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SIBF 2023: ‘It Happened in Sebeya’, by the Emirati novelist Suad Al Araimi, wins the top prize – News

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Published: Thursday, November 2, 2023, 6:20 p.m.

Last update: Thursday, November 2, 2023, 9:10 p.m.

Suad Al-Araimi, author of the Emirati novel “It Happened in Sebeya”, won the prestigious award for best Emirati novel this year.

The book, published by Dar Al Saqi, earned him this prestigious title on Thursday at the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), recognized the winners of the 42nd SIBF Awards and the 15th Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature.

The SIBF awards cover a wide range of categories, such as the Sharjah Prize for an Emirati book in four categories, the Best Emirati Novel Award, the best Emirati academic book, the best Emirati creative literature book, the best first book award of Emirati novel; Sharjah Award for Best Arabic Novel; Sharjah Award for Best International Book in two categories, Best International Fiction Book, Best International Non-Fiction Book; and the Sharjah Editors Recognition Award in three categories: Best Local Editor, Best Arabic Editor and Best International Editor.

The Best Emirati Academic Book was awarded to ‘Women in Emirati Folklore: A Cultural Reading of Popular Discourse’ by Dr. Aisha Ahmed Al Ghais, published by Al Thabi Publishing and Distribution.

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The title of Best Emirati Creative Literature Book was claimed by the poetry collection ‘Al-Ghaseq’, written by Najat Al-Zaheri and published by Manshurat Ghaf Book Trading; and the Best First Emirati Novel Book Award was awarded to ‘Mazofa Samma’, written by Mona Abdulqadir Al-Ali and published by Dar Thaqafa for Publication and Distribution.

In the Best Arabic Novel category, the SIBF Award went to ‘Bab Al-Wadi’ by Ahmed Tayyebawi, published by Dar El Shorouk. The title of Best International Fiction Book was awarded to ‘An Andalus Adventure’ written by Saiyada Jalali and published by Black Stone House; while ‘Unbounded – A Memoir’ by Huda Al-Ghusn and published by Media Publishing obtained the distinction of Best International Non-Fiction Book.

The award for Best Local Editorial went to Dar Malamih; while Egypt’s Al Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah was recognized as the Best Arabic Publisher; and OM Books International of India won the title of Best International Publisher.

Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of SIBF, said: “The SIBF Awards inspire authors to create genuine and impactful content that enriches the lives of readers. Life experiences have taught us that a single word or a simple story can often initiate transformative journeys for those who encounter it, capable of reshaping reality. That is why we pay tribute to authors and editors and commemorate their contributions at this event, presenting them as examples for those who aspire to create profound narratives.”

Arabic children’s literature

Sheikha Bodour also honored the winners of the 15th edition of the Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature, organized by the UAE Book Board for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by Etisalat by e&.

‘Feelings, Feelings!’ by Fatimah Al Sadoun and illustrated by Iman Abdul Hamid, from Saudi Arabia, published by Noon Books: Nahed AlShawa Cultural in Canada, was honored for winning the Early Reader category; ‘An Elephant on My Finger’, written and illustrated by Abdullah Al Sharhan and published by Ajyaal in the United Arab Emirates, received the honor of winning the Picture Book category.

In the Chapter Books category, the honor went to ‘Destroying the World in 46 Seconds’ by Mays Dagher and Mohammed Al Hamawi, published by Al Yasmine Publishing and Distribution in Jordan; ‘Mariam’s Earring’ by Rania Bedda, published by Nahdet Misr in Egypt, was honored for winning the Young Adult Book category, while ‘Water’s Singing’ by Mohanned Al Akouse, published by Noor Al Maarif in Egypt, was honored for winning the Poetry category.

Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of UAEBBY, expressed her sincere gratitude to Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi for launching this award and thanked “Etisalat by e&” for supporting the cultural initiatives. “Our path has been long and joyful, enriched by the company of numerous companions. In particular, the SBA has expanded our reach internationally, providing us with a platform to showcase the award in regional and global forums, as well as through its active participation in cultural events around the world. As a result, the latest editions of the award have garnered nominations from all corners of the world, thanks to their invaluable contributions,” she explained.

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