Sheik Zayed Book Awards nominations end Sept. 15

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Sheikh Zayed Book Award’ fourth year witnesses record number of nominations to date

Abu Dhabi, July 29, 2009 – The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, one of the world’s most prestigious and well-funded prizes, has received a record number of nominations to date for its fourth session of 2009/2010. The Award has received a major 230 nominations that met the initial conditions, according to Mr. Rashed Al Oraimi, The Secretary General of Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

Mr. Al Oraimi elaborated that the nominations were distributed among all of the Award’s nine categories. The category of “Best Contribution to the Development of the Country” came first with 26.3% of the total nominations received to date, while the categories of “Literature” and “The Young Author” followed closely with 25.4% and 22.5% of total respectively. The Award also received varying number of nominations in the rest of its categories, including Children’s Literature, Translation, Literature, Fine Arts, Best Technology in the Field of Culture, Best Publishing and Distribution House, and Cultural Personality of the Year.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Al Oraimi said: “ We hope that this massive flow of nominations continue until the closing date – September 15th,2009- and we are definite that such contributions will heat up the race towards winning the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards 2010.”

A total of 20 countries contributed to this year’s session of Award so far, of which are 17 Arab countries, including UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan and Somalia. In addition, the Award received nominations from the United States of America, Germany and Turkey.

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Notes to the Editor

About the Award

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is an independent cultural award established under the patronage and support of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. The award was established in memory of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, who served as the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE for more than 30 years. The award comprises a total monetary prize value of seven million UAE dirhams. Each prize consists of a gold medal bearing the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, a certificate of merit and a cash reward.

The award recognizes cultural achievement across one of the broadest and most diverse areas of any cultural awards internationally, including:

1. Contribution to the Development of the Country Award

Open to works in the fields of economics, sociology, management, politics, law and theology that contribute to the country’s advancement

2. Children’s Literature Award

Open to literary and cultural works addressing various children’s groups.

3. Young Author Award

Open to scientific, literary or cultural works produced by authors younger than 40 years

4. Translation Award

Open to translated works, either to or from Arabic

5. Literature Award

Open to works across various categories of literature including poetry, stories, novels and plays, research addressing literary theories, creative writings or works of criticism

6. Fine Arts Award

Open to books about various forms of art such as music, cinema, architecture, plastic art, calligraphy, painting, sculpture, photography and digital arts

7. Best Technology in the Field of Culture Award

Recognizes written or digital works and researches which promote the Arabic language.

8. Publishing and Distribution Award

Open to publishers, distributors, agents and research institutions which produce a diverse range of texts printed to the highest standard in the Arabic language.

9. Cultural Personality of the Year Award

Honors a prominent Arab or international figure who has contributed to the advancement of the Arabic culture, embodies through his/her work tolerance and promotes peaceful coexistence

For further information please contact:

Karin Aghadjanian

Communication and press

Mobile +971 508343823

Email: Karin.a@zayedaward.com

OR Karin_aghadjanian@hotmail.com

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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 www.ArabNews.com. 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 TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

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, YNetNews.com, 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 Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com