Riyadh International Book Fair to feature 120 cultural events

Web DeskSenior Editor

24th Sep, 2021. 03:40 pm

RIYADH: A particularly rich and diverse cultural programme will characterise the Riyadh International Book Fair, the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission announced on Friday.

The much-anticipated fair will open in the Saudi capital on October 1 and will last for 10 days, amid high expectations and will promote greater passion for reading in the community and offer new opportunities to boost awareness and knowledge about diverse cultures, literature and arts.

The cultural programme features elite Saudi Arabia and international writers, thinkers and critics who will take part in more than 120 events that include seminars, lectures and workshops encompassing diverse fields of cultural creativity.

From October 4 to 5, the fair will host the publishers’ conference, the first–of-its-kind in the kingdom, organised by the commission to discuss the reality of the publishing industry in the Arab world and ways to develop it to reach internationally competitive standards.

In the 12 discussion sessions of the conference, 42 speakers’ from Saudi Arabia and abroad will debate multiple layers of the local and regional publishing industry and ways to address its shortcomings and suggest ways to improve it to boost its contribution to the Arab cultural development.

The cultural programme will feature three main tracks. In the first, “Book Talk”, nine Saudi Arabian and international authors will talk about their experiences in writing.

They are Prince Turki Al Faisal, Shaikha Hind Al Qasimi, Saudi traveller and author Abdullah Al Juma, Kuwaiti novelist Mishaal Hamad, Jordanian novelist Ayman Al Atoum, American author Jordan Belfort, Kuwaiti novelist Saud Al Senousi, American chef and author Marco Pierre White, and Chris Gardner, the US author of the famous book “The Pursuit of Happiness”.

In the second track, “Cultural Encounters”, more than 100 intellectuals and critics from different countries will highlight, throughout 10 days of the fair, urgent literary and cultural issues through 36 seminars and lectures.

The third track will be to honour and award iconic figures who served the Arab culture, led by Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Governor of Makkah Province.

Prince Khalid will be honoured by the Paris-based Arab World Institute in a grand ceremony to be hosted by the fair in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Arab culture.

The fair will also feature seminars, celebrating Iraqi culture with the participation of the most prominent Saudi and Iraqi authors and writers.

Iraqi Minister of Culture Dr Hassan Nadhim will talk about “Culture and State Building”, while Mohammed Reda Nasrallah, Dr Abdullah Al Haidari, Dr Nadia Al Azzawi and Saheb Abu Jinnah will highlight in a symposium the works of Dr Ali Jawad Al Taher.

Dr Abdullah Al Ghadami will address “The Fate of Philosophy” and Dr Saad Al Bazai will talk about “The Landmarks of Modernity”. Saudi and Iraqi poets, including Jassim Al Sahih, Haider Al Abdullah, Sultan Al Dait and others will enrich the poetry evenings.

The fair will organise more than 60 workshops of diverse and cultural trends to be delivered by more than 100 experts and specialists.

They include workshops on writing and composition, filmmaking, theater, culinary arts, children’s arts, heritage clothes in the kingdom, science fiction writing, ways to motivate children to read, the stages of establishing a literary agency, the role and privileges of a literary agent, architectural writing, what philosophy can learn from children, and techniques for writing comic and manga stories. Famous chefs will share their skills in workshops in culinary arts.

The cultural programme will also celebrate creative arts on the “Cultural Avenue” that will host diverse cultural events in 16 sites along the “Riyadh Front”. The fair will present at the Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University Theater four evenings of singing and music of high artistic value.

Abdulrahman Mohammed will launch the event; followed by a musical evening presented by Egyptian musician Omar Khairat, and an Iraqi performance by musician Naseer Shamma and well-known singer Saadoun Jaber.

The fourth evening will feature famous songs whose lyrics were written by the late poet Prince Abdullah Al Faisal for Arab superstars Um Kalthoum, Abdulhalim Hafedh and others.

Princess Nourah University Theater will also host a musical show “Hans Zimmer’s World”. Children’s plays “Treasure Island” and “Disney Princesses” will be staged at the King Fahd Cultural Center Theater.

The new session of the Riyadh International Book Fair will be held under the theme “New Destination, New Chapter”, with Iraq as the “Guest of Honour” and a singularly rich programme in which Iraqi intellectuals and artists will present seminars and cultural performances.

The 2021 fair is the first to be organised by the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture.

It will be the largest in its history, with the participation of more than 1,000 local, Arab and international publishing houses from 28 countries.

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