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Authors discuss meanings and messages behind their books

The ‘Discussion Sofa’ organised by the 28th edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, brought together winners of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (2017-2018), to discuss the creative structure of their writings. Many talked about the objectives of the award and the role played by writers and researchers in their contribution to thought, language, literature and social sciences, as well as enriching cultures, promoting dialogue and bridging understanding between nations based on love, peace, exploration and knowledge.

Winner of Sheikh Zayed Book Award, Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh, talked about his novel ‘Ikhtibar al-Nadam’ (Remorse Test), published by Nofal-Hachette Antoine, where he reflected on the state of the Syrian war as a narrator in war-torn Damascus. He searched and summarised the motives of the psychological crises and fragmentation of society through the literary images reflecting the reality of the conflict.

Emirati author Hessa Al Muhairi, winner of the Children’s Literature Award for her story ’Al-Dinoraf’ (The Dinosaur), published by Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution, talked about her story, which revolves around a dinosaur in search of its counterpart in the animal kingdom. Through this quest, the dinosaur realises there are multiple differences between all animals, emphasising the possibility of coexistence and the ability of society to absorb a diverse set of identities.

Egyptian writer Ahmad Al Qarmalawi, winner of the ‘Young Author’ category for his novel ‘Amtar Sayfiyyah’ (Summer Rains), published by Maktabat al-Dar al-Arabiyah lil-Kitab, shed light on the content of his novel, which depicts the relationship between music and the human soul.

Moroccan academic researcher Mohammad Mishbal, winner of the Literary and Art Criticism Award, spoke of his work ‘Fi Balaghat Al Hajjaj’ (The Rhetoric of Al Hajjaj), published by Kunouz Al Ma’refa. The book elaborates on Al Hajjaj connections to the rhetoric and discourse, analysing the foundational strategies in ancient rhetoric up to present-day, with clear analysis based on extensive bibliography.

German researcher Dag Nikolaus Hasse won the Arab Culture in Other Languages Award for his work ‘Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance’, published by Harvard Press. His book is considered a significant academic achievement that contributes to bridging a wide gap in Western knowledge, reflecting the fact that works in Arabic science and philosophy have played an integral role in the Western Renaissance Movement.

The publishing house Dar Al Tanweer (Beirut – Tunis – Cairo), won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the ‘Publishing and Technology’ category in recognition of its role in promoting and communicating Arab culture, while maintaining the intellectual property rights of authors and translators and abiding by the highest standards of international publishing.