Sultan Al Qasimi Witnesses the Launch of the Ninth Edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
  • Event took place at the 46th London Book Fair currently underway in the UK capital
  • New category ‘Digital Book App of the Year’ created for the Award

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, witnessed the launch of the ninth edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, which took place yesterday at the 46th London Book Fair. Organised by the UAE Board of Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by Etisalat Group, the Etisalat Award is regarded as one of the most important children's literature prizes in the Arab world.

Also attending the launch, which took place at the Sharjah Book Authority pavilion at the fair, was His Excellency Abdul Aziz Taryam, CEO Advisor and General Manager of Etisalat Northern Emirates; Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board, and a number of representatives of international and Arabic publishing houses participating at the event.

During the launch, the management of the Etisalat Award announced that its ninth edition would see the introduction of a new category. Dedicated to children's and young adult book apps, the new 'Digital Book App of the Year' category will be added to the Award's existing five categories. The winner will receive a cash prize worth AED 100,000 to be distributed equally between the publisher and app developer.

Commenting on the event, H.E. Abdul Aziz Taryam said; "Etisalat Group considers itself an integral part of the fabric of the UAE and as such is committed to ensuring the UAE's cultural and intellectual development. Through sponsoring the award for nine years, we have encouraged writers, illustrators and publishing houses in the field of children's literature to deliver distinctive Arabic titles that attract children to the world of reading, bring about positive changes in young people's lives and create future generations who will further the development of our society".

For her part, Marwa Al Aqroubi said: "In accordance with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, promoting culture is fundamental to individual and community development. In order to achieve this, reading is an essential element, as is fostering a love of literature in younger generations."

Al Aqroubi stressed that the directives and unparalleled support of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of the UAEBBY, have played a vital role in motivating children and young adults literature's experts, in line with the objectives of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature.

"The ninth edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature is another invaluable achievement aimed at fostering reading among the youth. We see the crucial role played by the award though the number of titles in the Arab Children's library and the support of those involved in children's and young adults' literature. The award does not stop with what it has achieved in previous editions, it widens its vision to include interactive applications and add a new category to its five categories, stressing that it supports all forms and methods of knowledge and culture," she added.

The Etisalat Award further allocates AED 300,000 to its 'Warsha' programme for organising workshops to build Arab capacities in writing, illustration and production, as well as for discovering, nurturing and inspiring the next generation of young Arab talent in the children's book industry. Having generously increased this amount from AED 200,000 since the last edition, the total amount of prize money and funds offer from the Etisalat Award is AED 1,200,000.

The ninth edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature features six categories; 'Children's Book of the Year' worth AED 300,000 to be distributed equally between the author, illustrator and publisher; 'Young Adult Book of the Year' valued at AED 200,000 to be distributed equally between the author and publisher'; 'Best Text,' 'Best Illustration,' 'Best Production' and 'Digital Book App of the Year' categories, worth AED 100,000 each.

The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature was launched in 2009 as an initiative by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of UAEBBY. Sponsored by telecommunications company Etisalat Group, it aims to promote the children's book industry in the Arab world, enrich children's literature and motivate publishers, authors and illustrators to produce the most creative Arabic children's books.

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