NYU Abu Dhabi professor wins a Sheikh Zayed Book Award

Philip Kennedy was nominated in the Arab Culture in Other Languages category

Philip Kennedy

Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Comparative Literature
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Philip Kennedy, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, and Comparative Literature at NYU Abu Dhabi, has won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award's Arab Culture in Other Languages category for Recognition in the Arabic Narrative Tradition.

In his book, Kennedy, who is General Editor of the Library of Arabic Literature at NYUAD, explores the concept of the "recognition scene" — the point in a narrative when hidden facts come to light — in five Arabic texts, including the Quran.

“Having spent a good few years working on this book, I’m thrilled it has managed to capture some attention, rather than sitting silently on the research library bookshelf,” said Kennedy. “We all want the work we have invested time in to make some difference in the perception of a subject, however small, and I’m delighted my own particular obsession with medieval Arabic literature has been deemed worth sharing with the wider world this spring.”

Previous winners in the Arab Culture in Other LanguageS category, which recognises the “best written works in Chinese, German and English languages on the subject of the Arabic civilisation and culture including novels, short stories, poems, biographies, history and arts”, include David Wirmer and Roshdi Rashed.

The annual Sheikh Zayed Book Award is now in its 13th year. Other winners this year include Hussain Al Mutawaa in the Children's Literature category, Dr Charbel Dagher in the Literary and Art Criticism category and Dr Neji ElOunelli in the Translation category. The Cultural Personality of the Year award, given to "a prominent Arab or international figure (or organisation) who has contributed to the advancement of the Arabic culture", has yet to be announced.

The awards ceremony will take place on April 25 at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. The winner in each category receives Dh750,000 with the ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ taking home Dh1,000,000.