A Prize Inspired and Funded by the Emirate of Sharjah
A prize Inspired and Funded by the Emirate of Sharjah
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.
Established under these favourable circumstances for a cause that had become urgent, the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture has, since 2001, crowned the efforts of 16 outstanding individuals from across the world. 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 […].
 Excerpt from the address by Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, on the occasion of the eighth award of the Prize (2009).