ABU DHABI, 4th November, 2023 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the winners of the Kanz Al Jeel Award 2023, which honours creators and outstanding artistic works that focus on Nabati poetry and have enriched the Arab literary canon. Winners in the Award’s second edition include renowned artists, writers, and poets across various categories.
This year, the Kanz Al Jeel Award received a notable increase in submissions with a total of 264 entries across its six categories, with nominees hailing from 27 countries including 17 Arab nations and 10 others around the world.
The Arts category saw artist Muntasir Fathi from Jordan win for his piece titled ‘Fiha Zahat Al Anwar’ (In It Blossomed the Lights), which creatively combines calligraphy, lettering, and abstract art. The colour treatment enhances the beauty and unique character of the piece, striking a harmonious balance between design, letters, and colour masses, reflecting an aesthetic perspective that reaffirms the Award’s purpose and the meaning of its name (“treasured sayings”).
In the Studies and Research category, Dr. Abdullah Maneh Ghleis from Kuwait won for his book ‘Al-Marjaa al-Wafi fi al-Awzan wal-Qawafi lil-Shi’r al-Fasih wal-Nabati’ (The Comprehensive Reference of Rhymes for Classical and Nabati Poetry), published by Dar Al-Aasma’ in 2023. The study is a notable addition to the Arabic library, characterised by its depth, accuracy, and clear and precise scientific methodology. It offers a systematic comparison between the metrics of classical and Nabati poetry, forming an important reference for scholars and researchers in the field.
In the Poetic Publications category, the prize was awarded to Dr. Abdalla Belhaif Alnuaimi from the UAE for his collection ‘Ishq Yatajaddad’ (A Love Renewed), published by Dar Molhimon Publishing in 2022. With its authentic and expressive language, the poetic work offers diverse content and purposes with a fresh and distinctive perspective on Nabati poetry. It maintains the authenticity of Nabati poetry with all its unique features, showcasing rich poetic imagery and vocabulary. This collection represents a significant experiment in terms of its themes and the uniqueness of its poetic language.
The Poetry Matching category saw renowned Saudi poet and media figure Ali Asiri, also known as Ali Al Sabaan, win for his poem ‘Qudwat Al Shu’ar’ (The Role Model Poet).
The text is distinguished by its coherence, precise style, and rich vocabulary. The poet enriched his work with grandeur in poetry and meanings, offering a remarkable and harmonious poetic matching with elements that align with the original text. The poem maintains the sequence of ideas, deep meanings, and the essence of the authentic concept, striking a parallel balance between tradition and modernity, depth of thought, and simplicity of vocabulary, setting it apart from other works of poetic matching.
Emirati poet Saif Al Saadi won the Award’s Creative Personality category. Al Saadi is one of the most prominent poets in the Gulf region; his poems are known for their deep meaning, use of local colloquialisms, and unique poetic imagery. For 30 years, he has presented numerous distinguished poetry programmes and served as a judge on the ‘Raa’i Al Qaseed’ competition on Sama Dubai TV. He also oversaw the ‘Folk Poetry’ section in Al Bayan newspaper, founded by the late poet Hamad Khalifa Bou Shihab in the early 1980s. Al Saadi led the Jawaher magazine for folk poetry and published a collection titled ‘Mythaq’.
Saood Al Hosani, Under-Secretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said, “The Kanz Al Jeel Award draws its inspiration from the poetic vision, eloquence, and wisdom of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose legacy inspires the work we do to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage. The award aligns with our strategic goal to support and nurture creativity, and to foster pride in our cultural identity through the preservation and advancement of our Arabic language.”
Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said, “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is committed to preserving and developing the Arabic language, and poetry is a fundamental pillar of the Arabic literary canon. This year’s Kanz Al Jeel Award honours a diverse group of winners from countries spanning the region and has seen a significant increase in the number of submissions, reflecting the award’s growing status and reach. We are advancing the Arabic language and enabling artistic expression by recognising a new generation of Nabati poets and researchers who, through their works and projects, are promoting and elevating the genre.”
Dr. Ali Saeed Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Kanz Al Jeel Award Higher Committee, said, “The Kanz Al Jeel Award is an important step towards enriching the Arab cultural and literary landscape, spotlighting new and innovative poetic masterpieces that showcase the literary artistry of the genre, providing readers with high-quality projects that highlight the aesthetics and unique character of this art form. The winning entries in the second edition of the Award stand out for their unique charm and originality, showcasing the immense creativity in the field of Nabati poetry.”
The ceremony to honour the winners will be held on 22nd November at Zayed Central Library in Al Ain, coinciding with the activities of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre from 19th to 25th November.
The Creative Personality winner will be presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit, as well as an AED500,000 prize, while winners of other categories will each receive a gold medal, a certificate of merit, and a prize of AED200,000.