Award for culture, arts and literature launched.
A year on from a decree issued by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Sultan Qaboos Award for Culture, Arts and Literature (SQACAL) was officially launched last week. The announcement was made by Ali Mohammed Moosa, chairman, and members of the awards committee. The aim of the awards is to emphasise the role of culture, art and literature in the history and the development of the country, to honour and support the work of artists and intellectuals, and to raise cultural awareness among the community.
"Culture, arts and literature are the essence of Oman's renaissance and any progress cannot stay on its right way without knowledge and culture," said Moosa, who named the Royal Opera House Muscat as 'one of the cultural beacons of the era'. Proof of the importance given to culture, arts and literature, he added, has been the establishment of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, the Cultural Club, the Literature Forum, the Omani Society for Fine Arts, the Oman Center for Traditional Music, the Association of Oud Hobbyists and the Sultan Qaboos Centre for Islamic Culture (SQCIC).
The SQCIC will be overseeing the awards and its board of trustees will be responsible for the organisation, management of applications, forming committees for the evaluation of applicants and presenting the awards to the winners. The awards, which will be held annually, will consist of two prizes. The Sultan Qaboos Appreciation Award for Culture, Arts and Literature will be granted based on the applicant's body of work and achievements, and include a RO100,000 prize. The Sultan Qaboos Order for Culture, Arts and Literature will award an applicant based on an individual piece of work, and include a RO50,000 prize.
Criteria for the award for culture includes cultural works and writings relating to topics such as language, heritage, history, philosophy, and translation. Criteria for the award for arts includes work in fields such as music, fine arts, sculpture, photography and painting, while criteria for literature includes poetry, novels, short stories, writing plays and critiques. However, the inaugural awards limit these to just three categories - short story, drawing/ painting and historical studies.
Both prizes will awarded annually in December and alternate between including Omanis only and Omanis along with others from the Arab region. Applicants may apply as individuals or through scientific, cultural and art institutions.
Apex Press and Publishing
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