The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, announced the winners of its 18th edition across seven categories, including the newly launched Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category.

The winners come from five countries, including the UAE, Tunisia, Germany, China, and Egypt. This year’s winners cover a wide spectrum of genres, with a notable focus on the rich history of the Arab World, including a historical novel set in Egypt’s Fatimid dynasty, a study on the historical toponymy of the United Arab Emirates, a profound analysis of the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain, and an insightful examination of Islamic philosophy throughout history.

Each winner will receive a gold medal, a certificate of merit, and a cash reward of 750,000 UAE Dirhams each. The Cultural Personality of the Year will be awarded a cash prize of one million UAE Dirhams.

The winners are:


Reem Bassiouney for Al Halwani: Thulathiyat al-Fatimiyeen (Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy). It intertwines poetry, architecture and mythology in a narrative that chronicles three centuries of Egyptian history.

Arabic Culture in Other Languages

Frank Griffel for The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam. The book sheds light on the contribution of Islamic philosophy to subsequent developments in theology, science and society, with particular emphasis on philosophical developments in Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia during the 12th century.

Young Author

Houssem Eddine Chachia for Al Mashhad al-Moriski: Sardiyat al-Tard fi al-Fikr al-Espani (The Morisco Landscape: Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought). The book is a study of the socio-cultural dimensions of the 17th-century expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain, and the influence of this event on contemporary Spanish culture.

Editing of Arabic Manuscripts

Mustafa Said for his work Safinat al-Mulk wa-Nafisat al-Fulk (Shehab al-Din) al-Muwashah wa-Musiqa al-Maqam al-Natiqa bil-Arabiya bayn al-Tantheer wal-Maras (The King’s Ship and the Psychology of Astronomy (Shehab al-Din): Muwashah and Arabic-speaking Maqam Music between Theory and Practice). This study of the manuscript Safinat AlMulk waNafisat AlFulk fills in literary and musical gaps in the text by adopting a paleographic methodology.


Ahmed Somai’s translation of Giambattista Vico’s The New Science. Vico’s text, published in 1725, is regarded as a classic in the philosophy of history, and has been highly influential in the fields of history, sociology, and anthropology.

Development of Nations

Khalifa Al Romaithi for Al-Asmaa’ al-Jughrafiya – Thakirat Ajyal (Geographical Names – Legacy of Generations). Al Romaithi’s work combines a historical approach with a geographical one, examining the history and significance of geographic names in the Emirates.

Publishing and Technology

Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries, China, for its efforts in building a cultural bridge between China and the Arab world by sharing the stories and histories of both regions and promoting their respective cultures.