At Cairo International Book Fair: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center

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Ahead welcoming Guest of Honor Egypt to the Abu Dhabi fair, the Arabic Language Center is rolling out a busy program in Cairo.

On the exhibition floor at Cairo International Book Fair

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Extensive Programming Ahead of Abu Dhabi’s Guest of Honor Egypt
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has announced its participation in the Cairo International Book Fair, scheduled to run through February 6 under this year’s theme, “We Create Knowledge; We Preserve the Word.”

At the same time, the Arabic Language Center is announcing that the 2024 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair—which in 2023, as you may remember, drew 1,300 exhibitors, itself, representative of 85 nations—will welcome Egypt as its guest of honor market this year and Naguib Mahfouz will be Abu Dhabi’s cultural personality of the year.

The center’s participation in Cairo focuses on showcasing its role in supporting and advancing the Arabic language, while promoting the publishing, translation, and creative industries in the Arab world. Cairo’s fair, primarily a public-facing show, can be expected to draw some 2 million attendees annually.

The Arabic Language Centre agenda for the Cairo fair includes a series of seminars; cultural and professional meetings; specialized workshops; musical evenings; and book signings. More than 500 titles produced by the center are available for sale, 120 of them new publications.

The Fair in Cairo also highlights the center’s various projects, awards, initiatives, and grants, including flagship events like the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair with its professional programs.

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, chair of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, is quoted in today’s (January 25) announcements, saying, “The Cairo International Book Fair celebrates literature, knowledge, and Arab culture, shedding light on creativity across the region and building bridges within culture.

“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 added: “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.”

 A Program Featuring Music as Well as Language

The program kicks off with a grand concert titled Ana Hawayt… Ma Intahayt’ (I Fell in Love… I Did Not Pass Away) held at Abdeen Palace, commemorating the centenary of musician Sayed Darwish, with performers, artists, and creators from around the Arab world participating.

That concert is a continuation of the longstanding cultural dialogue between the United Arab Emirates and the Arab Republic of Egypt and showcases the profound impact that Darwish has had on music in the Arab world across generations.

During its participation at the fair, the center is also set to announce formally the fact that Egypt will be guest of honor at Abu Dhabi, with Naguib Mahfouz as cultural personality of the year.

The cultural seminars cover topics such as the role of libraries; translation in the era of artificial intelligence; the role of literary awards and grants in supporting creatives; and podcasts, digital platforms, and their role in enriching Arabic content; and a session by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award team about manuscript editing and its challenges.

More sessions are going to showcase the shortlisted nominees for the Sard Al Thahab Award and explore the Kanz Al Jeel Award’s mission to revive Nabati poetry in the UAE. The agenda includes a special workshop titled How to Use Social Media for Book Promotion’.

The Arabic Language Centre is additionally hosting a series of events and sessions at Prince Mohamed Ali Palace (Al Manial Palace), including a showcase of the book ‘resident His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan… Highlights in the Journey of a Man of Humanity’ by Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, with a book signing with the author.

The is to feature sessions focusing on books on music issued by the language center, these events involving evenings that integrate discussions and musical performances. These include a session on the book Rhythms of Light: A Musical Biography of Four of the Geniuses of Oriental Melody by author Hassan Zaki, in addition to sessions on The Flute: A Piece of Reed With the Scent of Legends and The Intermediate in the Rules and Theories of Music.


 More from Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center is here, more on Arabic literature is here, more on the Egyptian market is here, and more on translation is here. 

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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