Shortlist announced for Dh1.2 million Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature

The winners will be announced at a ceremony held during the Sharjah International Book Fair 2021

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 25 APRIL 2018. Abu Dhabi Book Fair at ADNEC. STANDALONE. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Hala Khalaf. Section: Weekend.

Sixteen books from six Arab countries have been shortlisted for the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature.

The award, now in its 13th year, is organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and supported by the Etisalat telecommunication company. The final winners of the Dh1.2 million prize will be announced at a ceremony held during the Sharjah International Book Fair 2021, which takes place from November 3 to 13.

The award comprises five categories.

Early Reader category

Shortlisted works in the Early Reader category are:

  • I Wish You written by Asma’a Amara, illustrated by Noha Mohammad and published by Dar El Shorouk in Egyptg house;
  • ABZ by Samar Mahfouz Baraj, illustrated by Sinan Hallak and published by Dar Al Saqi in Lebanon
  • It is Simple by Manar Hazzaa, illustrated by Basma Hosam and published by Al Alia Publishing House in Egypt
  • Three Smart Foxes by Amal Nasser, illustrated by Nadine Issa and published by Hekaiat Qamar Publishing in Saudi Arabia
  • My Hands by Rahima Belfar, illustrated by Besent Dawood and published by Al Alia Publishing House in Egypt

Picture Book category

Books in the running for the Picture Book prize are:

  • Akh by Manar Hazzaa, illustrated by Sohela Khalid and published by Al Alia Publishing House in Egypt
  • The Superhero by Nusaibah Al Azibi, illustrated by Hassan Manasra, and published by Dar Ashjar in the UAE
  • My Pants are Short on Me by Maria Daadoush, illustrated by Celeste Iris, and published by Al Salwa Publishing House in Jordan
  • Holes in my Sister's Brain! by Abeer Ali, illustrated by Gulnar Hajo and published by Hachette Antoine / Naufal in Lebanon
  • What if you Found an Angry Dragon in your House? by Amal Nasser, illustrated by Reem Al Askari and published by Hekaiat Qamar Publishing in Saudi Arabia.

Chapter Book category

In the Chapter Book category, shortlisted books are:

  • I Object! Dinosaurs are Not Extinct by Wiam Ahmed Mahmoud, illustrated by Hiam Safwat and published by Al Alia Publishing House in Egypt
  • My New Nightmare, written and illustrated by Lubna Taha and published by Dinosaun Publishing in Palestine
  • The Orange Ball, by Tamara Samir Qashha, illustrated by Yeganeh Yaghoob and published by Al Yasmine Publishing House in Jordan

Young Adult category

Shortlisted works in the Young Adult category are:

  • Dates and Masala by Mohamed Zakaria Nabulsi, illustrated by Yasser Jueisa and published by W Publishing House in the UAE
  • It's Like you Grew a Flower in my Bangs by Anas Abu Rahma, illustrated by Ibrahim Jawabra, and published by Dinason Publishing in Palestine
  • Small Escape’ by Afaf Tabbala, illustrated by Mariam Hani Abdel Salam, and published by Nahdet Misr Publishing House in Egypt.

A shortlist was not revealed for the Comics Book category, however, as submissions reportedly did not meet the criteria.

The winning books will each receive Dh180,000, which will be divided equally between authors, illustrators and publishers. Additionally, as part of the award's Warsha programme, Dh300,000 will be dedicated to workshops on how to write and illustrate picture books.

The programme was launched in 2013 with the aim of discovering and nurturing a new generation of writers, illustrators and publishers.

Updated: October 20th 2021, 2:23 PM