UAE: Dh1.2 million in children’s literature awards at Sharjah International Book Fair 2022

Sharjah: Sixteen titles from eight Arab and other countries were shortlisted in five categories for the 14th edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) has announced.

The final list of winners of the Dh1.2 million award, organized by UAEBBY and sponsored by the Etisalat Group e&, will be announced at the upcoming 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), happening from November 2 to 13 at Expo Center Sharjah.

The Award has five categories, each valued at Dh180,000 and distributed equally amongst the author, illustrator, and publisher, except for the ‘Young Adult Book’ category, which will be equally distributed between the author and publisher with Dh90,000 for each of them. Another Dh300,000 is dedicated to hosting workshops that harness people’s ability to write and illustrate children’s books.

Submissions

Marwa Al Aqroubi, president of UAEBBY, said the 14th edition of the award received 276 submissions from 20 countries comprising 179 authors, 171 illustrators and 79 publishers. The UAE topped the list with 96 submissions, followed by Egypt with 58, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon with 23 entries each, and Jordan with 19 submissions. The prestigious award also received submissions from Bahrain, Palestine, Oman, Iraq, Qatar, Tunisia, Libya, and Morocco.

Al Aqroubi added: “We are also pleased to see the increasing number of distinguished submissions from non-Arab countries including Turkey, Spain, Canada, Germany, the UK and the USA at the 14th iteration of the award. This affirms the presence of Arabic children’s literature around the world and these high-quality works – produced to meet the stringent standards of the award – will lure children to the world of reading and bolster their relationship with books.”

Continued support

Abdul Aziz Taryam, CEO, advisor and general manager of Etisalat e& – Northern Emirates, said: “The award, launched from the UAE, aims to help develop the capacities of Arab children around the world in line with the vision, mission and goals of our wise leadership, who believe in enriching the capacities of mankind, support culture and books, instill the habit of reading, as well as nurture and develop the talents and skills of the younger generations.”

He added: “I would like to congratulate all the creative teams that worked on the shortlisted titles of the 14th edition and assert our dedication to continue to support initiatives that drive impact, help unleash creativity in all fields, and support individuals in their quest to learn and advance.”

Shortlisted entries

Early reader category

Lace by Muna Kamal, illustrated by Charlotte Shama and published by Tamer Institute for Community Education, UAE; Fisherman by Bassam Al Taji, illustrated by Omar Lafi, and published by Al Yasmine Publishing House, Jordan; How Do You Feel Today? by Massara Touqan, illustrated by Haya Halaw, and published by Kalila Wa Dimna Publishing House, Jordan; Don’t Leave My Hand by Noor Al Huda Mohammed, illustrated by

Menat Allah Abdullah, and published by Dar Raheeq Alkotob, Egypt; and Once by Manar Haza, illustrated by Ali Al Zaini, and published by Alia publishing, Egypt.

Picture book

Amani’s Wish by Nasser Al Dosari (Mr. Noon), illustrated by Menat Allah Abdullah, and published by TUC TUC EDITIONS, Spain; Behind the Wall – written and illustrated by Mohammad Al Hamawi; Little Puppy’s Message by Nasser Al Dosari (Mr. Noon), illustrated by Ali Al Zaini, and published by Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press, Qatar; The Story of Two Sisters Hana and Shafa by Hadeel Ghunaim, illustrated by Ali Al Zaini, and published by Dar El Shorouk, Egypt; and Kingdom of Antiquity by Manar Haza, illustrated by Basema Husam, and published by Alia publishing, Egypt.

Chapter Book

Sindrany the Submarine by Umama Al Lawati, illustrated by César Samaniego and published by Al Salwa Publishers, Jordan; New Nest by Muna Al Sheemi, illustrated by Hani Saleh, and published by Dar El Shorouk, Egypt; and Whispers of Trees by Fay Mousa, illustrated by Fatima Madi, and published by Dar Asfar Publishing, Saudi Arabia.

Young Adults Book

45 Hours Under the Snow by Shaikha Alzeyara, illustrated by Arash Jahani, and published by Al Yasmine Publishing House, Jordan; I’ll start now, do you hear me? by Anas Abu Rahma, illustrated by Lubna Taha, and published by Dinosaun Publishing, Palestine; and Morning Star by Fay Mousa, illustrated by Mais Duwairi, and published by Dar Asfar Publishing, Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the winner in the Comics category will be announced during the awards ceremony at the 41st SIBF.

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