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Special Award for Interreligious Dialogue: Islam and Christianity

The winners of ‘The 24th World Award for Book of the year of the Islamic Republic of Iran’ was announced at a ceremony attended by the Iranian President, Dr Hassan Rouhani.
Dr Rouhani honoured the winners during the closing ceremony held at the Talar Vahdat performance art theatre hall in Tehran on Tuesday 7th February.  The books were selected from an initial list of 2500 titles written in more than 13 languages covering many fields of Islamic and Iranian studies.
In his speech, President Rouhani expressed thanks to all scholars and intellectuals who submitted their work. He also stressed the importance of books in removing obstacles and promoting advancement in society. He described a book as the symbol and mirror of a scholar, and said, “A book is a thought by which we can transfer whatever has flourished in our minds to others with the strokes of a pen”.
Out of the 2500 books, 179 were shortlisted by a panel of experts who selected the final 10. The winners of this year’s award were from Finland, France, Germany, Malaysia, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the USA.
Among other laureates, Abbot Timothy Wright and Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali were selected for special recognition for their contribution to the interreligious dialogue between Catholics and Shi‘a Muslims.

Special Section
Interreligious Dialogue: Islam and Christianity
Selected Researcher: Timothy Wright
Dr Abbot Timothy Wright, OSB is a lecturer of the University of Saint Martin’s. He used to be the spiritual director for the Pontifical Beda College in Rome and the delegate of the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation for monastic-Muslim relations. He served as abbot of Ampleforth Abbey from 1997 to 2005, during which time he and Dr Shomali organised a series of dialogues between Catholic monks and theologians and Shi‘a Muslims from Iran. He is the author of No Peace without Prayer (2013).

Special Section
Interreligious Dialogue: Islam and Christianity
Researcher: Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali
Dr Shomali is a graduate of Islamic Seminaries of Qum. He received his PhD in Ethics from the University of Manchester in 2001. He is currently the director of the International Institute for Islamic Studies in Qum and also the Director of the Islamic Centre of England. He has published several works on ethics, jurisprudence, Islamic studies, and Shi‘a studies.

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