Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh named cultural figure of the year

Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb was named the top cultural figure of the year by the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards board Tuesday.

The organization's General-Secretary Ali Bin Tamim described Tayyeb as a researcher and specialized philosophy professor, lauding his teaching syllabuses, which have been adopted successfully at several Arab universities.

He also said Tayyeb is a proponent of tolerance and dialogue as a moderate Islamist.

This is the seventh year the organization has held the awards, with this year's winners selected from more than 1,200 nominations.

The winners will be honored on 28 April during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Below is a list of the other awards handed out:

The Sheikh Zayed Award for Development and State Building: Professor Elizabeth Kassab from Lebanon for writings on comparative literary criticism.

The Sheikh Zayed Award for Young Authors: Adel Hadjami from Morocco for his work on philosopher Gilles Deleuze.

Sheikh Zayed Award for Translated Works: Dr. Fathi Al-Maskini from Tunisia for a translation of a book by German Philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Sheikh Zayed Award for Literary and Art Criticism Category: Abdullah Ibrahim from Iraq for his book Historic Visualization: Narrative and Empire, published in 2011.

Sheikh Zayed Award for Arabic Culture in non-Arabic languages: English Language writer and critic Marina Warner for Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights

Sheikh Zayed Award for Publishing and Techniques of Culture: Kuwait's National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters


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