Winner will be announced at virtual ceremony in November
Thirteen titles representing 11 publishers from seven countries have been shortlisted for the 12th edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by the Etisalat Group. Chosen from a record number of 221 submissions this year from across 22 countries, the final winners of the AED 1.2 million award will be announced at a virtual ceremony held in November.
The shortlisted books in the ‘Children’s Book of the Year’ category include: The Two Best Friends by Rand Adel Saber, illustrated by Basma Haidar, and published by Kadi and Ramadi Publishing, Saudi Arabia; I Caught a Moon by Arwa Dawood Khumayyis, illustrated by Israa Hudayri, and published by Arwa Al-Arabeia, Saudi Arabia; Shahrazizi’s Nights: A Tale Within a Tale Within a Tale by Hadeel Ghonim, illustrated by Sahar Abdullah, and published by Al-Balsam Publishing House, Egypt.
Rand Adel Saber’s The Two Best Friends and Hadeel Ghonim’s Shahrazizi’s Nights: A Tale Within a Tale Within a Tale earned a place in the shortlist of the ‘Best Text’ category too. Other contenders in this category include The Monster and I by Aisha Abdullah Al Harithi, illustrated by Baraa Al Awour, and published by Dar Ashjar Publishing and Distribution, UAE; and Words by Jikar Khorshid, illustrated by Maha Daher, and published by Dar Al Najma, Syria.
Shahrazizi’s Nights: A Tale Within a Tale Within a Tale by Hadeel Ghonim has secured another spot in the shortlist of books under the ‘Best Production’ category. Other shortlisted titles in this category include: The Kite by Nourhan Nour, illustrated by Paolo Domeniconi, and published by Dar Ashjar Publishing & Distribution, UAE; I Will be Fine, co-authored by Dr. Essam Asmir and Lama Azar, illustrated by Hanane Kai, and published by Jabal Amman Publishers, Jordan; and Deep Toward My Heart by Hussain Al Mutawaa, illustrated by Lina Nadaf, and published by Arwa Al-Arabeia, KSA.
Aisha Abdullah Al Harithi’s The Monster and I; Hussain Al Mutawaa’s Deep Toward My Heart; and I Will be Fine, co-authored by Dr. Essam Asmir and Lama Azar have been featured in the shortlist of titles in the ‘Best Illustration’ category. The fourth book shortlisted in this category is Wings of My Kite by Rajaa Mallah, illustrated by Amir Allai, and published by Dar Al Moualef in Lebanon.
The three books that have used the power of images to tell stories and are featured in the shortlist under the ‘Silent Book’ category include: The Apple by Asma Amara, illustrated by Atifa Abdullah, and published by Dar Al Buragh, Iraq; The Hat That Wants to be Happy, written and illustrated by Masouma Haji Wand, and published by Al Safa Bookshop, UAE; Fly! Fly!, written and illustrated by Alia Al Badi, and published by AlFulk Translation and Publishing Sole Proprietorship L.L.C., UAE.
The ‘Young Adult Book of the Year’ category does not feature a shortlist, but the winner will be announced at the virtual awarding ceremony in November.
The Etisalat Award comprises of six categories: Children’s Book of the Year valued at AED 300,000 and distributed equally between the author, illustrator and publisher; Young Adult Book of the Year worth AED 200,000 and distributed equally between the author and publisher; three awards of AED 100,000 each for Best Text, Best Illustration and Best Production; and AED 100,000 for the ‘Silent Book’ category.
Additionally, as part of the award’s ‘Warsha’ programme, which aims to discover and nurture a new generation of writers, illustrators and publishers, AED 300,000 will be dedicated to workshops that harness people’s ability to write and illustrate children’s books.