Prize Winners 2004

The winning title of the book prize, presented in 2004, receiving a cheque for £7,000 from Shaikh Mubarak al-Abdullah al-Mubarak Al Sabah was:

Making Music in the Arab World by A.J. Racy (Cambridge University Press)Image "making music in the arab world.jpg"The expert reviewer commented 'This is a book about the modern urban musical culture of the Arab Middle East. It represents the culmination of Mr Racy’s long and distinguished career as an accomplished performer, scholar and teacher of Middle East music.  He explores the phenomenon of the tarab – looking at its musical substance, lyrics, performance practice, secular and religious ecstasy and musical education.  It is written in a clear and engaging style that will appeal to musicians and non musicians alike.  It is rare that we find a book that  opens up to the general reader – and indeed many Middle East specialists – the world of Arab music and that it why we decided to award the major prize this year to this wonderful book'.

The runner up titles were:

Yasir Suleiman’s The Arabic Language and National Identity published by the Edinburgh University Press.  

'This is fascinating, well written and accessible book that examines how nationalism has been shaped by language and other influences. It is a scholarly work that builds arguments from well established authorities in the field and the region and does so with great clarity. It has freshness and originality and we found it to be a most unusual and impressive and persuasive book– and one that is already establishing itself as a basic text in Middle East departments'.      


Bernard O’Kane’s Early Persian Painting published by I B Tauris.

'This magisterial book examines and makes sense of the Kalila wa Dinma manuscripts – the favourite secular text of the Medieval period not only in the Islamic world but worldwide.  This is a beautiful and important book. In the words of our reviewer O’Kane’s years of devoted, patient work in the world’s great libraries, his close textual work in Arabic and Persian, his sober but elegant style, his innate feel for Persian patenting and its complex language – all bear impressive fruit in this great volume'.