The Kanz Al Jeel Award, which honours works of Nabati poetry, folk studies, and research, has closed the nominations period for its second edition, which has received a notable increase in submissions as well as significant growth in specific categories. The Award is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.
This year, Kanz Al Jeel received a total of 264 entries across its six categories, from 27 countries including 17 Arab nations and 10 from around the world, marking 13% growth compared to the first cycle’s 234 entries.
Notably, this edition has seen countries from the Arab region and around the world participating for the first time, including China, Comoros, Dominica, Libya, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The UAE topped the list of Arab countries by number of participants, followed by Egypt, then Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, and Syria. Meanwhile, the highest number of participations for other languages came from Turkey, followed by India, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Russia, and China.
The Kanz Al Jeel Reading Panel Committee held a meeting chaired by Dr. Ali Saeed Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Award’s Higher Committee, to evaluate the submissions, assessing them against the Award’s criteria and its terms and conditions.
Reading Panel Committee members include His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC and member of the Kanz Al Jeel Higher Committee; Prof. Dr. Aisha Al Shamsi, Emirati academic, critic, poet, and member of the Kanz Al Jeel Higher Committee; Issa Saif Al Mazrouei, Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural and Heritage Programmes and Festivals Management Committee; and Abdulrahman Mohamed Al-Naqbi, Director of the Literary Awards Department at the ALC, and Rapporteur of the Kanz Al Jeel Higher Committee.
Dr. Al Kaabi said: “By showcasing the honoured tradition of Nabati poetry, the Kanz Al Jeel Award embodies the UAE’s commitment to preserving, reviving, and celebrating the rich Emirati and Arab cultural heritage. The Award aims to immortalise the poetic works of our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and promote them around the globe, nurturing interest in Nabati poetry worldwide and ensure its continued popularity and relevance to the younger generations. We are certainly making progress towards this objective, as in this second cycle the Award has reached even greater numbers of participants from around the world.”
The Poetry Matching category received the highest number of entries with 133 submissions, accounting for 51% of the total. The Arts category came in second with 80 entries, accounting for 30% of the total, followed by Studies and Research, Poetic Publications, Translation, and Creative Personality.
The Award received translation works in various languages this year, including English, German, Russian, and Turkish. This expansion beyond English, which was the sole language in the first cycle, showcases Kanz Al Jeel’s growing global impact.
The judging panels across all six categories of the award will begin their comprehensive evaluation process for all entries that were reviewed by the Reading Panel Committee.
The Kanz Al Jeel Award is given to researchers and creatives who have created works related to Nabati poetic heritage. It aims to promote distinguished poetic works and introduce the creative minds behind them, strengthening a sense of identity among younger generations by connecting them with their culture, heritage, and arts related to Nabati poetry.