PARIS, Jan 18 (KUNA) -- The 2009 Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture has been awarded to the Iraqi poet and calligrapher Ghani Al-Aani and Polish publisher and academic Anna Parzymies, it was announced here Monday.
Recommended by an international jury that examined 28 nominations from 21 Member States, UNESCO's Director General Irina Bokova will present the awards at a ceremony at Headquarters on February 9, 2010, the UN organization said in a statement.
Al-Aani, poet and calligrapher, is heir of the Baghdad calligraphy school and is one of the great masters of contemporary calligraphy.
The internationally-renowned artist has exhibited in every major capital in the world. The prize was awarded to Al-Aani for introducing Arab-Islamic calligraphy to the West, the statement noted.
On the other hand, Parzymies is a Polish publisher and academic, specializing in Arab culture. As director of a publishing house devoted to Arab culture, Parzymies took part in the publication of more than 80 books. In 1998, she set up the Department for European Islam Studies at the University of Warsaw.
It is one of the first scientific institutions in Europe devoted to Arab-Muslim culture and society in the region. Parzymies was granted the award for her invaluable contribution to promoting Arab culture in Poland, the statement said.
The Sharjah Prize of USD 30,000 for each laureate was proposed by Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al-Qassimi and approved by UNESCO's Executive Council in 1998, with funds from the Emirate of Sharjah.
Initially awarded every two years, the Prize has been annual since 2003 and honors individuals, groups or institutions that have made a significant contribution to the development, dissemination and promotion of Arab culture throughout the world, as well as the conservation and revitalization of Arab intangible heritage. (end) tm.hb KUNA 182001 Jan 10NNNN