When Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi declared that the saying should no longer be “Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, and Baghdad reads,” but instead some combination of Qatari and Emirati cities, many observers scoffed. Yet the Emirates is not just investing in big book fairs and big literary prizes, but also in individual writers.
United Arab Emirates
After two weeks detained in Abu Dhabi following this year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, German author Jörg Albrecht has been granted passage home. According to his publisher, he arrived in Berlin this morning.
Isabelle Mayault is editor-at-large for Uncommon Guidebooks, which has just come out with an Uncommon Dubai and has an Uncommon Cairo in production. What makes these guidebooks less-than-common is that they take a more literary, anecdotal eye on their city-subjects.
I’m late to this, but the first ever Emirates Novel Award (@UAENovelAward) announced three finalists for its Best Short Novel (17,000 – 40,000 words) category last Thursday.
The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) is now open for submissions to the 5th Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature — the first time there will be an award especially for YA.
A piece by Ayesha Almazroui in The National says “The UAE is a young country and so it has yet to develop a rich literary heritage to compare with…other countries in the region.” So, she asks: How can it be jump-started? Can it be jump-started?
A trio of new literary prizes, announced yesterday by sponsor twofour54, will reward books by Emiratis in three categories: Best Novel, Best Short Novel (Novella), and “Special Writer.”
For the second year in a row, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) judges have declined to grant a literature prize, stating that this year’s “nominations did not meet the Award’s standards and criteria for winning.” This despite a 14-strong literature longlist that included Mohamed al-Bisatie’s 2011 novel “And Their Bed is Green” and Ibrahim Nasrallah’s poetry collection “A Ray of Light Between Two Nights.”
Today is opening day for The Archive (@TheArchiveDubai) a new library and meet-up space in Dubai. In a recent piece in The National, Egyptian novelist Nasser Iraq “Extols the Literary Potential of Dubai,” telling the newspaper that “there is a great opportunity for… Read More ›
Noura Noman’s debut science fiction novel, Ajwan, was just released this past week at the Sharjah International Book Fair at a packed event.
Images courtesy of a mystery photographer and the Twitter feed of @ShjIntlBookFair: