Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s literature 2012 shortlist announced

Sharjah: The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) has announced the final shortlist of the five books nominated for the 4th edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, the most prestigious literary award in the Arab world.

The five books that are competing for the Award include two titles from Lebanon, two from Egypt, and one title from Jordan.

The nominees, in the Arabic alphabetical order, are: “My Grandma Will Always Remember Me”, written by Samar Mahfouz Barraj, illustrated by Maya Fiddawi, and published by Yuki Press (Lebanon); “Grandma Nafeesa”, written by Taghreed Al Najjar, illustrated by Maya Fiddawi, and published by Dar Al Salwa (Jordan); “Seven Lives”, written and illustrated by Walid Taher and published by Dar Al Shorouk (Egypt); “Creatures in the Ceiling” published by Dar Al Hadaek (Lebanon), written by Nabiha Mheidly, and illustrated by Hussam Zahr Eldeen; and “Strong Wind blow”, published by Dar Al Shorouk (Egypt), written by Fatima Sharafeddine, and illustrated by Walid Taher.

Speaking on the occasion, H.E Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi President of the UAEBBY – the supervisory body of the Award – expressed her satisfaction with the shortlisted entries, wishing everyone success.

“We are extremely satisfied with the number and quality of the participating titles in this year’s edition and it is a great honour for us to announce the shortlist at the Frankfurt International Book Fair 2012, the most prestigious book fair in the world, where a special stand was dedicated to showcasing the Etisalat Award.,” Sheikha Bodour commented, adding : “We are honoured by the visit of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to the Award’s stand at Frankfurt book fair.” She thanked Sheikh Sultan for his support and intense and continued interest in Arabic children’s literature and the Award, stressing that his encouragement and involvement has been a vital ingredient in the Award’s success thus far which has allowed it to become a bridge of cultural interaction in children’s literature across the world.

“The Award has given access to creative writers and illustrators from all over the Arab world and the entire globe to positively contribute to the written word,” Sheikha Bodour added.

She highlighted the Award’s significant contribution to the overall cultural movement and expressed her hope that the Award would continue to receive creative and valuable submissions, so as to remain the literary imprint of Sharjah and the UAE.

Sheikha Bodour added that the Award serves as an incentive for authors, illustrators, and publishers to excel, develop their work, and give their best.

She said that she was impressed with the global reputation the Award has gained, having managed to go beyond its local and regional boundaries to become one of the biggest awards dedicated to children’s literature in the world.

Marwa Al Aqroubi, General Coordinator of the Award clarified that the shortlist was finalised after several meetings and workshops conducted by the Award’s Jury, which selected the five titles from 58 nominated entries; one of which will ultimately win the Award. The selection was based on the quality, value and originality, also giving strong consideration of each book’s contribution to the Arabic children’s library and knowledgebase.