Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud has been chosen the Cultural Personality of the year by the Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Zayed Book Awards Al Arabiya reported.
The awards - which are named after the United Arab Emirates' first leader Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al-Nahyan - are annually granted to prominent Arab or international figures who contribute to culture.
King Abdullah was selected for the honorary title due to his various cultural achievements, said Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Secretary General of Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
Bin Tamim told Al Arabiya News Channel choosing King Abdullah is a supreme honor for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and carries a big responsibility for the coming years.
"As much as the award takes pride in bearing the name of H.E. the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the father of the United Arab Emirates and the leader of its development, we are exceptionally honored to have the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques's personality on the list of our winners," he said.
He added among King Abdullah's various cultural initiatives were the establishment of King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue; the establishment of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; and the setting up of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Award for Translation.
Bin Tamim praised "King Abdullah's brave stand against what distorts the image of Islam and Arabism, that has dragged with it the risks of crime and terrorism. His stand is based on the true teaching of Islam," as quoted by The National.
"We must mention [King Abdullah's] international translation award that was established as a way of achieving the king's goal in building the cultural bridges between the vast civilizations," Bin Tamim added.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Awards ceremony will be held on May 4 at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
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