Submissions open for award honouring traditional Nabati poetry

The Treasured Sayings Award will have a total prize pool of Dh1.5 million

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, OCTOBER 21, 2014. Poetry by Ousha Bint Khalifa at the Women's Museum in Deira also called the Bait Al Banat.  (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Melanie Swan. Section: National.
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Submissions are now being accepted for the first Treasured Sayings (Kanz Al Jeel) Award, a new initiative designed to highlight the rich history and heritage of Nabati poetry.

The award was launched by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism ― Abu Dhabi, and is open to artists and scholars alike.

There are six categories within the award: Poetry Matching (where candidates must match the poem yaealu nun bant muzunah by UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan); Creative Personality; Arts (which includes Arabic calligraphy); Studies and Research; Poetic Publications; and Translation.

Candidates have until June 30 to submit entries, and will compete for winnings from a total prize pool of Dh1.5 million.

“With the introduction of the Treasured Sayings Award, we aim to further enrich the Arab literary and intellectual scenes, bringing forth new poetic models, introducing literary talents to new audiences, and ultimately promoting and preserving Nabati poetry,” said Issa Saif Al Mazrouei, chairman of the award’s higher committee.

"Now that we are officially launched and submissions are open, the committee can look forward to an exciting stage of judging what is sure to be a proliferation of beautiful and thought-provoking works.”

The committee has specified that the award will also have a specific Literary Figure category, for which nominations must come through academic, research and cultural institutions, or high-profile literary and intellectual figures.

Potential candidates need to have actively contributed to “enriching local and Arab poetic, critical or artistic movements”, the committee said. Nominated works must also feature a “high degree of originality and innovation, constituting a significant addition to human culture and knowledge”.

Each candidate can submit only one work for one of the award’s categories. A nominated work cannot be submitted for another award in person or by proxy in the same year.

Nominated works must be written in Arabic, except for the Translation and Studies and Research categories, which will consider poems translated from Arabic into other languages, and studies which may be submitted in other languages.

Updated: April 15, 2022, 1:39 PM