Prizes before 2004


On the shortlist, the judges had four very different publications:
  • Nigel Groom's Sheba Revealed edited by William Facey and published by the London Centre of Arab Studies
    •Karis M. Firro's Inventing Lebanon published by I B Tauris
    Being Israeli: the dynamics of multiple citizenship by Gershon Shafir and Yoav Peled published by Cambridge University Press
    Juan Cole's Sacred Space and Holy War published by I B Tauris
The judges awarded two runner-up prizes to the following:
•Jeremy Johns' Arabic Administration in Norman Sicily published by Cambridge University Press and
Peerless Images - Persian painting and its sources by three authors led by Eleanor Sims published by Yale University Press

We were delighted that both authors could be present at the award ceremony to receive cheques for £1,000.

The book which was awarded the main prize of £8,000 was Satellite Realms: Transnational Television, Globalisation and the Middle East by Naomi Sakr, published by I B Tauris. The judges had no doubt that this book deserved the main prize. It is the best book written on Arab television. It focuses mainly on the production side of transnational television and gives a profound insight about the institutional foundations in what our reviewer describes as "simply Stunning" in character. This is an outstanding book that admirably meets the criteria of being based on sound scholarship that will enhance the understanding of the Middle East among a wider readership in the English speaking world and we were delighted to present Naomi Sakr with this award.


Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought by Michael Cook (Cambridge University Press)
The book was described as 'a truly outstanding work'. Professor Cook received a cheque for £7,000 at the Award Ceremony which was held at the residence of Kuwaiti Ambassador, HE Khaled Al-Duwaisan in the presence of Shaikh Mubarak al-Abdullah al-Mubarak Al Sabah.
Runners Up:
  • Paper Before Print by Jonathan Bloom (Yale University Press)
    Arabia and the Arabs from the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam by Robert Hoyland (Routledge)
    Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World by Bruce Masters (Cambridge University Press)
Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West - The Life, Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi (Allen Lane - Oneworld, 2000)


Professor Lewis received a cheque for £7,000 at an Award Ceremony during the BRISMES Annual Conference in July 2001.
The runners-up (each receiving £1,000) were:
  • •Sevket Pamuk, The Monetary History of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge University Press)
    •Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia (I.B. Tauris)
    •Chase F. Robinson, Empire and Elites after the Muslim Conquest: The Transformation of Northern Mesopotamia (Cambridge University Press).


Winners of the prize for books published in 1999 are as follows:

  • Andrew George, The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation (Allen Lane - The Penguin Press, 1999) and
    •Julie Scott Meisami, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century (Edinburgh University Press, 1999).
Both received a cheque for £5,000 at an Award Ceremony which followed the BRISMES Annual Conference in July 2000.
The four other shortlisted books, praised at some length at the Award Ceremony, were the following:

  • •Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Edinburgh University Press);
    •Robert Irwin, Night & Horses & the Desert (Allen Lane-The Penguin Press);
    •Shireen Mahdavi, For God, Mammon and Country: A Ninteenth-Century Persian Merchant, Haj Muhammad Hassan Amin Al-Zarb (Westview Press);
    •Rudi Matthee, Trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver 1600-1730 (Cambridge University Press)


The prizes for books published in 1998 are as follows:
  • •Islamic Inscriptions by Sheila S. Blair (Edinburgh University Press) was awarded the first prize of £3,000;
    State and Provincial Society in the Ottoman Empire: Mosul, 1540-1834 by Dina Rizk Khoury (Cambridge University Press)
    Shi'i Scholars of 19th Century Iraq by Meir Litvak (Cambridge University Press) won the two runner-up prizes of £1,000.

Winners of the prize in its first year were:

  • •James Montgomery, The Vagaries of the Qasidah: The Tradition and Practice of Early Arabic Poetry (Aris & Phillips
    •Yazid Sayigh, Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993 (Oxford University Press).
    Runners up were:
    •Harriet Crawford, Robert Killick and Jane Moon: The Dilmun Temple at Saar: Bahrain and its Archaeological Inheritance (Kegan Paul
    •Richard Parkinson: The Tale of Sinuhe and other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940-1640 BC (Oxford University Press).