By Khaled Al-Daihani
LONDON, Dec 1 (KUNA) -- The British-Kuwaiti Friendship Society held a Book Prize Award ceremony for the best scholarly books on Middle Eastern studies, written in English.
The Award, sponsored by the Abdullah Al-Mubarak Foundation, is based on the historic value of research and information regarding the Middle East region.
Names of winning books were announced during the ceremony, which was held at the British Academy in London last night and coincided with the 20th anniversary of Abdullah Al-Mubarak Foundation's establishment.
For his part, Kuwait Ambassador Khaled Al-Duwaisan lauded, in his speech at the event, Abdullah Al-Mubarak Foundation's role in boosting Arab-British ties, particularly on scientific and cultural domains.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of launching the award, the attendance of a large number of writers and academics has reflected the event's success, he said.
Al-Duwaisan added the initiative was prompted by the belief that culture could help handle major global issues, extending bridges of understanding among nations and supporting dialogue of civilizations.
Initiatives have a significant role in increasing British institutions and organizations' interest to understand Middle Eastern nations, the Kuwaiti diplomat said, adding they also contribute effectively in the efforts aimed to narrow the gap between Middle Eastern and Western countries.
Such efforts would eventually lead to achieving peace and stability in the world, said the Kuwaiti diplomat.
The British-Kuwaiti relationship continues to grow and flourish, Al-Duwaisan mentioned, pointing out the solid bilateral ties that date back to nearly 200 years.
Furthermore, he thanked Abdullah Al-Mubarak Foundation for sponsoring such pioneering annual cultural initiative, lauding, as well, the Foundation's Representative Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah's role in that regard, and the organizing committee's efforts in choosing the best books.
For his part, Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Sabah said the goal of the award is to support the English valuable studies focusing on Arab and Islamic issues, which contributes to deepening the understanding between the Arab and Islamic cultures and the west.
Such intellectual and cultural initiatives will have a positive effect on bridging the gap and the cultural misunderstanding between the two sides, he added.
Over the past 20 years, the Foundation's committee had reviewed more than 1,000 books, mostly by British and US writers, Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Sabah noted, expressing his pride and appreciation of their keen interest to shed light on several issues in the Middle East region.
Hundreds of authors took part in the book prize award since its inception in 1998. (end) kd.ma