Emirati and international writers awarded up to Dh1.3m at Sharjah International Book Fair

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi awarded the Tarjuman prize for a translated piece of Arabic literature

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah (centre), Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (second from right), Khawla Al Mujaini, General Co-ordinator of SIBF (right), with Claudio Lo Jacono (second from left), who collected the Tarjuman award, on behalf of the Italian publishing house L’Istituto per l’Oriente Carlo Alfonso Nallino. Photo: Sharjah International Book Fair
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Winners at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair awards were honoured on stage by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, on the first day of the festival on Wednesday.

The main awards included the Tarjuman Award, also known as the Sharjah Award for Translation, and the 14th Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature.

L'Istituto per l'Oriente Carlo Alfonso Nallino was announced as the winner of the Dh1.3 million Tarjuman award for its translation of Lebanese author Suleyman Al-Boustani's foreword of Homer's Iliad into Italian.

Al-Boustani was a poet and historian, whose family were pioneers in contributing to the Arab renaissance in late 19th century. His work in translating Homer's Iliad into Arabic and introducing the complex poetic style of the Greek epic was hugely celebrated in the region at the time. The award was received by director of the institute, Claudio Lo Jacono.

Emirati writer and Sharjah native Mashael Al Naboodah was awarded the Best Emirati Novel Book award for her title Jerah Mozmena. Writer and associate professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Sharjah, Abdallah Sulaiman Al Mughani, was awarded the Best Emirati Academic Book award for Features of UAE's History through the Writings of Western Travelers and Politicians. Writer Shaikha Saif Al Nakhi was awarded the best Emirati Creative Literature Book award for her novel Those Days.

Authors outside of the UAE were also recognised and awarded for their work. Kuwaiti writer and novelist Muna Al Shimari was awarded the Best Arabic Novel prize for her book Khademat Al Maqam.

Angelika Dunsmore, head of sales at Penguin Group, on behalf of Penguin Random House, accepted the award for Best International Non-Fiction Book for Micro Life: Miracles of the Miniature World Revealed. The book delves into microscopic images taken through macro photography techniques to reveal a rich, living world full of intricate structures in nature that are hidden from the naked eye.

South African author Futhi Ntshingila, whose work explored themes around women and marginalised communities, was the winner of the Best International Fiction award for her third novel They Got To You Too.

The novel, set in South Africa, is narrated in the first person by two characters bound to each other by their harrowing histories. One an 80-year-old white man haunted by the crimes he committed as an officer under the apartheid government, the other a compassionate black nurse who is caring for him, and hiding her own secrets. As the Covid-19 lockdown keeps them isolated, the bond deepens between these two unlikely friends and their personal histories bubble up to the surface.

The winners of the 14th Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature were also announced, with a combined prize of Dh1.2m.

The Early Reader award went to How Do You Feel Today? by Massara Touqan, illustrated by Haya Halaw and published by Kalila Wa Dimna Publishing House in Jordan.

Kingdom of Antiquity by Manar Haza, illustrated by Basema Husam and published by Alia publishing in Egypt received The Picture Book award. Whispers of Trees by Fay Mousa, illustrated by Fatima Madi and published by Dar Asfar Publishing in Saudi Arabia received the Chapter Book award.

I'll start now, do you hear me? by Anas Abu Rahma, illustrated by Lubna Taha and published by Dinason Publishing in Palestine received The Young Adult Books award.

The Sharjah Publisher Recognition Awards were also handed out. Rewayat publishing, an imprint of Kalimat publishing, received the Best Local Publisher award, while the Best Arab Publisher prize was awarded to Arab Diffusion Company from Lebanon and the Best International Publisher title was awarded to the International Islamic Publishing House.

Sharjah International Book Fair - in pictures

Updated: November 03, 2022, 1:15 PM