Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced an extension to the application submission deadline for the second edition of its Sard Al Thahab Award to 31 May 2024. This will give more potential candidates the opportunity to participate in the Award, which is inspired by the thought and poetry of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE.

H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Given the overwhelming demand for participation in the second edition of the Sard Al Thahab Award, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has decided to extend the deadline for applications. This will enable more individuals to submit works and creations that align with the Award’s mission to support the creative artistic movement, preserve the UAE’s narrative heritage, and maintain its cultural role in fostering communication, in addition to highlighting significant historical moments and inspiring stages for various peoples and cultures.”

Eligibility criteria include applying for only one category of the Award and ensuring the submitted work has not been nominated for another major award in the same year. Nominated works must be written in Arabic, except for the Emirati Narration category, which accepts entries in Arabic or other languages. Moreover, the candidate needs to have contributed to shaping the Emirati narrative through creative or research work covering various aspects of the country’s history and present.

The Award accepts both published or unpublished narrative or research works, however, for published works, they must be submitted within five years of their publication. The Award is not granted to entries that have previously won a major Arab or international award, and candidates must adhere to the conditions outlined in the nomination form for each category. It is possible to reapply for the Award with the same work, provided that the time period requirement is met and that an application is submitted.

The Sard Al Thahab Award offers a total prize pool of AED2 million, includes six categories: Short Story for Unpublished Stories, which is awarded to unpublished collections of short stories that demonstrate  talent and the ability to add quality to this art, provided that the collection consists of no less than 10 short stories; Short Story for Published Stories, which is awarded to outstanding published local and Arabic short stories to promote and support this artform; and Popular Narratives, which is awarded to creative works that collect folk tales, stories, proverbs, and narratives that shape the collective memory and build a cultural identity.

Categories also include Narrators, which is given to the narrators of folk literature who communicate the nation’s heritage; Illustrated Story, awarded to works that are based on photography, a collection of photographs, short videos, a feature film, or paintings in a way that blends literary narrative with visual arts; and Emirati Narration, which recognises outstanding works that reinforce Emirati and Arabic identity, drawing on history and geography to build a distinctive work.

The award celebrates inspiring works in the fields of literature and storytelling, honouring their authors and publishing their creative works. Moreover, Sard Al Thahab seeks to revive the art of folktales and storytelling, as well as folk epics, which are a key component of Arab culture, expressing them in a modern, artistic way that highlights their distinction and beauty, as well as the wisdom of our forefathers.

Narrators interested in participating in the second edition can find more information about the online nomination process on the ALC’s official website at https://alc.ae/awards-grants/sard-al-thahab or by contacting the team at sardalthahab@dctabudhabi.ae.