Ministry of Culture and Youth Delegation participates in Cairo International Book Fair

 Ministry of Culture and Youth Delegation participates in Cairo International Book Fair

A delegation from the Ministry of Culture and Youth is attending the 53rd edition of the Cairo International Book Fair which is running under the theme ‘Egypt’s Identity – Culture & the Question of the Future’. The book fair kickstarted on January 26, 2022 and will run until February 7, 2022 in Cairo under the patronage of Abdel Fattah El Sisi, President of Egypt.

The three-member delegation headed by Ali Al Shaali, Assistant Undersecretary for the Heritage and Arts sector at the Ministry of Culture and Youth, also had Dr. Basima Younes, Cultural Advisor to the ministry, and Afra Mahmoud, Founding partner of Ghaf Publishing. The delegation attended the opening ceremony of the book fair, which was held in the presence of Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of Egypt, and participated in the “Translating from Arabic: A Bridge Between Civilisations” conference, organised by the General Egyptian Book Organisation.

The delegation attended the cultural retreat for the Arabic language, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and included panel discussion on six themes with a participation of 45 speakers, where Al Shaali moderated the theme titled “Arabic Language and Creativity: Literature, Drama, and Music”.

The delegate also attended a press conference announcing Taha Hussein as the Figure of the upcoming edition of the Abu Dhabi International Bookfair 2022. The announcement included details of the programme to celebrate the legendary Egyptian writer, in addition to revealing plans to publishing studies and research dedicated to his memory, his biography, as well as new paper editions of his works, and a selection of his creations would be made into audio, electronic and photo publications in cooperation with Arab publishers.

The delegation also visited the pavilions of the participating Emirati institutions from the public and private sectors, including Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (AABF), the National Library and Archives, Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), and Sharjah Institute for Heritage (SIH) in addition to several other Emirati publishing houses.

They also met with Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Founder and President of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), and Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, to discuss the prospects of the publishing industry, the outcomes of the first edition of the Arabic Language Summit 2021, and the rich and varied publications provided by Emirati publishers participating in the book fair, which showcases not only a source of knowledge but also a window to the culture and heritage of the UAE.

On this occasion,

Ali Al Shaali said: “The Ministry of Culture and Youth’s participation in major cultural events at the regional and global levels, adds value to the UAE’s cultural profile. Book fairs are a great way to prop up the publishing industry and help in safeguarding its future. Such events are especially relevant in today’s times when the world is witnessing such a rapid transformation.”

“Our participation in the Cairo International Book Fair, the oldest and the largest book fair in the Arab world, demonstrates the UAE’s cultural richness and introduces Emirati writers to the world.”

Al Shaali added: “This book fair is a global platform to discuss ways to maximise exposure for books and give the readers access to the latest local, regional and international publications. Cairo International Book Fair spotlights the contribution of the Emirati publishing industry and connect the writers to their readers. The UAE’s excellent

participation represents our country’s major interest in Arabic language and introduce strategic plans to preserve and protect it, and help support creators, publishers and the translation movement.”

Al Shaali praised the efforts led by Egypt, and the organisers of the Cairo International Book Fair, for such a well curated programme that covers the most pertinent issues facing the publishing industry and its future, while also discussing opportunities to integrate reading into our lives, and the importance of books in carrying forward the legacy of Arab culture.

Some of the pavilions visited by the UAE delegation include the Al Azhar’s Pavillion, Egyptian Al Ahram Establishment, Dar El Maaref Printing and Publishing House, and Dar Al Hilal Publishing. The delegation also met with the representatives of these pavilions to learn about their efforts and plans to advance the publishing industry. They discussed the book fair’s role in bringing the creators and readers closer to each other and how it helped them share some of the insights and experiences about their publishing journey.