Three categories have been scrapped from the ninth edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award after judges deemed the entries as “poor quality.”
All works submitted for the award’s “Fine Arts,” “Best Contribution to the Development of the Country” and “Young Author” categories were disqualified by a panel of elite scholars after meticulous examination, said Ali bin Tamim, the awards Secretary-General.
“The poor quality of the submitted works for these three categories of the award reflect the huge challenges facing authorship in the Arab region,” Mr bin Tamim said. “This overshadowed authoring and scholarly research with a series of political, social and security crises in several Arab countries. Other reasons include a decline in awareness, lack of legislation on intellectual property rights, weak university education output, a decline in the quality of translation and a lack of support and encouragement.”
The award includes nine categories and is open to applicants across the region. Winners are selected by a panel of 300 experts who individually submit their reports to the main panel recommending a long- and shortlist.
“When the award’s scholarly body meets to study the reports, it names the winners, withholds categories or the shortlist when there is no unanimous agreement on one of the works,” said Mr Bin Tamim.
An awards ceremony honouring the winners, who each receive Dh750,000 or Dh1 million for the Cultural Personality of the Year, will be held in May as part of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
Sheikh Zayed Book Award was established in the memory of UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as an independent cultural award to foster greater scholarship and creativity by recognising and rewarding significant cultural achievements in the Arabic culture.