Sheikh Zayed Book Award Names Omar Khairat Cultural Personality of the Year

by Nada Khaled

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), organized by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), in its 17th edition, has named renowned Egyptian musician Omar Khairat as the Cultural Personality of the Year in honor of an illustrious, decades-long career of timeless musical creations that have contributed to shaping the collective cultural consciousness of the Arab region.

Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, HE Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, said: Abu Dhabi has established itself as a thriving center for culture and creativity through its numerous initiatives, such as the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which support and enable the arts and other creative disciplines. Each year, the Cultural Personality of the Year award honors a prominent figure who has contributed to advancing the Arabic culture and promoting peaceful coexistence.

The SZBA Board of Trustees endorsed the Scientific Committee’s decision to choose Khairat as the Cultural Personality of the Year in recognition of his remarkable talent and artistic output, which has been tremendously popular in the Arab world and has featured in musical introductions to films and many dramas.

He continued: This year, we are proud to select Omar Khairat, one of the most renowned and celebrated musicians in the Arab world. His constant striving for excellence and innovation has seen the artist make a remarkable impact on the music industry and cultural landscape and foster important cross-cultural dialogue. His passion reflects Abu Dhabi’s vision to nurture creativity and harness the power of the arts to build bridges and transcend borders.

Notably, Khairat has won dozens of Egyptian and Arab awards and certificates of appreciation for his work, including the Golden Knight Award in 2001 from the Egyptian Radio and Television Union for the song ‘Al Masri’, composed for a film by Scott H. Nassour; the Oscar of Egyptian Cinema Award from the Egyptian Cinema Art Association in 2003 for the film ‘Mafia’; and the Audience Choice Award for the best soundtrack in 2005 for the series ‘Agent 1001’.

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