ABU DHABI: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has been chosen for the Zayed Book Award’s Cultural Personality for 2014. The announcement was made by Ali bin Tamim, secretary-general of the award, during a press conference here on Saturday.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s Cultural Personality of the Year honors a prominent Arab or international figure (or organization) who has contributed to the advancement of the Arabic culture and promoted tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
Ali said that the Award’s scientific committee and its board of trustees has decided that the prize for 2014 be awarded to King Abdullah in view of his numerous achievements over the decades.
“King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz’s impressive achievements have been witnessed over the decades and he still contributes as generously as he has always done to the Arab and Islamic worlds,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al-Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
Sheikh Sultan elaborated on the king’s pioneering role in promoting peaceful coexistence, religious tolerance and cross-cultural dialogue, as well as his passionate support for an advanced education and scientific research culture in the region through the establishment of various educational institutes and knowledge centers that have become the North Star for scholars and researchers throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds.
”We are exceptionally honored to have the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ personality on the list of our winners,” added Ali.
He gave excerpts from the official statement issued by the board of trustees that showcase some of the reasoning behind the decision, including, the co-establishment of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.
The award’s eighth session collected a groundbreaking record of nominations amounting to more than 1,385 across the award’s nine categories. The award ceremony, celebrating the winning achievements, is scheduled for May 4, coinciding with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
The award, which was instituted in 2007, intends to promote scholarship and creativity in Arab culture. It carries cash prizes totaling AED 7 million — with AED 750,000 per winner in all eight categories (including the Arab Culture in the non- Arabic languages category). The winners also receive a certificate of merit and a gold medal.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah arrived Sunday in Jeddah, where he was received at King Abdulaziz International Airport by Crown Prince Salman and other leading princes.