The Award organised by UAEBBY and sponsored by Etisalat, and is the largest of its kind in the field of children's literature in the Arab world.
The announcement of the short list to be unveiled at the opening ceremony of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), in November, during a meeting organised by the UAEBBY at the Sharjah pavilion participating in the Frankfurt Book Fair, in the presence of 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.
His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah called on those responsible for the award to provide more support to Emirati publishers, writers, painters to encourage them participating in the award for promote their work, through increasing and diversifying the workshops and courses offered to them so that they contribute to compete to win the prizes.
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi said that the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature has played a prominent role in enhancing the capabilities of the publishing sector specialised for children and adolescents in the Arab world, she noted that the staff should enable to provide more distinctive versions, increase the child's link to the book, and make him more interested in reading, to develop his imagination, and knowledge, and to raise his awareness, education and entertainment, more importantly she added, to increases the child attachment and emotional attachment to its Arabic language.
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi added that although the award Arab in its interest and direction, but its presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair has become an event awaits publishers and specialists in children's literature from foreign countries.
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.
Most entries came from Egypt with 31 submissions, followed by Lebanon with 30 entries. The UAE submitted 28 entries; Jordan 16; Palestine 11; Iraq 7; Saudi Arabia 5; Morocco 4; Syria 3; the US making its debut with 3; Kuwait and Tunisia, 2 each; Oman with one entry; and the UK and Cyprus – who are both participating for the first time – also with one each.
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.