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Jürgen Habermas Turns Down Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The German philosopher justified his rejection of the award because of the close connection between the institution which awards the prizes and the political system in Abu Dhabi.

Al Taghyeer: Agencies

German philosopher, Jürgen Habermas, rejected a literary prize and a 1 million UAE Dirhams.

Habermas, who is considered Germany’s most eminent contemporary sociologist and philosopher, said that he would not accept a literary prize from the United Arab Emirates(UAE), reversing a previous decision to accept the honors.

I declared my willingness to accept this year’s Sheikh ZayedBook Award.

That was a wrong decision, which I hereby correct, Habermas said in a statement shared with Spiegel Online news.

I didn’t sufficiently make clear to myself the very close connection of the institution, which awards these prizes in Abu Dhabi, with the existing political system there.” He added.

In a statement on its official website, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award expressed its regret for Habermas‘ decision but respected it.

Habermas is considered one of the most important theorists of the Frankfurt School, and he has more than 50 books on many topics in philosophy and sociology, and he is the author of the communicative action theory.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is an Emirati literary award presented annually since 2006 and administrated by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism

The Award, and its associated accolades, are presented annually to outstanding writers, intellectuals, and publishers, as well as young talent whose writing and translation in humanities objectively enriches Arab intellectual, cultural, literary and social life.

The total prize is valued at seven million UAE Dirhams (US $1,900,000) each year.

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