Al Burda Award announces winners and launches scholarship to enrich Islamic arts

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed honours 24 poets, calligraphers and artists at Louvre Abu Dhabi ceremony

This year, Al Burda Award's theme was Al Mizan (meaning 'the balance'), marking the Year of Sustainability in the UAE. Photo: Al Burda Awards
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Islamic arts have been celebrated at Louvre Abu Dhabi, where 24 winners of the Al Burda Award were revealed.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented awards at the event. It recognises achievements in traditional art forms through the Arabic language. Recipients of the 17th award, which is organised by the Ministry of Culture and Youth, were announced on Tuesday.

The prize is open to poets, calligraphers and artists whose works are inspired by the Prophet Mohammed, the Quran and Hadiths. This year, Al Burda was held under the theme of Al Mizan (which translates to The Balance), marking the Year of Sustainability in the UAE.

There were five categories with up to five winners in each.

Ahmed Hafez won the Classical Poetry category and Awad Al Oud won the Nabati Vernacular Poetry category.

There are two categories in the calligraphy section.

Zaid Ahmed Amin Al Azami won the Modern Arabic Calligraphy award. In the Traditional Arabic Calligraphy category there were four highlighted participants, Arif Ozdem, Bilal Mukhtar Salah Attia, Maryam Norouzi and Ahmed Ali Namazi.

The final category, Ornamentation, highlights the art of Islamic designs and motifs, and was won by artist Afsaneh Mahdavi.

Each of the category winners shared a cash prize of Dh210,000.

This year, the award also hosted Senegal as a guest of honour, represented by the West African Calligraphy Institute.

Al Burda Scholarship was also launched at this year’s event. It aims to promote and enrich talent and innovation within the fields of Islamic arts through 20 scholarships.

“The launch of Al Burda Scholarship this year, coinciding with the 17th edition, is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to developing the rich tapestry of Islamic art and ensuring its prominent position on the global stage,” said Sheikh Salem bin Khalid, Minister of Culture and Youth.

“The award seeks to empower emerging artists and support research and development in the field of ancient Islamic arts. Al Burda Scholarship takes forward the legacy of this prestigious award, enhancing its role as an important cultural platform that showcases the diversity, aesthetic quality and heritage value of Islamic arts to the world.”

Updated: December 21, 2023, 12:36 PM