Tunis/Tunisia — Tunisian poet Moncef Ouhaibi won the literature prize at the prestigious Emirati literary awards "Sheikh Zayed Book Awards (SZBA)" 2019-2020 which celebrate their 14th edition.
Moncef Ouhaibi got the prize for his book «Belkas ma Qabl Al Akheera (The Penultimate Cup) published by Meskeliani Publishing and Distribution (Tunisia) in 2019.
It is first time the award has been given to a work of poetry.
Ouhaibi explores the position Tunisia occupies within the Mediterranean, between the Arab and Western symbolist tradition.
A 'poetry of experience', the collection unfolds the realities of love and of death, including poems dedicated to his parents and to the Syrian tragedy, SZBA said on its website.
In the same SZBA awards but this time in translation, Mohamed Ait Mihoub was also given the relevant prize for his translation from French into Arabic of the book "L'Homme Romantique" (1984), a work by the French philosopher and historian Georges Gusdorf (1912-2000).
"Sheikh Zayed Book Awards" is an independent cultural initiative under the umbrella of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.
This annual prize rewards writers, intellectuals and publishers as well as young talents whose literary work in the humanities contributes to the enrichment of the Arab intellectual, cultural, literary and social scene.
Originally scheduled for April 16, the official awards ceremony has been cancelled, the organisers say, citing health security concerns in this period of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.