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Egyptian Writer Reem Bassiouney Wins Sheikh Zayed Award

‘Al-Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy’ depicts the history of the Fatimid era in Egypt through fiction.

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Egyptian Writer Reem Bassiouney Wins Sheikh Zayed Award

Esteemed Egyptian author Reem Bassiouney has been awarded the 2024 Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the literature category for her recent historical fiction novel ‘Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy’. The book is set in the Fatimid era, and its narrative is woven around three nation builders of huge importance in Egyptian history: a Sicilian, an Armenian and a Kurd.

Organisers of the award write that “the author seeks to shed light on the Egyptian character with narratives that intertwine poetry, architecture and mythology, while underscoring their human dimension. The author works to construct the narrative of historical and social development in Egypt in that era.” Bassiouney is an author and professor of sociolinguistics, and she is also the Chair of the Department of Applied Linguistics at the American University in Cairo. She has written several fictional works, and multiple books on Arabic linguistics.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, has received a record-breaking 4,240 submissions from 74 countries, with winners from the UAE, Tunisia, Egypt, and China. The prize is organised by the Abu Dhabi Language Centre, with help from the Department of Culture and Tourism, and the winners span seven award categories - including the newly launched Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category.

The winners of the award will be honoured at the official ceremony scheduled on April 30th during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. As a token of recognition, each winner will be awarded a cash prize of AED 750,000.

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