Sheikh Zayed Book Award:
Prominent German philosopher Juergen Habermas had turned down the Sheikh Zayed Book Award over its ties “with the existing political system” in the UAE, a hereditarily ruled country long criticized for its suppression of dissent.
- The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is a literary award begun in the UAE.
- The award is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the UAE when the federation of seven sheikhdoms became a country in 1971.
- While describing itself as an “independent” initiative, the prize is administered by Abu Dhabi culture and tourism authorities.
- The “Cultural Person of the Year” is the premier category, it includes an award of one million Dirhams (around $300,000) while the other categories receive around $200,000 each.
- Habermas was named the Cultural Personality of the Year, a distinction that carries a cash prize of 1 million dirhams.
- Habermas’ influential writings on human rights, morality and democracy, among other topics, have stirred debate in Germany and beyond.