Journey of Birds to Qaf Mountain” in 2008 and Qais Sedki from the United Arab Emirates for his book “The Gold Ring” in 2010. In 2011, Afaf Tabbalah from Egypt won for her book “Al Bayt Wal Nakhlah”, while Abdo Wazen was named winner of the category’s 2012 prize for his book “The Boy who saw the Color of Air”.
According to Professor Mohammad Ali Ahmad, his win back in 2006 crowned his hard work and dedication to children’s literature: “I felt I was on the right track in my career, working to make sciences enjoyable and simple to youngsters of all ages”. Professor Ahmad won the prize for his book “A Journey on Paper” which uses images and text to develop children’s understanding of the world around them.
As for Qais Siddiqi, his winning book “The Gold Ring” gained instant attention on an international level as soon as he was named winner in 2010: “I got immediate attention from regional and international media to cover my journey in writing “The Gold Ring”. This book is dear to my heart, not only for the honor it won me but for the royal name it has been tied to; the late Sheikh Zayed whose legacy will always live in each one of us”.
Sidqi is the first Emirati to win Sheikh Zayed Book Award. His winning book provides an excellent introduction for children to Falconry as a well-known sport in the Gulf region since early generations. The book smartly employs this interesting topic to stress the deeply-rooted Arab Culture and heritage; The Arab virtues of family values, hospitality, respect for others and pride in traditions. Sidqi presented his story in the form of a comic book in cooperation with renowned Japanese Manga Artists, the manga team of Akira Himekawa who has been producing manga adaptations of the “Astro Boy” video games in addition to many other TV and video game productions.
Over the past six years the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has recognized the creative literary and cultural achievements of more than 40 entities, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO which was named the “Cultural Personality of the Year” in the Award’s last session.
UNESCO joined The Award’s hall of fame alongside Brill Publishing House, Paju Book city, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi; Novelist Wacini Laredj; Professor Pedro Martinez Montavez; Novelist Ibrahim al-Kouni; Orientalist Chung Jikon, and many more.