Juergen Habermas Germany city Dubai city Abu Dhabi Uae president Juergen Habermas Germany city Dubai city Abu Dhabi Uae

UAE award 'regrets' that philosopher Habermas rejected prize

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DUBAI – The board of trustees of a high-priced literary award from the United Arab Emirates expressed regret on Monday that prominent German philosopher Juergen Habermas had turned down the prize, reversing his earlier decision.

The 91-year-old German, considered his country's most eminent contemporary philosopher, announced earlier this week that he would not accept the Sheikh Zayed Book Award over its ties “with the existing political system” in the UAE, a hereditarily ruled country long criticized for its suppression of dissent.

While describing itself as an “independent” initiative, the prize is administered by Abu Dhabi culture and tourism authorities.

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