2003 Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture awarded to Salem Himmich and Esad DurakovicUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura has awarded the 2003 Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture to Moroccan writer Bin Salem Himmich and Bosnian professor Esad Duraković, on the recommendation of an international jury which met at Organization headquarters on September 8 and 9.
Novelist, poet and essayist, Bin Salem Himmich has published 26 books in Arabic and French. His literary works include Le Livre des fièvres et des sagesses (Rabat, 1992); Les courtiers des mirages (Beirut 1995); and Calife de l’épouvante (Le serpent à Plume, Paris, 1999). His research publications include Partant d’Ibn Khaldoun, penser la dépression (Anthropos, Paris 1987); Le Khaldounisme au miroir de la philosophie de l’histoire (Beirut, 1999); La francophonie et le drame de la littérature maghrébine d’expression française (Rabat, 2001); and La connaissance de l’autre (Rabat, 2001).
Esad Durakovic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) is a university professor, orientalist and translator of literary works from different historical periods of Arab culture, both ancient and modern. He has worked mainly on Taha Hussein, Khalil Gibran and Naguib Nahfouz. In 1999 he translated “The Thousand and One Nights” and the famous Mu’allaqat poems of the pre-Islamic period.
The Sharjah Prize was created by UNESCO’s Executive Board in 1998, with funds provided by Sheikh bin Mohamed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah. It awards each laureate US$25,000 and is presented every two years “to honour intellectually distinguished individuals, groups or institutions worldwide for their activities to promote Arab culture.” It rewards the efforts of a national of an Arab country and a national of any other country who have contributed, through their artistic, intellectual or promotional work, to the development and dissemination of Arab culture in the world. The first Sharjah Prize was awarded in 2001 to Professors Abdulaziz El Makaleh (Yemen) and Na Zhong (China).
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will present this year’s prize to the two laureates on September 23 (7 p.m., Room XI) at Organization Headquarters.
The jury selected the winners of the Sharjah Prize from 54 candidates nominated by 32 different countries.