Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture will be presented to two academics from Jordan and Bulgaria on 9 NovemberThe 2006 Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture has been awarded to two university professors, Jamal Al-Shalabi (Jordan) and Yordan Peev (Bulgaria), on the recommendation of an international jury that examined 40 proposals submitted by 23 Member States. The Director-General will present the prize during an official ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 9 November.
Jamal Al-Shalabi of the Hashemite University in Jordan is known for his commitment to promoting intercultural dialogue through his academic work, focused on the evolution of the policies of the Arab states in relation to Europe. He raises issues pertaining to Muslim-Christian relations, contributing to greater mutual understanding between the Arab and Christian worlds in his books, articles and in meetings. Drawing on the example of Jordan, he also advocates women’s rights.
Yordan Peev of the University of Sofia has dedicated his life to understanding the contemporary Muslim world. He has contributed to a better understanding of today’s Arab thought and culture through his teaching and lectures both in Bulgaria and other European countries, as well as several Arab states. Mr Peev has undertaken comparative analyses of the Muslim and Christian religious systems and his studies of subjects ranging from Bulgarian Muslims to the medieval historian Ibn Khaldun, he has treated with discernment the principal problems of intercultural communication in our age.
The Sharjah Prize of US$25,000 for each laureate, was proposed by His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi and approved by UNESCO’s Executive Board in 1998, thanks to funds provided by the government of the Emirate of Sharjah. Originally attributed every two years, the Prize became annual in 2003. It aims to honour individuals, groups or institutions that have made a significant contribution to the development, dissemination and promotion of Arab culture in the world, as well as the safeguarding and revitalization of Arab intangible cultural heritage.
In 2001, when it was first attributed, the Prize was awarded to the poet and university professor Abdulaziz El Makaleh (Yemen) and to Professor Abdul RhamanNa Zhong (China). In 2003, it recognized Professors Bin Salem Himmich (Morocco) and Esad Duraković (Bosnia and Herzegovina). In 2004, it was attributed to Professors Abdelwahab Bouhdiba (Tunisia) and Juan Vernet Ginés (Spain). The writer Tahar Ouettar (Algeria) and Father Michel Lagarde (Vatican) were 2005 laureates in 2005.