“One of the Arab world’s most prestigious prizes,” the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has shortlisted Yaqutato Dawatil-Haq Shehzadi Dr. Bazat-Tahera Bensaheba’s book, Arabic Oration: Art and Function in the category of “Arab Culture in Other languages''.  Shehzadi Dr Tahera Bensaheba’s book was one of only four nominated out of over a hundred entries. The shortlist was announced on March 24 by the UAE’s Department of Culture and Tourism, and was reported widely in the UAE press. You can read more about the award on the SZBA official webpage.

Shehzadi Tahera Bensaheba’s book, published by Brill Academic Publishers in 2019 in their premier Handbook of Oriental Studies series, explores how the art of Arabic oration, khutba, was structured and crafted in the early Islamic world. The work builds around keystone sermons khutbas of Rasulullah SAW and Amirul Mumineen AS, as well as other influential orators. A vast variety of different structures, styles, and themes are explored in the sermons and speeches that are presented in the book.

The 600+ page book, grounded in ten years of intensive research, explores the vast and unmapped territory of Arabic oration’s thematic, functional, and aesthetic topographies in precise detail. In the introduction of the book, Shzd. Dr. Tahera Bensaheba writes, “in the early Islamic world of the 1st/7th and 2nd/8th centuries, religion, politics, and aesthetics, coalesced in the rich art of Arabic oration”.

A lecture at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Institute recently given by Shzd. Dr. Tahera Bensaheba based on the Arabic Oration book can be accessed here. Shzd. Dr. Tahera Bensaheba’s published articles and excerpts from her published books from her Academia.edu page. You can learn more about her current academic activities at her University of Chicago faculty page.