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Sinbad editions, part of French publisher Actes Sud, has won Sharjah’s AED 910,000 Turjuman (‘translation’) Award for its French translation of a classic work of Islamic history, The Nature of Despotism by the Syrian author Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi.  The presentation was among many awards given at the opening ceremony of the Sharjah International Book Fair by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council.  His Highness was joined on stage by Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority to present the award to Sinbad’s director, the Syrian-born writer and editor, Farouk Mardam-Bey

Kawakibi, who died in 1902, is considered to be one of the most prominent intellectuals of his time, with historians believing his thoughts and writings continue to be relevant to the issues of Islamic identity and Pan-Arabism today.

During the opening ceremony, Sheikh Sultan also honoured the winners of the 10th Etisalat Awards for Arabic Children’s Literature, worth AED 1.2m and organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by the communications company Etisalat Group.

Author Aisha Al Harthi won Children’s Book of the Year for Nostalgia, illustrated by Hassan Manasrah and published by the Arab World Publishing House in the UAE.  The award’s prize of AED 300,000 is equally divided between the author, illustrator and publisher.

The Tale of the Secret of Olive Oil won the Young Adult Book of the Year, worth 100,000 AED.  It is written by Walid Dogga and published by Tamer Institute for Community Education (Palestine).  The Best Text Award went to Mama: My Classroom Mate by Lubna Taher, published by Al Salwa Publishers (Jordan).

The AED 100,000 Best Production award was won by Cozy, written by Anastasia Qarawani, illustrated by Maya Castlitist, and published by Al Salwa Publishers (Jordan). The AED 100,000 Best Illustration Award went to Think of Others  by Mahmoud Darwish, illustrated by Sahar Abdullah and published by Tanmia Bookstore and Publishing House in Egypt.

In addition, Hugh Peyman’s China’s Change, published by World Scientific Publications, was named Best International Book, and George Olms’ AG-Verlag of Germany was named Best International Publisher.

There were also some awards given to local authors and publishers.

Emirati author Reem Al Kamali was awarded Best Emirati Book for Delma Statute, while Dr. Mohammed Salem Al Mazroui won the Best Emirati Book in the field of Studies for his Elections in the UAE, Outcome and Future Vision.

Other winners included Poet Salem Abu Jamhour who won the Best Emirati Book on Creative Poetry for his collection Battle of Buddha, and Dr. Mohammed Omran Taryam who won the Best Emirati Book on the UAE, for Historical Roots of the Creation of the UAE.  Aisha Al Basri was awarded the Best Arabic Novel Award for her Life without Me.

Finally, the Best Local Publisher Award went to Sharjah’s Kuttab Publishing and the Best Arab Publisher Award was won by Modern Library.