The Sheikh Zayed Book Award on Tuesday announced it is stripping the 2009-2010 winner of the literature section of his award.
The decision marks the first such move in the history of Arab literary awards.
The book, titled Mudkhal fi Nazareyyat al-Naqd al-Thaqafi al-Muqaran (An Approach to Comparative Cultural Criticism), by Algerian writer Hefnawi Bali, was published in 2007 in Beirut.
The award is worth 750,000 derhams.
Al-Imaraat al-Youm, an Emirati newspaper, said the writer of the book is accused of plagiarism. The matter has been referred to a scientific committee for investigation, the paper reported.
Egyptian critic Abdallah al-Samti, who exposed the violation, said the awarded literature stole more than 30 long paragraphs from a book published in 2000 by critic Abdalla al-Ghadthami. According to al-Samti, Bali cited illusory references for the plagiarized text.
A statement by the institution that issues the Sheikh Zayed award said the writer had, at several points, attributed the work of others to himself.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was introduced in 2006 and is an independent institution that honors creative thinkers, publishers and translators in the field of humanities.
The total value of the awards it hands out is US$2.5 million, which is given to contributors to the fields of development and state building, children’s and general literature, translation, arts and publishing. The awards also go to young writers and to annual cultural figures.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.