Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners announced

Organisers of the fifth annual Sheikh Zayed Book Award today announced the winners of the contest.

ABU DHABI // The judges of the annual Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced the fifth-year winners today, giving one of the top awards to a Chinese literary figure for "rooting the Arabic language in the Far East."

Prof Chung Jikon, the author of the History of Arabic Literature encyclopaedia and a professor of Arabic Language at the University of Peking, was named cultural personality of the year for promoting the Arabic language "by teaching, translating and researching our region's culture and literature", according to a statement issued by the award's organisers.

He will receive a Dh1 million prize.

Dr Abdel Raouf Sinno was awarded the "best contribution to the development of nations" award for his book, Harb Lubnan 1975-1990, an analysis of the social and economic circumstances in Lebanon during its civil war.

Dr Mohammed Miftah of Morocco was awarded the "best book in literature" prize for Mafaheem Muwasa'a Li Nazaryah Shi'ryah.

The Syrian author Dr Mohammad Kibbeh won "best book in translation" for his work on an Arabic version of Revolutionary Wealth, a book by Alvin and Heidi Toffler.

Afaf Tabbalah of Egypt was awarded the children's literature prize for her book, Al Bayt Wal Nakhlah, credited by organisers as a diversion from the mainstream of children's literature.

The committee did not announce winners for the young author, fine arts, publishing and distribution and best technology in the field of culture awards because none of the nominations for the award met the judges' standards.

Last year's cultural personality was Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, Ruler of Sharjah.

The award's judging panels chose from a total of 715 nominations this year.

The award was established in 2006, and is named after Sheikh Zayed, the founding President of the UAE.

Late last year, the award's judges stripped the winner of the literature category because of plagiarism.