Hundreds of publishers attend Abu Dhabi Book Fair

Sunday 07/05/2017
Books, films and cultural events. Visitors look at books at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in the Emirati capital. (ADIBF 2017)

London - The 2017 Abu Dhabi In­ternational Book Fair (ADIBF) brought together publishers and authors from across the globe in what has become one of the re­gion’s premier cultural events.
The 27th edition of the fair fea­tured 1,320 exhibitors from 65 countries as prominent novelists, poets, graphic designers, essayists and social leaders from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America participated. More than 500,000 titles were on display, written in more than 30 languages.
China, this year’s special guest, was celebrated with cultural pro­grammes and talks. Eugene Yun, one of China’s most prominent lit­erary voices; Cao Wenxuan, best known for his children’s literature and as vice-president of the Beijing Writers Association; and Xu Zech­en, deputy editor of the Chinese People’s Literature magazine, were among the participants.
An agreement was signed to establish the first joint UAE-Chi­nese publishing house, aiming to “bridge between Arab and Chinese cultures and… facilitate a flourish­ing cooperative relationship be­tween China and the UAE,” a state­ment said.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the United Arab Emirates pro­vides “great support for culture, literature, science and knowledge, placing them among its priorities while encouraging authors and cul­tured people from Arab countries and all over the world.”
Sheikh Mohammed said that “culture and intellect will contin­ue to be the primary standard for measuring the advancement of na­tions and their civilisations and the extent of their ability to develop.”
Mohammed al-Masoudi, the di­rector of cultural affairs at the Saudi Embassy in the UAE, said the king­dom “aims to benefit through its participation in the book fair from the international cultural demon­stration presented by the UAE.”
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award named Moroccan historian and scholar Abdallah Laroui as the Cul­tural Personality of the Year.
Lebanese author Abbas Beydoun, 72, won The Literature Award for “Khareef al Bara’a” (“The Autumn of Innocence”), and the Contribu­tion to the Development of Nations Award went to Syria’s Mohammad Chahrour for “Al Islam wal Insan” (“Islam and the Human Being”).
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was launched in 2007 to promote creativity in Arab culture. The win­ners received cash prizes totalling close to $2 million.
Film-making was also celebrated at the event with Emirati filmmak­er Nawaf al-Janahi’s Black Box Cin­ema project showcasing a diverse selection of Emirati and Arabic short films.
Fifteen films from the UAE, Qa­tar, Jordan, the Palestinian territo­ries, Tunisia, Lebanon and Egypt were featured. The films, which ranged from 9 minutes to 26 min­utes in length, showcased interna­tional collaborative efforts, includ­ing a Qatari-Lebanese-Canadian production “Turtles Are Always Home,” which tackles the meaning of home.
A Jordanian/Palestinian short film called “Five Boys and a Wheel,” an Arabic-language adaptation of Raymond Carver’s “Bicycles, Mus­cles, Cigarettes,” also premiered.