Sheikh Zayed Book Award

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The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, one of the world’s most prestigious and well-funded prizes, to see whether we could post a call for nominations for the award’s 2009 session on your website.

Writers from across the world are invited to apply across all nine categories of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award – with AED 7 million (€1,282,868) in prize money available for the winners.

Two of the 2008 Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners, whose work was judged to have contributed to the Arab world’s cultural development, were based in Europe.

Ibrahim Al Kouni, who resides in Switzerland and spent his childhood in the desert in Western Libya, won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature prize for his novel A Call Not Too Far. Rifa’at Al Chadirji, who now lives in Britain, won the 2008 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Fine Arts.

We would therefore like to encourage any writers whose work has contributed to the Arab world’s cultural development to nominate themselves before the October 15 2008 deadline.

One of the 2008 Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners, whose work was judged to have contributed to the Arab world’s cultural development, resides in Switzerland. Ibrahim Al Kouni won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature prize for his novel A Call Not Too Far.

The award, which was established under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and in memory of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, has been running for three years with nine categories open for nominations:

• Literature
• Children’s Literature
• Translation
• Young Author
• Fine Arts
• Publishing & Distribution
• Cultural Personality of the Year
• Development of the Country
• Best Technology in Culture

Winning authors from previous years have received considerable attention in the international media as well as coverage across the Arab world.

If you would like some more details on the application process for next year’s award, visit

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is

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