Spain’s Casa Árabe is Sheikh Zayed Book Award Cultural Personality of the Year - GulfToday

Spain’s Casa Árabe is Sheikh Zayed Book Award Cultural Personality of the Year

An art exhibition in Casa Arabe Madrid.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) under the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT — Abu Dhabi), the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has named Casa Árabe in Spain as winner of the Cultural Personality of the Year category for its 18th edition.

The award acknowledges and honours Casa Árabe’s achievements in bridging the cultures of the Arab and Spanish people and advancing Arabic language and culture in Europe and Latin America.

The Award’s Board of Trustees and Scientific Committee’s decision to name Casa Árabe as this year’s Cultural Personality of the Year was unanimous, recognising the institution’s success in fostering cross-cultural dialogue. Casa Árabe welcomes Arab writers, artists, and thinkers to engage with Spanish Arabists, in pursuit of cultivating an environment grounded in principles of tolerance and respect for cultural diversity.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Culture - Abu Dhabi, said: “Over the 16 years since its establishment, Casa Arabe has become a national reference for teaching Arabic, and has worked tirelessly to introduce Arab heritage and its influence on civilisation to new audiences, creating a vibrant hub for literature, culture and thought, and allowing for greater mutual knowledge between Spain and the Arab world.”

 Casa Arabe headquarters in Madrid rises majestically.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC and Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said that “Casa Árabe plays integral role in Spain-Arab cultural relations through its social, cultural, educational and economic activities, raising greater awareness of the cultural diversity of the Arab world through its initiatives, projects, and programmes.”

Casa Árabe is a meeting point for dialogue and interaction. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of Islamic and Arab culture and expand the possibilities for collaboration and exchange among intellectuals, writers, translators, artists, and students from various backgrounds, fostering relationships, promoting intercultural communication, and creating cultural bridges between different countries.

It also has an active and strategic position in the digital world, increasing the effectiveness and reach of its activities through innovative technological practices with a strong and dynamic presence on social networks.

The institution emphasises the beauty of the Arabic language, teaching it to non-native speakers and recognising it as the primary tool for connecting people from different backgrounds. Casa Árabe’s cultural programme highlights the value of the Arab and Islamic historical legacy, as well as humanitarian work – something particularly important at the international level.

Since its establishment in 2006 under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Casa Árabe has served as a vital bridge between Arab and Spanish cultures. It has sought to conduct studies that showcase Arab culture in European and Latin American contexts. Casa Árabe has two headquarters, one located in Madrid and the other in Cordoba.

 Casa Arabe headquarters in Cordoba.

It positions itself as a key meeting point for Spain and the Arab world, facilitating dialogue between civilisations. By hosting top Arab writers, artists, and thinkers alongside Spanish Arabists, Casa Árabe promotes a culture of tolerance and respect for diversity.

Each year, Sheikh Zayed Book Award presents its Cultural Personality of the Year award to an entity or personality at the Arab or international level who has significantly contributed towards enriching Arab culture through creativity or thought.

The works or activities of the recipient should exemplify the values of authenticity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. The winners of the current edition of the Award will be honoured at a ceremony hosted by ALC in conjunction with the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF, Apr. 29 — May 5).

ALC, established following a directive from the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, as part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, works to support Arabic language development and modernisation through comprehensive strategies and frameworks, enrich the scientific, educational, cultural and creative contributions of the Arabic language, promote Arabic language proficiency and cultural understanding, and support Arab talents in the fields of writing, translation, publishing, scientific research, arts, content creation and organisation of book fairs, partnering some of the world’s most prestigious technical, cultural, and academic institutions.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award commemorates the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and his pioneering role in promoting national unity and development.

The Award and its associated accolades, are presented annually to outstanding writers, intellectuals, and publishers, as well as young talent whose writing and translation in humanities objectively enriches Arab intellectual, cultural, literary, and social life.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is an independent cultural initiative administered by Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi.

Established in 1981, ADIBF is a leading global cultural platform that brings together publishers, intellectuals, scholars, libraries, agents and cultural and media institutions to exchange ideas and experiences, explore opportunities, and foster communication and collaboration in the publishing sector and creative industries.

The annual event hosts Arab regional and international publishers and hosts activities, lectures, panel discussions, and specialised workshops featuring distinguished literary figures and intellectuals from different fields.

DCT - Abu Dhabi works to drive the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s culture, tourism and creative sectors, helping achieve Abu Dhabi’s wider global ambitions.



Related articles