The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) has invited entries from Arab and international publishing houses to participate in the second edition of the AED1 million Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature.
The submission of entries by publishers is open until 31 August, after which entries will be evaluated by the jury and the winning title selected. The winner of the AED1 million will be announced during the opening of the Sharjah International Book Fair. Fifty percent of the prize money will go to the winning publisher, while the remaining 50 percent will be divided amongst the other parties as per the decision of the jury.
Highlighting the importance of the prize in motivating the Arabic children’s book industry, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of UAEBBY, said that the award will contribute to bringing about a healthy competition between publishers, authors and illustrators to produce eye-catching, well-produced and interesting books for children, which will in turn help stimulate a child’s creativity and imagination.
The Prize was awarded for the first time last year, when 36 titles were accepted from among 54 books, representing 20 publishing houses from all over the world. The jury consisted of eminent professionals in the fields of children’s literature, publishing and illustration for children’s books. Lebanon-based publisher Dar Al Hadaeq won the AED1 million Prize for its book Ana Oheb (I Love), written by Nabiha Muhaidali and illustrated by Nadeen Saidani.
Al Qasimi pointed out the transparency and credibility embraced by the Organizing Committee with regard to the judging system and the selection of the jury, as several regulations are taken into account while selecting its members. Among these are excluding any title produced by a member of the jury, ensuring diversification of qualifications and specialties, and keeping jury members’ names confidential and unpublished until the announcement of the winner.
The terms and conditions for submitting entries include: the book should be written in Arabic, not translated, quoted or reproduced, and should have been published within the past three years. The book should not have received any previous local, regional or international award, and the contents should not violate the values, standards traditions and customs of Arab communities. Entry is open to children’s books that target the age group from 0 to 14 years, and each publishing house is entitled to enter a maximum of three titles.
Al Qasimi praised the prominent role Etisalat plays in the field of children’s literature through sponsoring such a prize, an act that reflects the high awareness of this prestigious institution and also highlights its leading role in community participation at both the local and national level.
Abdul Aziz Al Taryam, General Manager, Northern Emirates Region at Etisalat said: “We are delighted at the opening of the submission for entries to participate in the second edition of the Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature. This prize comes in line with our commitment to promote Arab culture within children’s literature. Here I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of UAEBBY, for their constant support for all the programmes and initiatives that contribute to the advancement of Arabic culture.”