By Julieta Lionetti
The Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) will host Israel as guest of honor in 2013, providing a platform for Israeli writers — both Hebrew and Arabic speaking– to be better known in the region. Mexico also stressed its wish to strengthen cultural ties with Israel.
During the announcement, made on Wednesday, October 2 in Mexico City, Israel’s ambassador to the country, Rodica Radian-Gordon, highlighted the cultural contributions of Israel and said that the book fair is the best opportunity to share that legacy not only with Mexico, but with the rest of Latin America.
“Like few nations in the world, Israel embodies tradition and modernity”, she said. The ambassador also stressed that “since the Israeli excellence in science and technology is recognized throughout the world, this will be a major holding line in Guadalajara.” In 2013, the country will celebrate 65 years of the founding of the State of Israel, and she said that it’s a “highly symbolic date” to be guest of honor at the most important Latin American book fair. “It will also be the occasion to endorse the pact of friendship between our nations,” she added.
Raul Padilla López, president of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, welcomed the signing of the agreement by which Israel formally becomes guest of honor: “I am delighted it is our fair, the largest publishing gathering in Latin America, that which provides the platform for a better understanding of this young, dynamic and edgy culture.” He also stressed that Israel “stands out as having a comprehensive program of translations, signaling their willingness to open up to the world and the word.”
Meanwhile, Nubia Macías, executive director of the FIL, praised Chile — this year’s guest of honor — and said she’s sure that the South American country will be a source of cultural delight and diversity. She added that Guadalajara will be, once more, the place of “a great celebration of the book.”