Sharjah, November 2, 2023 : Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), honoured the winners of the 42nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair Awards and the 15th edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature.
The SIBF awards encompass various categories, including the Sharjah Award For An Emirati Book in four categories, the Best Emirati Novel, Best Emirati Academic Book, Best Emirati Creative Literature Book, Best Emirati First Novel Book Award; Sharjah Award for the Best Arabic Novel; Sharjah Award For The Best International Book in two categories, Best International Fiction Book, Best International Non-Fiction Book; and the Sharjah Publisher Recognition Award in three categories, Best Local Publisher, Best Arab Publisher, and Best International Publisher.
The award ceremony was also attended by HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA, along with prominent authors, intellectuals, and media figures.
In the 2023 edition of the awards, distinguished literary works were awarded including: ‘Happened in Sebeya,’ authored by Dr. Suad Al-Araimi and published by Dar Al Saqi, who secured the prestigious Best Emirati Novel award. The Best Emirati Academic Book was bestowed upon ‘Woman in Emirati Folklore: A Cultural Reading of Popular Discourse’ by Dr. Aisha Ahmed Al Ghais, published by Al Thabi Publishing and Distribution.
The title of Best Emirati Creative Literature Book was claimed by the poetry collection ‘Al-Ghaseq,’ authored by Najat Al-Zaheri and published by Manshurat Ghaf Book Trading; and the Best Emirati First Novel Book Award was presented to ‘Mazofa Samma,’ written by Mona Abdulqadir Al-Ali and published by Dar Thaqafa for Publishing and Distribution.
In the category of Best Arabic Novel, the esteemed SIBF Award went to ‘Bab Al-Wadi’ by Ahmed Tayyebawi, published by Dar El Shorouk. The title of Best International Fiction Book was awarded to ‘An Andalus Adventure’ written by Saiyada Jalali and published by Black Stone House; while ‘Unbounded – A Memoir’ by Huda Al-Ghusn and published by Media Publishing earned the distinction of Best International Non-Fiction Book.
The award of Best Local Publisher went to Dar Malamih; while Al Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah from Egypt was acknowledged as the Best Arab Publisher; and OM Books International from India clinched the title of Best International Publisher.
Inspiring models of meaningful words
During her keynote speech at the honouring ceremony, Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of SIBF, emphasised that the SIBF Awards have become a platform that key publishers and renowned authors from around the world look forward to take part in, as the awards target the overall publishing industry stakeholders, including Emirati, Arab and non-arab authors, along with translators and publishers.
“The SIBF Awards inspire authors to create genuine and impactful content that enriches the lives of readers. Life’s experiences have taught us that a single word or a simple story can often ignite transformative journeys for those who encounter them, capable of reshaping reality. This is why we pay tribute to authors and publishers and commemorate their contributions in this event, presenting them as exemplars for those aspiring to craft profound narratives,” said Khoula Al Mujaini.
Sheikha Bodour also honoured the winners of the 15th edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by Etisalat by e&.
‘Feelings, Feelings!’ by Fatimah Al Sadoun and illustrated by Iman Abdul Hamid, from Saudi Arabia, published by Noon Books: Nahed AlShawa Cultural in Canada, was honoured for winning the Early Reader category; ‘An Elephant on My Finger’, written and illustrated by Abdullah Al Sharhan and published by Ajyaal in UAE, was honoured for winning the Picture Book category.
In the Chapter Book category, the honour went to ‘Destroying the World in 46 Seconds’ by Mays Dagher and Mohammed Al Hamawi, published by Al Yasmine Publishing and Distribution in Jordan; ‘Mariam’s Earring’ by Rania Bedda, published by Nahdet Misr in Egypt, was honoured for winning the Young Adult Book category, while ‘Water’s Singing’ by Mohanned Al Akouse, published by Noor Al Maarif in Egypt, was honoured for winning the Poetry category.
Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, expressed her heartfelt appreciation to Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi for launching this award, and thanked “Etisalat by e&” for supporting cultural initiatives. “Our journey has been both lengthy and joyful, enriched by the company of numerous companions. Most notably, the SBA has expanded our scope internationally, providing us with a platform to showcase the award at regional and global forums, as well as through its active engagement in cultural events worldwide. As a result, the most recent editions of the award have garnered nominations from every corner of the globe, thanks to their invaluable contributions,” she explained.