The two laureates of the 11th edition
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will award the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture to the winners of the 11th edition on Thursday 25 April 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The official prize ceremony will be preceded by a series of talks entitled: “5 itineraries, 5 visions, 1 question: What is the Role of Arab Culture in Tomorrow’s World?” Five international personalities, renowned for for their involvement in Arab culture, will attempt to answer this question. The ceremony will be followed by a concert by the Palestinian group Khoury Project, featuring Egyptian oud player Mohamed Abozekry. (More)
The UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab culture
In order to commemorate the designation of the city of Sharjah as Cultural Capital of the Arab Region in 1998, the Government of the Emirate of Sharjah and His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi proposed the establishment of a prize to UNESCO. By mutual agreement, it rewarded two individuals from within and beyond the Arab world who, through their work and outstanding achievements, endeavour to disseminate greater knowledge of Arab art and culture.
Applicants to the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab culture must have contributed significantly towards the development, dissemination and the promotion of Arab culture in the world.
The winners are chosen by the Director-general of UNESCO, on the recommendation of an international Jury of experts of international repute in the field of Arab Culture and having distinguished themselves, over several years, by meritorious actions. Thus, the winners contribute to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the revitalization of Arab culture.
The Director-General awards the Prize at an official ceremony held for this purpose at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The Prize amount rises to US$60 000, divided equally between the two laureates (US$30,000 each).
Twenty people have so far been awarded the Prize; they have been honoured either in recognition of their contribution – in their respective disciplines – to Arab art and culture, or for participating in the dissemination of the latter outside the Arab world. Together, the prizewinners have come to represent a new generation of researchers, artists, philosophers, authors and translators with a profound desire to achieve a genuine dialogue between Arab culture and other cultures
In an era of globalization and profound political and social changes facing the world (not only the Arab region), this Prize fully meets the values of mutual understanding that is cited in the Constitution of the Organization. By rewarding careers, lives, whose efforts have been to promote a culture to which they own so much, the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab culture strives to foster a better understanding of other civilizations, thus promoting, or encouraging international exchange. Arab arts and culture have left traces all over the world, not only has the mosaic of cultures in the Arab region benefitted mutually but also cultures far beyond. One cannot find a better tread for cultivating peace.
The 10th ceremony of the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab culture awarded a translator and lexicology specialist, Brazilian João Baptista de Medeiros Vargens, as well as the intellectual and man of letters Lebanese Elias Khoury. Coming from the Middle East and Latin America, the choice of these winners naturally highlighted the exchange fluxes that exist between these two regions of the world for more than two centuries.
Year after year, the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture, depending on the candidatures it receives, sets out to meet different nationalities, be it from the depth of Asia, the heart of Africa, or passing through far off West. So many faces, languages and writings meet in their passion for a culture that is widespread but at the same time little-known.
After its 10th anniversary that marked its entry into a new era, the 11e Edition of the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab culture will be further enriched by its innovations and new projects.