The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has announced its participation in the Cairo International Book Fair, scheduled for February 6, under this year’s theme, “We Create Knowledge; We Preserve the Word.”
In the same vein at the same time, the Arabic Language Center is announcing that 2024 will be the year that the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair–which in 2023, as you might recall, attracted 1,300 exhibitors representing 85 countries–will be welcoming Egypt as a guest of honour for this year. Naguib Mahfouz will become Abu Dhabi’s most famous cultural figure for the entire year.
The centre’s participation in Cairo is focused on highlighting its contribution to supporting and improving the development of the Arabic language and encouraging the translation, publishing and creative industries of the Arab world. Cairo’s fair, which is mainly open to the public, can be expected to attract around two million visitors every year.
Its Arabic Language Centre agenda for the Cairo fair features several seminars, professional and cultural gatherings, specialized workshops, music evenings, and standings. More than 500 titles published by the centre are available for purchase, 120 brand new.
This Fair in Cairo is also a showcase of the centre’s many projects as well as awards, initiatives and grants, which include iconic events such as The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and its professional programming.
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre chair, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, is mentioned in the current announcements (January 25). He says, “The Cairo International Book Fair is a celebration of literature as well as knowledge as well as Arab culture, shining an understanding of the creative spirit across the region and creating bridges across cultures.
“It offers a platform for exchanging ideas with authors, publishers, and academics from around the world, as together we explore the latest international trends in the publishing industry and strive to advance the Arabic language and shed light on its impact across various fields.”
He said: “The fair allows the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to communicate directly with leading stakeholders in the publishing sector and creative industries as we introduce our latest projects and initiatives and expand our network of partnerships with key regional and global cultural institutions and publishing houses.”
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A Program Featuring Music as Well as Language
The program begins with a grand-scale concert entitled Ana Hawayt… Ma Intahayt’ (I Fell in Love… I Didn’t Pass By) was held at Abdeen Palace to mark the centenary of the musician Sayed Darwish, with performers, creatives, artists, and musicians from around the Arab world participating.
This concert continues the ongoing cultural dialogue between the United Arab Emirates and the Arab Republic of Egypt. It highlights Darwish’s significant impact on music in the Arab world over time.
In conjunction with the fair, it plans to announce that Egypt will officially be the guest of honour in Abu Dhabi, with Naguib Mahfouz named the cultural celebrity for the duration.
The seminars on culture cover subjects like the function of libraries, translation in the age of artificial intelligence, the importance of literary grants and awards in assisting artists, Podcasts and digital media platforms and their contribution to enriching Arabic content. Also, there is an event with The Sheikh Zayed Book Award team on editing manuscripts and the challenges it poses.
The following sessions will present the nominees shortlisted for the Sard Al Thahab Award and look into the Kanzal Jeel Award’s goal of bringing back Nabati poets throughout the UAE. The agenda will include a special seminar titled How to Utilize Social Media to Aid in Book Promotion’.
The Arabic Language Centre also hosts several workshops and events held at Prince Mohamed Ali Palace (Al Manial Palace) and a display in the publication “Resident His Her Excellency Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan… Highlights from the Journey of a Man of Humanity by Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi and an author’s signing.
The event will feature sessions on books on music that the language centre publishes. The events will include discussions with musical performances. This consists of a meeting of the novel Rhythms of Light:
A Musical Biography of Four of the Geniuses of Oriental Melody by author Hassan Zaki, as well as workshops regarding The Flute: A Bit of Reed With the Scent of Legends and The Intermediate in the Theory and Rules of Musical Theory.