Spotlight on Arabic literature at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The fair began on 22 May and concluded on 28 May 2023

Winners of 17th Sheikh Zayed Book Award Courtesy- Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 22 May to 28 May 2023. Under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the book fair was organized by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), a part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). With the theme of ‘sustainability’, the annual event hosted various activities and discussions on history, art, music, and the environment.

The fair paid homage to the Republic of Turkey as the Guest of Honor, providing a platform to showcase Turkey’s culture, literature, and arts. Through a series of events and seminars, the fair promoted cultural exchange between Turkey and the Arab world. Attendees got the opportunity to explore Turkish literature, delved into Arabic and Turkish poetry, and also got engaged in discussions on literary translations between the two languages. Prominent Turkish publishers and partners, including the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, were also present at the Guest of Honor pavilion.

This year’s edition of the fair commemorated Ibn Khaldun, the 14th-century Arab philosopher and founder of sociology, as the “Focus Personality.” It featured a series of historical, philosophical, and literary discussions that shed light on Ibn Khaldun’s work and legacy.

Furthermore, the book fair celebrated Arabic literature through literary awards and translation grants. Audiences got a chance to meet the winners of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2023 through panel discussions and book signings throughout the week. Additionally, the fair hosted the awarding ceremony of the International Prize of Arabic Fiction, which had been fostered by Abu Dhabi for 15 years.

Carissa Véliz, an expert in technology ethics, was present at the fair to discuss the preservation of privacy in the digital age. Filmmaker Ali Tabrizi also presented his documentary “Seaspiracy,” which gained recognition as one of the top 10 most-watched documentaries on Netflix in 2021.

The program featured over 40 events, including panel discussions on marketing, translation, partnerships, content development, and publishing. Experts from various publishing fields, social media platforms, and marketing participated in these sessions, exploring topics such as sustainability in the publishing industry, artificial intelligence, e-publishing, and self-publishing.

This edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair placed a special emphasis on engaging the youth. With an extensive focus on cultural, creative, and professional programs, the fair offered an unparalleled range of activities for children and young adults, occupying the largest space in the event’s history. Reading sessions, workshops for children’s authors and illustrators, science theater performances, and many events were lined up for the fair.

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