Sultan honours winners of Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature 2013

WAM SHARJAH, 6th November, 2013 (WAM)–H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has honoured the winners of the fifth edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature during the opening ceremony of the 32nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2013).

The ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

The Judging Panel has approved the winners, as follows: 1-Children’s book of the year (Ages 0 to 12): �Rod of Racemes’ by Egypt-based Nahdet Misr Publishing House, authored by Afaf Tobala and illustrated by Hanadi Sleet 2-Young Adult book of the year (Ages 13 – 18): ‘Ajwan’ by Egypt-based Nahdet Misr Publishing House, authored by Emirati writer Noura Al Noman 3-The Best Text Award: �My Mum Jadida’ by UAE writer Mariam Suhail Al Rashedi 4- Best Illustration Award: �Rod of Racemes’, by illustrator Hanadi Sleet 5- Best Production Award: �When You Get Angry’ by Lebanon-based Asala Publishing House.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Patron, congratulated the winners, saying that they deserved the win, which came after careful and accurate examination and review by the Award’s Jury tasked with evaluating entries.

She pointed out the Award received a total of 107 entries, and that the increase in the works competing for the Award emphasises the Award’s significance and role in contribution to the Arabic children’s library and knowledgebase.

Sheikha Bodour indicated that the Award has succeeded in stimulating the spirit of creativity and excellence among professionals in the Arabic children’s literature industry, referring to the diverse entries submitted by creative professionals, interested in the Arabic children’s books, from all over the world. She stressed the Award’s determination to continue to honour all those who contribute to enriching the Arabic children’s literary landscape in various disciplines.

She also praised the direct support the Award receives from His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of the Sharjah.

“It is no wonder that we receive such immense support from the Ruler of Sharjah, as he is himself one of the UAE’s most prominent writers and historians who truly knows and appreciates the value of knowledge and literature and is continually stressing the need to cultivate a culture of reading and writing among children from the early years of their ,” Sheikha Bodour commented.

Sheikha Bodour extended her thanks and appreciation to the Award’s Jury for their precious time and constructive efforts to select the most outstanding works, reaffirming the importance of incentive, recognition, and the spirit of competition as essential elements that encourage creative people to provide us with their innovative products.

Commenting on the occasion, Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board, said, “The Award has become one of the most significant awards dedicated to Arabic children’s literature on the global stage, and recently marked a new milestone after introducing the Young Adult category, which is attracting a wide and unique audience, the positive impact of which will be visible in both the short and long term. We also discovered many new talented Arab authors and illustrators of children’s books through the host of quality books and entries that competed for the award.” Al Aqroubi praised the continuous support and cooperation by Etisalat as is reflected in its eagerness to sponsor the Award for the fifth consecutive year, in a gesture that emphasises the company’s social responsibility and community role in the progress and development process in the UAE and the Arab world.

Abdul Azizi Taryam, Advisor to the CEO General Manager of Etisalat Northern Emirates said, “Etisalat’s sponsorship of this award stems from its enthusiasm to participate in supporting and sponsoring creative cultural activities that positively reflect on the nation and its citizens.” Taryam stressed Etisalat’s desire to sponsor the Award in order to support efforts to promote children’s literature, and contribute to shaping the future of the nation’s children by providing them with cultural products that rise to the UAE’s aspirations for a better future based on knowledge.

The Award’s Jury was composed of Hala Hammad (Jordan), Dr Sonia Nimr (Palestine), Jwana Al Mer (Lebanon), Nasser Nasrallah (UAE), and Tessa Strickland (UK).

According to the new category structure, the Award is worth AED 1 Million, distributed as follows: 300,000 AED for the Children’s Book of the year, to be distributed equally between the author, illustrator and publisher (AED 100,000 each); AED 200,000 for the Young Adult Book of the year, to be distributed equally between the author and illustrator (100,000 AED each); and 300,000 AED for the Best Text, Best Illustration, and Best Production categories (100,000 AED each).

The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature has allocated the remaining 200,000 AED for its recently launched �Warsha’ initiative, which involves a series of writing, illustration, and production workshops aimed at nurturing talent and inspiring the next generation of young talented Arabs in the children’s book industry.


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