The University of Chicago professor of Arabic literature is the first person of Indian origin to win the prestigious international award.
Tahera Qutbuddin, Indian-American professor of Arabic literature at the University of Chicago, won the 2020 Sheikh Zayed Book Prize for Arabic Culture in Other Languages.
The first person of Indian descent to win the prestigious international award. Qutbuddin has been selected for her new book, ‘Arab Oration: Art & Function’, published in 2019 by Brill Publishers.
The winners of the award commemorating the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, receive a career-changing prize of $ 200,000 (UAE dirhams 750,000). The book has been praised for its exceptional familiarity with classical Arabic literature. and Dr. Qutbuddin’s solid understanding of oral tradition studies and theories.
Oral tradition in the Arabic language is a strong and robust part of Arabic culture, but there is no focus on women’s prayer. In his book, Qutbuddin “fully explores this tradition in the Arabic language; highlighting the prayer of women in multiple contexts ”, according to the quote.
It “conducts a comprehensive examination of prayer in the Arabic language, with its unique cultural and artistic characteristics. These characteristics include audience influence and engagement, use of photography, dynamic pace, and the occasional use of religious and literary quotes.
“This form of communication dates back to the pre-Islamic oral tradition of the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and has undergone several phases of transformation over time until it took on its modern and distinctive form, which earned it a status of genre of Arab heritage worthy of full respect. “
“The writer’s exceptional familiarity with classical Arabic literature and his solid mastery of the studies and theories of oral tradition have enabled him to clearly articulate the different aspects of prayer: structure, style, types and function (religious, political, intellectual, social or military), ”he adds.
One of the most important awards in the world dedicated to Arab literature and culture, the award has recognized, honored and readership the outstanding work of authors, translators, publishers and organizations from around the world since 2006.
Qutbuddin also sits on the editorial board of the NYU Abu Dhabi Arabic Literature Library. She received her PhD and MA from Harvard University, USA, Tamhidi Magister and BA from Ain Shams University, Cairo, and a high school diploma from Sophia College, Mumbai.
His research focuses on the intersections of literary, religious and political in classical Arabic poetry and prose. His other publications include, “ Light in the Heavens: Sayings of the Prophet Muḥammad ” published in 2016, and “ A Treasury of Virtues: Sayings, Sermons, and Teachings of ʿAlī ” published in 2013).
She has received scholarships from the Franke Institute of Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.