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ALC Chairman H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim at the Jordan Forum for Media and Digital Communication: UAE has led an exceptional experience in digital transformation

“The United Arab Emirates has led an exceptional experience in comprehensive digital transformation,” asserted His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), at the Jordan Forum for Media and Digital Communication, organised by the Jordanian Ministry of Government Communication.

 

The Forum was held under the patronage of H.E. Bisher Khasawneh, Prime Minister of Jordan, amid wide Arab and international media coverage. The event was inaugurated by the Minister of Government Communication of Jordan on Tuesday, 21 May 2024.

 

Representing the ALC at the Forum, H.E. bin Tamim went on to note: “The UAE approaches the matter as a means to make people’s lives easier, adhere to best practices, and provide outstanding services, all in a bid to promote happiness, an objective that the wise leadership holds in the highest regard.”

 

Culture and the Arabic language are top priorities in the UAE’s digital transformation plans, H.E. explained, noting that this “falls under the wise leadership’s vision to advance and ensure the sustainability of the cultural and creative sectors, in a bid to strengthen their role as part of our ambitious efforts to invest in people, which in turn is a focus of all UAE development strategies.”

 

“The Arabic language is a leading marker of cultural identity for the Emirati people, and holds a wealth of values, science, knowledge, and creativity,” H.E. bin Tamim continued. “The language is facing major challenges in the modern era, especially with the rapid developments in technology, advances in artificial intelligence, and the evolving channels for acquiring knowledge and science – all of which are challenges that require attention, preparation, and effort.”

 

“There are undoubtedly many initiatives and projects that serve this goal in various Arab countries,” H.E. said. “There isn’t enough time to discuss all of them, however, it should be noted that the UAE has led an exceptional experience in comprehensive digital transformation, approaching the matter as a means to make people’s lives easier, adhere to best practices, and provide outstanding services. We, at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, are part of this advanced ecosystem, designed to ensure the sustainability of the cultural and creative sector, drive it forward, and enhance the presence of the Arabic language – the most prominent component of cultural identity.”

 

The ALC Chairman shed light on a range of the Centre’s projects and initiatives, launched to enhance the presence of the Arabic language and culture in the digital era, most notably, the Poetry Encyclopaedia, Kanz Al Jeel poetry collection, the digital transformation initiative, Spotlight on Rights, BAREC Readability project, the ALC digital Dictionar, and the Poetic Intelligence Lab, among others.

 

These projects were designed around a set of objectives to enrich the Arabic language with technology and enrich technology with Arabic content, H.E. explained, affirming that the Arabic language is rich in science, knowledge, art, and literature, yet these treasures are not available in a format suitable for the digital era. “Arabic needs to master the language of this digital era, just as the digital era needs the richness of the Arabic language.”

 

The Jordan Forum for Media and Digital Communication was held in celebration of the silver jubilee of King Abdullah II’s accession to the throne and the 78th anniversary of the independence of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Over the course of two days and eight sessions that brought together 30 Jordanian, Arab, and international speakers, the Forum discussed topics related to the challenges facing Arab media and communication sectors in light of rapid technological and digital advancements. Attendees sought to brainstorm innovative solutions to enhance ethics and freedom in media, keeping pace with advancements in the field of digital media and communication.

 

The Arabic Language and Global Cultural Development

The first International Scientific Forum, organised by the Language Centre at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, welcomed Dr. Ali bin Tamim as a guest of honour and key participant in the Forum’s activities, which, over the course of two days, included several panel discussions and lectures delivered by experts in the fields of language, literature, translation, and language technology. Participants discussed a range of important topics, including the role of translation in transferring knowledge between cultures, the challenges of teaching Arabic to non-native speakers, and the impact of digital technology on the spread of the Arabic language.

 

In his opening speech, H.E. bin Tamim applauded the Forum’s efforts to discuss the status and role of the Arabic language in the global cultural system, as well as its future prospects. “This role intersects with our efforts at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to advance the presence of the Arabic language and instill it among the new generations, enabling them to benefit from its authentic and exceptional knowledge covering various aspects of life,” he said.

 

The ALC Chairman participated in a session titled ‘The Role of the Arabic Language in Global Cultural Development: Reality and Aspirations’, where he stressed the importance of continuing efforts to preserve the Arabic language, keep it within its authentic and development-oriented domain, and strengthen its presence in contemporary culture. “This is achievable,” he asserted, “provided that effective strategies are followed, most notably to promote linguistic and literary creativity by supporting writers, poets, and creators to produce outstanding artistic and literary works in Arabic. Equally important is encouraging the use of Arabic in various fields of literature and arts, and supporting the development of technology, software, and applications that enhance the use of Arabic in science, technology, and everyday life.”

 

Moreover, H.E. bin Tamim stressed the importance of supporting the production of digital content in Arabic, focusing on specialised websites, applications, and other digital platforms., He also called for the development of educational programmes that focus on comprehensive learning and mastery of the Arabic language, including among non-native speakers. He also underlined the need to enhance cultural exchange by organising cultural, literary, and artistic events that promote the Arabic language as an integral part of human heritage.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Publishes More Than 30 Volumes of the Encyclopaedia of French Poets Under its ‘Kalima’ Project for Translation

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has published a sizeable first batch of works from the Encyclopaedia of French Poets as part of its ‘Kalima’ Project for Translation, edited and curated by France-based Iraqi poet and academic Kazem Jihad, who specialises in Arabic literature and Western European poets.

 

A team of Arab translators from various Arab countries participated in translating this batch, including Nuha Abu Arqoub from Palestine; the late Ghada El-Samrout, Danielle Saleh, and Marie Tawk from Lebanon; the late Mohammed bin Saleh, Mohamed Ali Al-Yousfi, Abu Bakr Al-Ayyadi, and Qaysar Jalidi from Tunisia; and Qusai Qajo from Syria.

 

The first batch includes over 30 volumes, each ranging from 120 to 180 pages. The series comprises individual volumes dedicated to major figures of French poetry, and collective volumes featuring extensive selections from other celebrated poets in the history of French poetry, even if they are not necessarily considered among the greatest or most well-known.

 

“This dual approach was necessary because the series is designed to include extensive selections from dozens of figures renowned in French and Francophone poetry,” stressed Kazem Jihad, noting that he worked on the encyclopaedia with great passion and patience, carefully curating its themes without favouring one current over another, or diminishing one prominent voice in favour of another.

 

“Therefore, the encyclopaedia reflects a broad diversity that covers various forms of spiritual, intellectual, lyrical, and tragic experiences,” he added. “It includes a range of innovations in both form and substance, driven by a fundamental belief that poetry, if not diverse, generous, and aspiring to freedom, loses its essence and purpose.”

 

The first batch covers the time period from the end of the medieval era, which saw the birth of the French language, replacing Latin and regional dialects that previously divided the linguistic map of France, to the early 20th century. The encyclopaedia opens with a volume dedicated to medieval poets whose works date from the late 14th to the late 15th century, most notably Guillaume de Machaut, Jean Froissart, Charles d’Orléans, Christine de Pizan, and the renowned François Villon. This is followed by seven volumes dedicated to the 16th century, which also includes pioneering female poets, notably those of Pernette du Guillet and Louise Labé.

 

Furthermore, the encyclopaedia allocates four volumes to the 17th century, four to the 18th century, and 17 volumes to 19th century poets. This first batch concludes with selected poems from veteran poets Francis Jammes and Charles Péguy, with future volumes set to feature other renowned poets who were active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

Upcoming volumes will focus on poets of the 20th century, a period marked by great progress, transformation, and innovation, led by prominent individual voices and poetic movements that have left a lasting mark on the history of French poetry.

 

In addition to French poets, notable figures from sub-Saharan Africa, overseas island territories, the Levant, Maghreb, and the West have enriched the French language with outstanding poetic works, and will also be included in the encyclopaedia, alongside individual and collective volumes dedicated to major figures of French or Francophone poetry.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre reveals longlists for the 2024 edition of the Research Grants programme

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has unveiled the longlists for the fourth edition of its Research Grants programme in 2024.

 

The programme seeks to support researchers in the Arabic language to submit high-quality projects that help advance the language, enhance knowledge, and promote scientific studies.

 

The Research Grants programme aims to shed light on creative works in various fields related to the Arabic language, providing an opportunity for serious researchers to submit inspiring and high-quality research projects that enrich the Arabic language and enhance its position as a fundamental pillar of thought and cultural identity. This year, the programme received 270 nominations from 31 countries, with the highest participation rates coming from Egypt, followed by Morocco, Syria, and Jordan.

 

The longlist included 33 nominated works, distributed across four knowledge fields: Literature and Criticism (19 submissions), Editing of Manuscripts (7 submissions), Arabic Lexicon (5 submissions), and Teaching Arabic to Non-Arabic Speakers (2 submissions).

 

The longlist for the Literature and Criticism category included 19 works:

  • Character of the Other and Its Representations in Modern Arabic Feminist Poem’ by researchers Iyad Abdel Majeed Ibrahim and Ali Haddad Hussein Al-Saray.
  • ‘Building Azjal and Baleqat in the Andalusian and Mamluk Eras, (Comparative Study)’ by researchers Ahmed Atta, Muhammad Adel and Ahmed Mekkawi.
  • ‘Popular History of Arab Leaders in the Modern Era: Prince Abdel Qader Al-Jazairi, Saad Zaghloul, King Faisal, and Sheikh Zayed’ by researcher Khaled Abu Al-Lail.
  • ‘Eloquence of Ideas and Abundance of Meaning: A Cultural Approach to the Intellectual Identity of the Discourse of Ancient Arabic Poetry’ by researcher Abdel Fattah Youssef.
  • ‘The Semiotics of Narrative Text: Nafa’is Al-Aalaq fi Ma’athir Al-Ushaq by Ibn Hamamah Al-Maghribi as a Model’ by researcher Imad Hamdi Abdullah Ali.
  • ‘Nabati Sayings’ by researcher Qaddoura Al-Ajni.
  • ‘Translation and Power Disparities: Approaches in Theory and Practice’ by researcher Nahid Raheel.
  • ‘Environmental Sustainability in the Arabic Novel’ by researchers Nasr Al-Najjar and Muhammad Abdullah.
  • ‘Discourse on Educational Rajeez Poems and the Consolidation of the Sciences of Understanding: Research into the Pragmatic Function of Rhythm’ by researcher Mahdi Laaraj.
  • ‘The Ego and Its Shadows: Autobiography in Modern Arabic Poetry’ by researcher Abdul Latif Al-Warari.
  • ‘A Collection of Poetic Riddles’ by researcher Anas Abdel Hadi Abu Hilal.
  • ‘Dreams of Sand: The Poetics of Water in Pre-Islamic Poem’ by researcher Dergham Arif Al-Saeed.
  • ‘Al-Hawdaj Poetic Journey: Phenomenological Reflections’ by researcher Rania bint Muhammad Sharif bin Saleh Al-Ardawi.
  • ‘The Sacred in Pre-Islamic Poetry - A Thematic Study’ by researcher Abdullah Al-Baradi.
  • ‘Writing and Identity: Manifestations of Feminist Discourse in Autobiographical Literature: A Critical Approach’ by researcher Abbas Abdel Halim Abbas.
  • ‘The Record of Illnesses in Arabic Literature: A Cultural Approach’ by researcher Fatima Yousef Al-Qaraan.
  • ‘The Aesthetics of Image in the Poetry of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, an Aesthetic Analytical Study’ by researcher Aisha Ali Al-Ghais.
  • ‘Interaction between the Art of Interior Architecture and the Art of Short Story’ by researcher Fatima Ibrahim Al-Amiri.
  • ‘Questioning Modernity and Beyond in Emirati Poetry’ by researcher Maryam Al Hashemi.

 

Meanwhile, the Editing of Manuscripts category featured seven works in its longlist, namely:

  • ‘Explanation of the Al-Hamasa Collection by Abi Tammam, Explanation of Abu Al-Futuh Al-Jurjani, Thabit bin Muhammad Al-Adawi Al-Andalusi’ by researcher Ahmed Muhammad Attiya Abdul Hadi.
  • ‘Description of Blindness: A Study of Popular Literary Narratives and the Editing of an Anonymous Copy of the One Thousand and One Nights’ by researcher Faraj Al-Fakharani.
  • ‘Biographies of Women in the Supplement of Ibn al-Abar in the Rabat Manuscript’ by researcher Mona Rabie, in collaboration with researcher Susan Nash’at.
  • ‘The Book of Illusion by Al-Harith Al-Muhasibi’ by researcher Aisha Ammor.
  • ‘Al-Muammirun wa Al-Wasaya by Abu Hatim Al-Sijistani’ (d. 255 AH) by researcher Muhammad bin Abdul-Sater Zakaria.
  • ‘Poet Suleiman bin Musa Al-Kala’i Al-Andalusi’s Collection (634 AH):: Collection and Editing ’ by researcher Rawan Sukkar.
  • ‘Maqamat Ibn Al-Haddad: Editing, Explanation, and Study’ by researcher Ibrahim Khalil Geries.

 

The longlist in the Arabic Lexicon category included five works:

  • ‘Bekheet’s Dictionary of Verbal Idioms, Arabic-English’ by researcher Ramadan Mohammed Mohammed Ahmed Bekheet.
  • ‘The Making of Modern Lexicon: Arabisation of Sciences and the Conflict over Modernising Arabic in Egypt 1918-1970’ by researcher Khalid Abu Huraira Ahmed.
  • ‘Dictionary of Food and Feeding ’ by researcher Taysir Khalaf.
  • ‘Dictionary of Pharmaceutical Terms in Ancient Arabic Lexicons’ by researcher Khuloud Saleh Al-Saleh.
  • ‘The Lexical Commonality between Arabic and South Levantine Languages Before Islam: From the Fourth Century BC to the Sixth Century AD’ by researcher Omar Abdul Qadir Al-Ghoul.

 

The longlist for the Teaching Arabic to Non-Arabic Speakers included two submissions:

  • ‘Integrating 21st Century Skills into Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers: Theoretical Foundations and Applied Strategies’ by researcher Khaled Abu Amsha.
  • ‘Arabic Literature for Speakers of Other Languages in the Light of Text Linguistics’ by researchers Muhammad Daoud and Israa Al-Hajj.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre had previously published the winning works of the third edition of the Research Grants programme as part of the Basaer (Insights) series of research papers and studies at the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024), held from 29 April to 5 May 2024.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Brings Over 450 Titles from its Publications to the Rabat International Book Fair 2024 in Morocco

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) is taking part in the 29th Rabat International Book Fair 2024, organised by the Moroccan Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication from 10 to 19 May 2024, at the OLM Souissi arena in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

 

The Centre’s participation in the Fair is in line with its commitment to showcasing its efforts to advance the status of the Arabic language, highlighting its role as a vehicle for thought and a pillar of the cultural movement as a whole.

 

The ALC also aims to promote and support Arab culture, while introducing its latest projects and cultural initiatives to a wider Arab audience, presenting its latest publications, and strengthening collaboration and partnerships with Arab and international cultural institutions and publishing houses.

 

In its pavilion spanning 27 square metres, the Centre is showcasing over 450 titles, featuring 50 new releases from the Kalima and Esdarat projects, along with the Basaer (Insights) series of research papers and studies.

 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will be the guest of honour at the 29th Rabat International Book Fair.

 

Since its inception in 1987, the Fair has strengthened its position as the premier literary event in the Moroccan cultural landscape, celebrating books and book industry, writers, and creators. Over the years, it has evolved to become a destination for writers, intellectuals, readers, and professionals in the book and publishing sectors. The event’s rich and diverse halls welcome thousands of visitors annually, with approximately 743 exhibitors from 48 countries, highlighting the latest books published by Moroccan and international publishers, and offering a platform that fosters intellectual and cultural exchange over 10 days.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Takes Part in 33rd Doha International Book Fair 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) is taking part in the 33rd edition of the Doha International Book Fair, held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre from May 9 to 18, 2024. The Centre showcases over 485 titles from its publications, featuring 50 newly released titles.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre's pavilion, covering 36 square meters at the Doha International Book Fair, serves as an ideal platform for intellectuals, book lovers, and Arabic culture enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the latest offerings from the global publishing industry and delve into international translations. It also presents an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the diverse realms of the Arabic language, with numerous modern and contemporary publications showcased alongside classic works spanning fields such as science, literature, and philosophy. Additionally, the pavilion features a collection of children's and youth literature, comprising hundreds of publications from the Kalima Project and the Basaer (Insights) series of research papers and studies.

 

The centre's pavilion offers culture enthusiasts an extensive selection of publications tailored to diverse tastes and ages. The selection includes literary works, historical books, travel guides, and cultural works published by ‘Esdarat’ project. ALC’s participation in this event aims to promote its extensive and varied publications, foster communication with the audience, cultivate a culture of reading, boost the Arabic language, and promote its presence in both Arab and international cultural arenas.

 

The Sultanate of Oman will be the Guest of Honour at the 33rd edition of the Doha International Book Fair, which is held under the theme ‘Knowledge Builds Civilizations’. The bookfair convenes around 515 participating publishing houses from 42 countries worldwide.

 

The Doha International Book Fair stands as a prestigious cultural event, drawing significant attention from the cultural community with each successive edition. The 33rd edition of the bookfair features a range of cultural and intellectual initiatives aligned with the aspirations of different generations and the fair's overarching goal of fostering a culture of reading across generations. The fair aims to bolster competitiveness among participating publishing houses while gaining insights into the diverse preferences of the Arab public in the Arabian Gulf region.

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Sheikh Zayed Book Award Opens Submissions for 19th Edition (2024-2025)

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), is now welcoming submissions to its 19th edition from May until 1 September 2024.

 

This year, the Award is receiving submissions across 10 categories: Literature, Translation, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Children’s Literature, Editing of Arabic Manuscripts, Literary and Art Criticism, Young Author, Cultural Personality of the Year, and Publishing and Technology.

 

The announcement follows the notable success of the Award’s 18th edition, which saw the largest number of entries to date with a total of 4,240 nominations, as well as an increase in the number of participating countries to 74, highlighting the SZBA’s significance on the regional and international cultural map.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary-General of the SZBA, said: “We are proud of the continued success of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, as well as of the clear imprint it has left on the cultural scene throughout the past 18 editions. Since its inception, the Award has shed light on a range of notable literary works, prominent authors, and creative minds, and the increasing number of submissions we receive each year further solidifies the Award’s status in the literary community and among authors of various nationalities. The Award plays a pioneering role in driving forward writing and translation efforts and building cultural bridges between countries.”

 

Submitting entries to any category of the Award must be done in accordance with a set of conditions. Each nominee may only submit one work to one of the Award’s categories, provided the candidate has not been nominated – whether by the author himself/herself or on their behalf – for any other award during the same year. The SZBA cannot be granted to works that have been previously awarded a prominent international or Arab prize.

 

Submitted books must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) to allow for the verification of property rights. Re-submissions are accepted if they still fall within the two-year timespan, and new copies of the work should be shared.

 

The Award receives self-nominations from authors, as well as submissions from publishing houses, which can nominate books they have published with written consent from the authors. All submitted works must have been published within the past two years and must not have won any major international prize at the time of submission.

 

Original submitted works should be written in Arabic, with the exception of those submitted under the Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category, which can be in other languages, as well as the Translation category (whether translated into or from Arabic) and the Arab Culture in Other Languages category, where works published in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian are accepted.

 

As for the Cultural Personality of the Year award, candidates must be nominated by academic, research, or cultural institutions; literary bodies and universities; or by three prominent intellectual and/or cultural figures. Nominees for all other categories must personally fill out the nomination forms on the SZBA website.

 

To submit a nomination to the 19th Sheikh Zayed Book Award, or for more information about the submissions process, visit the official SZBA website www.zayedaward.ae or email info@zayedaward.ae.

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"Kalila wa Dimna" opens "The Book of the World" at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024

The renowned literary work “Kalila wa Dimna” by Abdullah Ibn Al-Muqaffa’, is featured once again at the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024) under the “Book of the World” initiative. This initiative spotlights the work’s timeless narrative, which delves into mythical tales and moral lessons relevant to all eras and places.

 

The selection of “Kalila wa Dimna” for the Fair was intentional, reflecting its noble purpose of social reform. This book is part of the “Mirrors for Princes” literary genre, which educates future leaders by imparting wisdom through the adventures and dialogues of human and animal characters.

 

The “Book of the World” initiative makes its debut in the current edition of the Fair, aiming to fortify global cultural heritage by featuring some of the most influential books on human consciousness. These selections are made annually based on stringent critical criteria.

 

In a session titled “Kalila wa Dimna: From Manuscripts to Modern Literary Readings”, the Fair explored how the book uses folklore to promote virtues over vices.

 

The session was moderated by noted media personality Hassan Alshazli, and featured Dr. Mohamed Soliman, Head of the Cultural Communication Sector at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), Ehab Mallah, writer, critic, journalist, and researcher specialising in heritage and cultural history, and Dr. Chahrazad Alarabi, author and specialised researcher.

 

The panelists concurred that the Arabic version by Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa’ is the seminal text from which all translations have been derived.

 

They highlighted the book’s ongoing appeal to theorists across various disciplines including knowledge, science, and politics, due to its rich narrative style. This complexity not only makes interpretation challenging but also allows for multiple valid interpretations, giving the book a lasting relevance.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Unveils “101 Creative Women”

In recognition of the significant role women play in the journey of human creativity, and in celebration of their achievements, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has released a book titled “101 Creative Women”, as part of the activities of the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024), which runs until May 5.

 

The Centre hosted a panel discussion titled “101 Creative Women: Literary Works that Influenced the World”, featuring Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghathami, academic and critic, and Dr. Khalil Sheikh, Director of the Education and Arabic Language Research Department at the ALC. The session was moderated by Tarek Rashed, Head of the ALC’s Arabic Language Research and Studies Section.

 

Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghathami expressed his delight at the release of the book, as it highlights the essence of women’s literary achievements. He described the book as an initial foundation for the future, noting that the Centre has opened the door for documenting female achievements and innovations, and praising the efforts that paved the way for the publishing of the book.

 

For his part, Dr. Khalil Sheikh explained that “101 Creative Women” aims to shed light on women who have made significant literary accomplishments. He clarified that the book is the third in a series that launched three years ago; starting with the first book titled “101 Books: Arabic Books that Enriched the World” which highlights the most significant books in Arab culture, followed by “101 Novels: Arab Novels that Enriched the 20th Century”, completed by a committee of prominent critics in the Arab world, leading up to the current edition.

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A Session Discusses “The Middle East Amidst Global Changes and Regional Dynamics”

As part of the cultural programme of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, a special session was held to discuss and sign the book “In The Making: Navigating The Middle East Amidst Global Changes and Regional Dynamics”. The event was attended by HE Saqr Ghobash, President of the Federal National Council, and HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, which is organising the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

 

In an effort to understand the evolution of political stages in the region and globally, the session, moderated by Dr. Hamad Al Kaabi, Chief News Centre Officer at Abu Dhabi Media Network and Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad Newspaper, featured insightful discussions with the book's author, HE Nabil Fahmy, former Foreign Minister of Egypt, and Hossam Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Future for Advanced Research and Studies in Abu Dhabi. The discussion delved into the core theme of the book, which scrutinises the ongoing conflict between the United States on one side, and Russia and China on the other, over the reshaping of the current international system following the end of the Cold War.

 

HE Nabil Fahmy commented: “Russia and China are pushing towards a multipolar international system, while Washington strives to maintain the existing system it dominates”, outlining the repercussions of this conflict on the Middle East in terms of interactions between the major powers in the region and their balances.

 

Fahmy also spoke about his career progression leading up to his tenure as the Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt, followed by his transition to academia and the authoring of his new book, which is composed of five chapters. The first chapter discusses the conflict between major powers over reshaping the international system, the second examines the international competition over the Middle East, the third analyses shifts in regional interactions and the emergence of a “New Middle Eastern Order”, the fourth chapter addresses the Arab-Israeli conflict and its regional impacts, and the fifth proposes a vision for a more just and democratic international system, advocating for equal rights for all nations to foster the public good and suggesting steps towards a nuclear-free Middle East and world.

 

The session concluded with a book signing ceremony attended by individuals keen on international political affairs. The book is available at the pavilion of the “Future for Advanced Research and Studies”, which is showcasing 10 new releases at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair events.

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Saif Al Saadi Signs His Audiobook

The “Poetry Nights” event, one of the highlights of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, taking place from April 29th to May 5th, hosting a selection of Emirati poets who have enriched the local culture with a wealth of beautiful poems and imagery.

 

“Poetry Nights” kicked off its new season with an evening dedicated to poet Saif Al Saadi, titled “Atr Al Sahab”, inspired by one of his famous poems. Al Saadi, renowned among poets in the UAE and the Gulf region, is known for his profound sensibility, distinctive poetic style, and long career marked by creativity and contribution, which rightly earned him the “Creative Personality” title of the “Kanz Al Jeel” award, launched by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to elevate the status of Nabati poetry and its role in society.

 

Al Saadi delighted the audience, which included numerous local poets, with a number of his poems that reflected his delicate sensibility and natural talent for poetry composition and recitation, demonstrating, as he says, “I do not write the poem; it writes me”.

 

Dr. Aisha Al Shamsi, who moderated the evening, discussed with Al Saadi the importance of incorporating local vernacular in his poetry. He stated: “The use of a neutral dialect erases the poem's identity because I cannot distinguish the identity of its poet. However, the uniqueness of local vocabularies lets the reader recognise the speaker's identity. Language is an identity, just like a name, and if a poet removes their dialect, their poem loses its identity. Anyone who loses their identity does not gain appreciation”.

 

He also highlighted how his media career has influenced his poetic journey, “Working in media is a double-edged sword, especially for a poet. Poems remain stuck in your mind, and when you try to write something, it feels like you are writing one of the poems you have read. However, it also enriches your poetic language and vocabulary. Reading these poems and texts lets you know your place among poets, and for me, being in media has supported and benefited my poetry”, he said.

 

The event was a dreamy evening for Al Saadi's audience, transporting them back to memories of beautiful times to the rhythm of his famous romantic poems, including “Ya Bu Yadeil”, which was sung by artist Khaled Mohammed.

 

Al Saadi called on cultural institutions to honour and celebrate poets, to encourage them to continue their diligent work in the cultural and poetic fields.

 

During the evening, attended by HE Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, the Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and Director of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, along with several officials from the centre, Al Saadi expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the institution that honoured him, presenting a pioneering initiative that culminated in the signing of his audiobook just before the evening began. Al Saadi concluded the night with verses from his famous poem “Atr Al Sahab” which begins with:

 

“Sweet, do not mind, sweet, nor do I complain,

The more I love you, the more I savour the pain”.

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Launch of Egypt's "Guest of Honour" Programme at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The opening session of the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched the "Guest of Honour" programme, featuring the Arab Republic of Egypt as the first Arab country to receive this honour in the fair's history, in recognition of its literary, cultural, and artistic contributions.

 

The event was attended by Her Excellency Dr. Nevine El-Kilani, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, His Excellency Sherif Mahmoud Issa, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, Aisha Al Mazrouei, Book Fairs and Events Department Director at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and Dr. Ahmed Bahi El Din, President of the Egyptian General Book Authority.

 

Her Excellency Dr. Nevine El-Kilani stated that Egypt's selection as the guest of honour for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, along with the selection of Naguib Mahfouz as its focus personality, underscores the deep ties between Egypt and the Emirates. She emphasized the ministry's commitment to showcasing Egypt's rich history, culture, and civilisation at the fair, a sentiment echoed by His Excellency Sherif Mahmoud Issa, who expressed delight at what he termed the grand cultural celebration of 33 years of the fair's evolution culminating in Egypt's honour as the guest of honour and Naguib Mahfouz as a focus personality. He thanked the UAE for hosting Egypt in a manner befitting its history and cultural status, praising the friendship between the leaderships and peoples of the two nations.

 

Dr. Ahmed Bahi El Din remarked that Egypt's participation as the guest of honour is a milestone in Arab culture, built on the mutual respect and responsibility characterising the relationship between Egypt and the UAE, resulting from their joint efforts during this era of major transformations, emphasising the role of culture as a matter of life and existence.

 

His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr affirmed that Egypt has always been and remains the foremost guest of honour in Arab culture across all exhibitions held within the UAE, recalling the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may he rest in peace, who was keen to highlight Egypt's civilisational, political, and cultural role, stating: "Sheikh Zayed, may he rest in peace, used to recommend Egypt's excellence and that no honour or progress should be bestowed upon the Arabs except through Egypt; this immortal recommendation remains for the sons of the UAE and its wise leadership”, expressing his pride in Egypt's presence as the guest of honour and stating that the Arab world has looked to Cairo for centuries as the capital of Arab culture.

 

Dr. Ali bin Tamim expressed his joy at Egypt being the guest of honour at the book fair for the first time, as well as the selection of the focus personality "Naguib Mahfouz" from the same guest country, stating, "We are all present as esteemed guests of the Arab Republic of Egypt”, explaining that the choice of Egypt as the guest of honour in the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the first time for an Arab country, is a tribute to Egypt's historic role on all levels, emphasising that Egypt has been present and influential with its writers and publishing houses since the first edition of the fair, which was inaugurated by the late Zayed bin Sultan, may he rest in peace, who considered Egypt as the essence of Arab culture and presence.

 

Egypt, as the guest of honour at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year, participates with a rich cultural programme reflecting its intellectual, cognitive, and civilisational history, embodying the deep fraternal relations between the UAE and Egypt, and reaffirming the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre's commitment to enhancing cultural and intellectual cooperation, as Egypt serves as a beacon of knowledge, culture, and arts, enriching the masses with creative content in various fields.

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Launching the Arabic Edition of Chinese President Xi Jinping's "Belt and Road Initiative"

As part of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre hosted a launch event for the Arabic edition of “The Belt and Road Initiative” by Chinese President Xi Jinping, a book originally released in September 2013 aiming at enhancing exchange, cooperation, and innovation across various fields between China and European and Asian countries.s.

 

The event was attended by His Excellency Zhang Yiming, the Chinese Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and His Excellency Mr. Du Zhanyuan, Chairman of the China International Communications Group.

 

His Excellency Zhang Yiming praised the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair for its continuous development and significant influence in the Middle East. He expressed his delight at presenting the President’s initiative in Arabic during the fair, which strongly emphasises the Chinese cultural element and opens a new window for Arab readers to explore the impacts of this cooperation.

 

The attendees emphasised the necessity of Arab-Chinese cooperation through various initiatives that bridge the cultural and linguistic differences and strive to build a common destiny between China and the Arab nations, shaping economic and political policies that lead to international relations based on mutual interests and a shared human destiny.

 

A key session during the book launch was moderated by Liu Shuangyan, Director-General of International Cooperation at the China International Communications Group. The session focused on Chinese-Emirati and broader Arab relations, with representatives from several centres specialising in Chinese-Arab affairs highlighting diverse initiatives that have fostered closer ties despite cultural and linguistic differences, thanks to the significant scientific and practical importance of the President’s initiative which deepens intercultural communication and mutual learning.

 

The Arabic edition of the book was presented to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and distinguished guests, signifying the ongoing and evolving cultural relations between the UAE and China. Notably, the People's Republic of China was honoured as the guest country at the 27th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in 2017.

 

The UAE and the People's Republic of China enjoy 40 years of strategic and continually evolving bilateral relations, rooted in the UAE’s commitment to fostering dialogue between different cultures, finding common ground, promoting acceptance of others, cultural harmony, and tolerance, and establishing a true partnership leading to development based on respect for history, traditions, customs, values, and heritage.

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International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries calls for investing in innovation and nurturing youth and creatives

The third International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries (Congress PCI), part of the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024), called for investing in innovation, providing quality grants for youth and creatives, and creating job opportunities in diverse cultural sectors to improve their contribution to national GDP growth.

 

The Book Fair kicked off today (Monday, 29 April 2024) and will continue until 5 May at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

 

The Congress emphasised the urgent need to develop the Arab publishing sector by opening up to creative industries and exploring their vast potential, including transitioning from merely focusing on traditional publishing to integrating innovative strategies that open up the sector’s horizons, while expanding youth education to include creative and critical thinking, preparing them to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

 

The event stressed the necessity of adapting content rather than directly translating it to ensure optimal local impact, while maintaining its global appeal, which requires a deep understanding of the target culture. The Congress highlighted the significance of storytelling as the foundation of film, underlining the importance of successful adaptations by crafting stories that connect the original work with the target audience. This underscores the need for texts that can transcend cultural boundaries.

 

The third Congress PCI urged publishers to focus on maintaining high standards of quality rather than quantity in order to build trust and credibility among both audiences and producers, as well as to benefit from intellectual property protection to encourage creative ideas, which leads to creating job opportunities and exporting cultural works. This approach aims to strike a balance between the need for economic growth, experimentation, and excellence in creative sectors.

 

Regarding artificial intelligence (AI), the Congress highlighted the importance of using AI to create local content that preserves cultural identity while achieving global reach. It also explored the integration of AI tools in education to enhance critical thinking and adapt teaching methods to prepare students for a future that seamlessly integrates technology into learning environments.

 

A key takeaway from the Congress was a call for exploring new models for content creation and consumption that align with the changing preferences of consumers, especially the youth. This involves investing in their minds to encourage them to express their ideas and work collaboratively to deliver creative content, making use of the era of artificial intelligence and big data.

 

Furthermore, the Congress asserted that the role of creators extends beyond producing creative works, as they should be able to embody values and utilise creative production to express them, whether through translation, original intellectual property, or both, along with being prepared to produce content using diverse techniques to address the shortage in Arabic content.

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Under the patronage of the UAE President, Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed honours winners of 18th Sheikh Zayed Book Award

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Court for Development and Fallen Heroes’ Affairs, honoured the winners of the 18th Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) during a ceremony organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) on the sidelines of the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

 

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was accompanied to the ceremony by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the SZBA Board of Trustees; Her Excellency Dr. Neveen Al-Kilani, Egypt’s Minister of Culture; H.E. Dr. Sharif Mahmoud Eissa, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the UAE; H.E. Dr. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU); H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi); H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development (DCD); H.E. Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi; H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary General of the SZBA; H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC; H.E. Saeed Salem Al Mazrouei from the Office of Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region; along with representatives of the Spanish, German, and US embassies.

 

The award’s current edition recorded the largest number of submissions in its history, with a total of 4,240 nominations received. The number of participating countries also increased to 74, with 19 Arab countries and 55 others.

 

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan delivered the award to the winners in each category, where Egyptian author Reem Bassiouney won in the Literature category; Dr Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia won in Young Author category; and Dr Mustafa Said from Egypt won the award in the Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category.

 

The winner of the Contribution to the Development of Nations category was Dr Khalifa Alromaithi from the UAE, whereas Dr Ahmed Somai from Tunisia won in the Translation category, Frank Griffel from Germany won in the Arab Culture in Other Languages category, and finally, the Publishing and Technology category saw China-based Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries win the award.

 

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan honoured Casa Árabe in Spain as Cultural Personality of the Year, in recognition of the institution’s efforts in bridging the cultures of the Arab and Spanish people, and in advancing Arabic language and culture throughout Europe and Latin America.

 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award honours outstanding achievements of creators and thinkers in the fields of literature, arts, and humanities in Arabic, as well as other languages. It also recognises authors who write about Arab culture and civilisation in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. Since its launch in 2006, the award has supported literary, writing, and translation efforts, in an effort to enrich the intellectual, cultural, and literary scene in various fields of knowledge and humanities.

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Renowned thought Leaders, Publishers, Translators, and Entrepreneurs come together in the 3rd Edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), the third edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries (PCI) is preparing to host prominent figures in publishing, translation, digital content production, and entrepreneurship from around the world on Sunday, 28 April 2024, at Manarat Al Saadiyat in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

 

The event aims to explore the latest trends shaping the publishing and creative industries, as well as new opportunities for growth and collaboration in this field.

 

The Congress is the first of its kind in the Arab world and seeks to facilitate dialogue among thought leaders, publishers, content creators, and entrepreneurs across diverse creative disciplines. This year’s edition will highlight transformations reshaping the publishing and education industries, discussing the role and impact of emerging technologies and new business models. Moreover, the event aims to create promising partnerships to support the globalisation of Arabic content through dialogues, discussion panels, workshops, career tracks, and professional meetings bringing together key players from various cultural and creative industries from over 50 countries.

 

The Congress kicks off with a Keynote Discussion titled ‘Foresight of Growth: Cultural and Creative Industries as a Driver for Economy’, featuring H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), and Mohamed El-Erian, Internationally Acclaimed Economist and President of Queens’ College at the University of Cambridge. The session is moderated by Caroline Faraj, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of CNN Arabic.

 

Moreover, this year’s Congress discusses ‘The Dynamic Relationship Between Literature and Film Adaptation’ under its Conscious Conversations series, hosting Egyptian actor and director Karim Abdel Aziz; author and screenwriter Ahmed Mourad; and film director Marwan Hamed, in a session moderated by Eisa Al Marzooqi, news presenter and multimedia journalist at Sky News Arabia. Panellists will discuss cinema secrets, mutual influences of literature and cinema, ways to present cinematic works and their purposes, among other topics.

 

In a panel discussion titled ‘Evolving Consumer Tastes and Consumption in the Era of Multi-Platform Content Creation’, the Congress discusses radical shifts in content consumption patterns with the proliferation of digital platforms and consumers’ growing preference for these channels. The session also highlights patterns and specific characteristics of the content presented to consumers, underlining the strategies that content production companies use to balance meeting consumer aspirations and achieving the goals of various platforms. Featuring Mazen Hayek, consultant, media advisor, former Spokesman and Group Director of MBC Group; Maaz Sheikh, Co-Founder and CEO of STARZPLAY; and Ashley Rite, Vice President of Marketing and Growth at OSN, the session is moderated by Zeina Soufan, senior business news anchor at Asharq Business with Bloomberg.

 

Under the title ‘Creative Economy and Public and Private Collaboration’, the Congress examines the value and contribution of the creative economy to the local economy, discussing ways to enhance it through partnerships and cooperation across various sectors and geographic regions. The session hosts Rehana Mughal, Director of Creative Economy at the British Council and member of the Creative Industries Council, UK; Park Young Il, Director of Korea Creative Content Agency; and Muna Al Suwaidi, Programmes and Projects Advisor in the Culture and Creative Industries Sector at the UAE Ministry of Culture. Lynn Madi Business reporter, CNN business Arabic, is set to moderate the session.

 

As part of its efforts to highlight the evolving reality of technology and its impact, the Congress will be hosting a session titled ‘Cross-Border Storytelling through Game Adaptations’, to explore ways to transform stories from various cultures into interactive international games. The session brings together Fawzi Mesmar, Vice President of Global Creative at Ubisoft; Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions; and Lisa Hansen, CEO of Niko Partners. The session is moderated by Edward Nawotka, a publishing and content industry consultants, and Senior International and Bookselling Editor at Publishers Weekly.

 

The third International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries offers a platform for extensive discussions on the capabilities, benefits, and role of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the publishing industry, exploring its present and future prospects, as well as the extent of its impact on human relationships in general. To that end, a session titled ‘Beyond Bytes: Impact of Generative AI on Humanity’ will be held, featuring Nadim Sadek, Founder and CEO of Shimmer AI; Hoda Al Khzaimi, Director of the Centre of Cyber Security at New York University Abu Dhabi; and Preslav Nakov, Professor at the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI). Aliah Yacoub, AI and Philosophy Researcher and Head of techQualia at Synapse Analytics, joins the session as moderator.

 

In line with its commitment to promote the culture of reading across all segments of the community, the Congress will host a discussion panel titled ‘New Readership: Fostering a Love for Reading in the Next Gen’. Participants include Luis Gonzalez, Director General of the GSR Foundation in Spain; Isobel Abulhoul, Co-founder of Magrudy’s Bookshop Chain, Founder, Advisor and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation; and Mohamad Al Baghdadi, President and CEO of Al Manhal Arabic Electronic Information Platform. The panel of experts is set to discuss creative and interactive strategies to promote the love of reading in future generations, the importance of interactive content in Arabic, transformative methods to enhance children’s passion for literature, and the role of Arabic storytelling in building a distinctive cultural identity. The session is moderated by Georgia Tolley, Presenter and Radio Host at Dubai Eye 103.8FM.

 

Moreover, the Congress will conduct a wide range of workshops, panel discussions, and presentations involving experts from regional and international institutions, such as Google, Manga Productions, Roya Academy, Nielsen, Shorooq Partners, Sawt Platform, Majarra, and others. These sessions aim to enhance practical and technical skills for young talents, publishers, and specialists in media and content production; they cover a range of topics related to various skills from digital journalism to Arabic screenwriting, content creation for social media, and Extended Reality (XR) in storytelling, in addition to discussions about audio content, podcasts, home studios, anime, graphic novels, and visual novels.

 

The Congress PCI, in partnership with Frankfurt Book Fair, is presenting a training session for UAE and Arab publishers on pitching and negotiating publishing IP (intellectual property) rights. The session will be moderated by Claudia Kaiser, Vice President Business Development at Frankfurt Book Fair, featuring Sarika Lakhani, Managing Partner and Producer at ‘One Fine Day Films’ and Stu Levy, Founder and CEO at TOKYOPOP, the pioneer agency that brings Asian Pop Culture to Hollywood and beyond.

 

In collaboration with Bears Factor literary agency, the Congress is organising the Professional Exchange Sessions, bringing together Emirati and Arab publishers, literary agents, and international creatives from the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Japan, China, Greece, and South Korea, among others. The sessions aim to strengthen efforts to transfer Arabic written works into creative formats and multiple languages, set robust foundations for collaboration, foster openness to global content production markets, enhance the exchange of intellectual property, provide a platform for participants to expand their networks and develop their projects, and ultimately expand the reach of Arabic creative content.

 

In another notable addition to its programme, this year’s Congress PCI is launching the Congress X for Youth competition, in collaboration with Unipreneur, to motivate and engage young people aged 15-35 to present their ideas and solutions for employing technology to enhance Arabic language learning and support creative talents in arts, media, and poetry.

 

Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a global research centre and applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council, has launched NOOR, the world’s largest Arabic natural language processing (NLP) model to date. The project will be showcased within the Expo area alongside other participants demonstrating digital products that support the Arabic language.

 

The media coverage will be provided by several local and international media outlets, and in partnership

with CNN Business, the Arabic business news partner; and Sky News Arabia, the Arabic broadcast partner; offering diverse insights into the rich programme of the Congress.

 

For more information about activities and to register for the Congress, please visit the event’s official website

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Casa Árabe in Spain Wins ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ for 18th Edition of Sheikh Zayed Book Award

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) under the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has named Casa Árabe in Spain as winner of the Cultural Personality of the Year category for its 18th edition. The award acknowledges and honours Casa Árabe’s achievements in bridging the cultures of the Arab and Spanish people and advancing Arabic language and culture throughout Europe and Latin America.

 

The Award’s Board of Trustees and Scientific Committee decision to name Casa Árabe as this year's Cultural Personality of the Year was unanimous, recognising the institution's success in fostering cross-cultural dialogue. Throughout its existence, Casa Árabe has welcomed numerous Arab writers, artists, and thinkers to engage with Spanish Arabists, all in pursuit of cultivating an environment grounded in principles of tolerance and respect for cultural diversity.

 

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Culture - Abu Dhabi, said: “The Sheikh Zayed Book Award plays a crucial role in promoting Arab cultural heritage and facilitating cross-cultural exchange and understanding worldwide. This is a mission shared by this year’s Cultural Personality of the Year, Casa Árabe, an organisation which has worked to bridge the distance between cultures and peoples. Over the 16 years since its establishment, it has become a national reference for teaching Arabic, and worked tirelessly to introduce Arab heritage and its influence on civilisation to new audiences, creating a vibrant hub for literature, culture, and thought and allowing for greater mutual knowledge between Spain and the Arab world."

 

HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said: "The Sheikh Zayed Book Award aims to recognise leading international practices in the cultural and creative fields and promote common values and tolerance among peoples. I extend my congratulations to Casa Árabe for the much-deserved honour of being unanimously chosen as Cultural Personality of the Year, given their outstanding contributions to enhancing the global cultural landscape. Casa Árabe plays integral role in Spain-Arab cultural relations through its social, cultural, educational, and economic activities, raising greater awareness of the cultural diversity of the Arab world through its initiatives, projects, and programmes.”

 

Casa Árabe is a meeting point for dialogue and interaction. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of Islamic and Arab culture and expand the possibilities for collaboration and exchange among intellectuals, writers, translators, artists, and students from various backgrounds, fostering relationships, promoting intercultural communication, and creating cultural bridges between different countries.

 

Casa Árabe has operated as the strategic centre for Spain’s relations with the Arab world, a meeting point where individuals, private enterprises and public institutions from the worlds of business, education, academia, and culture can cooperate and partner on mutually beneficial projects. Casa Árabe also has an active and strategic positioning in the digital world, increasing the effectiveness and reach of its activities through innovative technological practices and a strong and dynamic presence on social networks.

 

Casa Árabe plays a significant role in promoting Arab culture not only in Spain but globally, showcasing its diverse elements spanning art, literature, architecture, sports, and overall cultural creativity. The institution emphasises the beauty of the Arabic language, teaching it to non-native speakers and recognising it as the primary tool for connecting people from different backgrounds. Casa Árabe’s cultural programme highlights the value of the Arab and Islamic historical legacy, as well as humanitarian work – something that is particularly important at the international level.

 

Each year the Sheikh Zayed Book Award presents its Cultural Personality of the Year award to an entity or personality at the Arab or international level who has significantly contributed towards enriching Arab culture through creativity or thought. The works or activities of the recipient should exemplify the values of authenticity, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. The winners of the current edition of the Award will be honoured at a ceremony hosted by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre in conjunction with the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF).

 

About Casa Árabe

Since its establishment in 2006 under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Casa Árabe in Madrid has served as a vital bridge between Arab and Spanish cultures. It has sought to conduct studies that showcase Arab culture in European and Latin American contexts. Casa Árabe has two headquarters, one located in Madrid and the other in Cordoba. It positions itself as a key meeting point for Spain and the Arab world, facilitating dialogue between civilisations. By hosting top Arab writers, artists, and thinkers alongside Spanish Arabists, Casa Árabe promotes a culture of tolerance and respect for diversity.

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International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries to Hold Third Edition in Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced that the third edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries (Congress PCI) will take place on 28 April at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. The theme for this edition is 'Technological Transformations in the Publishing Industry and Drivers of Change.'

 

The Congress will kickstart ‘Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024’ and will feature speakers from as many as 50 countries, representing various cultural and creative fields. The landmark event will foster innovation and cross-sector collaboration within Arabic literature and creative works.

 

H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, said: “Congress PCI is part of our commitment to propel the publishing sector to even greater heights, in line with our mission to promote Arabic language as a priority and enable greater cross-cultural understanding. It presents a pivotal opportunity for experts from the publishing and creative sector to actively shape the future of this industry, while developing an innovation-centric infrastructure that empowers the next generation of creative minds. We are proud to be able to convene decision makers, speakers and delegates from around the globe to drive cross-disciplinary conversations in our constant effort to promote intercultural dialogue and collaboration. "

 

H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: "The cultural and creative industries are key to the enrichment of nations and societies. Following the remarkable success of its two previous editions, the Congress has become an important platform for experts from Arab and international markets to connect, exchange experiences and knowledge, and learn about the latest practices in the field. For the creative industries in the Arab world to continue to thrive, we require innovative and ambitious minds, and this year we have a dedicated programme and several workshops to support young talent in these industries."

 

HE bin Tamim also highlighted that the Congress, with its carefully curated themes, creates common ground between the Arabic language and the cultural and creative industries, contributing positively to both.  

 

A range of vital topics related to the publishing and creative industries will be discussed through various sessions. The keynote session ‘Foresight for Growth: Cultural and Creative Industries as a Driver for Economy’ will reveal how the cultural and creative sector adds resilience and growth capacity to the economy, within the context of real-life examples of initiatives led by Abu Dhabi. Featuring HE Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi and Mohamed El Erian, President of Queen’s College Cambridge, and moderated by Caroline Faraj, Vice-President and Editor-in-Chief of CNN Arabic, the discussion will explore the benefits of combining proven economic strategies with local cultural policies to drive sustainable development and economic diversification.

 

Creative Economy and Public and Private Collaboration’ will explore the value of the creator economy to the local economy, and how to boost the creator economy by leveraging new value-creation opportunities through cross-sector and geographic collaborations and partnerships.

 

‘Filmmaking Alchemy: The Dynamic Relationship Between Literature and Film Adaptations’ will shed light on the process a novel undergoes to become a film. This intricate process involves a myriad of talents, from the scriptwriters and directors to actors, cinematographers, sound teams, and music composers.

 

The ‘Cross-border Storytelling through Game Adaptations’ panel will explore how storytelling can be translated into cross-border interactive gaming experiences, exporting and sharing local cultures through compelling and stimulating games that reach global and universal audiences.

 

The panel ‘Evolving Consumer Tastes and Consumption in the Era of Multi-Platform Content Creation’ will discuss the disruptive shifts in the evolving landscape of content consumption and consumer preferences, questioning whether consumers are inclined to pay for broader access to various platforms or whether their primary demand is for increased content variety.

 

New Readership: Fostering a Love for Reading in the Next Gen’ will debate strategies for fostering a love for reading in Arabic in the next generation, and creative approaches to ignite passion for literature among young readers and enhance the cultural significance of Arabic storytelling.

 

Meanwhile, the ‘Beyond Bytes: Impact of Generative AI on Humanity’ panel will explore the intersection of technology and society, covering the latest technological advancements in publishing. It will examine how these advancements not only shape the creative processes and the future direction of the industry but also influence our collective experience, addressing the broader implications of technology on human connection and wellbeing.

 

The Congress will also hold a programme to support young talent through a variety of tracks, including exploring extended reality in storytelling and interactive content creation, as well as screenplay techniques for crafting impactful stories for the screen. It also encompasses social media promotion and strategies that empower authors and publishers to effectively market their works and engage with their audience. Additionally, it provides guidance on establishing a professional home studio through a set of guidelines for designing a sustainable and effective space for podcasting, content creation, and video production. Also, tracks focusing on comics and visual novels will explore the art of storytelling through visual media. The Congress also provides detailed publishing data that offers valuable insights into market trends and consumer preferences.

 

Featuring matchmaking sessions with literary and film agents, the Congress will support the sale and purchase of publishing and translation rights, while also providing opportunities to convert texts into visual creations. This initiative seeks to increase contractual agreements and cooperation between global publishing markets, allowing participants to expand their networks and negotiate rights with literary agents and publishers in other languages.

 

In partnership with the private sector, a hackathon will be held during the Congress, with participants competing on highlighting how technology and innovation can bolster Arabic learning and creative talent among UAE youth.

 

The event’s exhibition and demonstration theatre will host interactive experiences that showcase the latest advancements in publishing and content technologies. This area will be a hub for innovation, with partners showcasing their latest achievements and creative solutions. It will also provide opportunities for participants to engage with attendees, with live demonstrations that allow them to experience the potential of these innovations.

 

Not limited to the presentation of products, the theatre will also be a space for interaction, learning and discovery, inviting attendees to experience the latest technologies – from augmented and virtual reality applications in publishing, to cutting-edge software that has revolutionized content creation and dissemination. It also offers two-way interactions, where participants receive direct feedback from the audience and visitors gain valuable insight into the future of the publishing industry.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre joins 38th Tunis International Book Fair 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) is set to present around 350 of its publications, including 50 new releases, during its participation in the 38th Tunis International Book Fair, organised by the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs from 19 to 28 April 2024.

 

The ALC pavilion at the Fair offers visitors the opportunity to explore the latest contemporary releases across various genres of literature, humanities, and children’s literature, alongside a number of classical works, all as part of the hundreds of releases issued by the Kalima Project and the Basaer (Insights) series of research papers and studies.

 

The pavilion also presents a distinctive collection of literary, historical, travel, and cultural works under the ‘Esdarat’ project, as part of its strategy to promote its diverse publications, engage with audiences, and connect with various categories of readers. The Centre’s objective is to promote a culture of reading and advance the presence of the Arabic language in various cultural events.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre regularly takes part in the Tunis International Book Fair, given the event’s reputation as an established annual cultural phenomenon, organised by the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs since 1981 at the Palais des Expositions in the capital, Tunis. The agenda for this year’s edition welcomes 300 participating publishing houses, showcasing around 500,000 titles; it includes a range of intellectual and cultural activities, as well as events held on the side lines of the Fair.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair brings together 1,350 exhibitors from 90 countries under the theme ‘Where the World’s Tales Unfold’

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), has strengthened its position as one of the world’s most highly anticipated events for the cultural community and the publishing industry.

 

The Fair’s 33rd edition taking place in 2024 is expected to host over 1,350 exhibitors from 90 countries, up from 1,300 exhibitors representing 84 countries last year. The significant number of countries represented embodies the theme of this year's Fair, ‘Where the World’s Tales Unfold’.

 

Held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 29 April to 5 May 2024, this year’s edition will feature 145 new exhibitors and publishing houses participating for the first time, as well as 12 additional countries, including: Greece, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Pakistan, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Mozambique, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Indonesia. The demand for participation remains high even after registration was closed.

 

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair offers an unparalleled opportunity to discover the world’s cultures, providing an enriching experience for the whole family that reinforces Abu Dhabi’s standing as a global cultural hub. It also serves as a prominent platform for exhibitors to showcase their work, promote their brand identity, and explore new experiences in the publishing and creative industries. The Fair is expected to attract leading publishers, authors, and visitors who are eager to engage with exhibitors from around the world, share insights, and explore new trends in the publishing and book industry.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s facilities for publishers, exhibitors, and authors have been a major factor in boosting global participation in the Fair, the latest of which was the exemption of rental fees for participating in the Fair for the third consecutive year. These align with the Centre’s objectives to support Emirati, Arab, and international publishers; promote the sustainability and growth of the publishing sector; and consolidate the status of Arabic as a language of culture, science, and creativity on the world stage.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is a leading cultural and knowledge event with a global reputation, as demonstrated by the large turnout. It underlines the Centre’s success in attracting global publishing industry professionals and creators from around the world to fulfil the Fair’s main objective of serving as a platform for intercultural exchange, as reflected in the slogan, ‘Where the World’s Tales Unfold’.”

 

“The sustained efforts and excellent support that the Fair has received in its successive editions have cemented its reputation as a global cultural centre and a beacon of knowledge that attracts cultural and publishing industries in the region and beyond, reflecting Abu Dhabi’s prestigious position and its global leadership role as a regional and international centre for culture and arts,” H.E. bin Tamim added. “This also reflects the country’s development in the cultural sector, with the Fair providing the opportunity for publishers to keep up with the latest developments in a rapidly evolving, increasingly high-tech world, and offering strategic opportunities for business growth and support in the publishing sector.”

 

“The exemplary development journey led by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is a perfect model of the sustainability approach championed by the United Arab Emirates,” the ALC Director General noted. “The Fair has made an unmistakeable impact on the book fair industry in the region and across the Arab world, establishing new traditions that promote the use of the Arabic language in cultural and creative industries, enhancing its presence in the contemporary cultural and social fabric, and empowering new generations to express themselves in their language using the tools of their era. It is a clear strategy spearheaded by the UAE and its capital Abu Dhabi, under the guidance of its wise leadership.”

 

The ALC has announced the selection of Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz as the Focus Personality for this year’s Book Fair. Egypt’s rich literary tradition, iconic authors, and profound influence on Arab thought and creativity make it a fitting choice to be celebrated as the Guest of Honour at this prestigious event. Egypt will present  a cultural and professional programme that reflects its role in the Arab world and the publishing industry.

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33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair presents over 2,000 events, welcoming 1,350 publishers from 90 countries

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), unveiled the activities planned for the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024), which will be held from 29 April to 5 May at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) under the slogan ‘Where the World’s Tales Unfold’.

 

The Fair will host 1,350 publishers from 90 countries, of which 140 publishers are participating for the first time. It will also feature 375 local exhibitors, including publishers, distributors, and government entities, who will be presenting their latest releases. ADIBF 2024 offers the public from various segments of the community a range of over 2,000 activities covering various cultural and knowledge fields.

 

The announcement was made during a press conference held on Thursday (18 April 2024) morning at the Louvre Abu Dhabi and attended by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC; Dr. Ahmed Bahi El Din, Chairman of the Egyptian General Book Authority; and H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, ALC Executive Director and Director of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, along with prominent cultural and intellectual figures, and a gathering of local and international media personnel.

 

Speaking at the press conference, H.E. bin Tamim said: “This year’s edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is the most beautiful to date; it underlines the great success the event has had in achieving Abu Dhabi’s strategy, as the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to spearhead efforts to advance the presence of the Arabic language in creative and cultural industries, building on the momentum of its International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries and its success in becoming the most influential Arab platform in this key sector.”

 

“Since its establishment by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, and the unwavering and generous support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Fair has set the standards and traditions now followed by book fairs cross the Arab world,” H.E. bin Tamim added. “This includes selecting countries to be a Guest of Honour, where this year, we are proud to spotlight the Arab Republic of Egypt, as well as our Focus Personality programme and our comprehensive cultural and intellectual agenda featuring debates, professional programmes, popular international podcasts, and more.”

 

“This, in turn, expands the concept of a book fair, opening up new prospects for cultural and intellectual exchange,” H.E. continued. “The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has successfully struck balance in its content, format, narrative, and objectives, presenting a premier cultural product that bridges the past and present, addresses the future, and contributes towards ensuring sustainability of knowledge, culture, and related industries.”

 

For his part, H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji presented highlights of the cultural events and knowledge activities planned for this year’s Fair. “The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has become a staple on the cultural and creative calendar, awaited by all members of community, as well as a meeting point for creators from around the world looking to showcase their works and make their mark on the cultural scene,” he said. “In preparation for this year’s edition, we are gearing up  to host 1,350 publishers from 90 countries, including 145 publishers participating in the Fair for the first time.”

 

“This year’s Fair will present a diverse cultural programme that includes sessions, seminars, and cultural and knowledge dialogues featuring a selection of authors, thinkers, and creatives from various fields,” H.E. Al Tunaiji added. “Moreover, Egypt will participate with a full schedule of events reflecting its cultural and intellectual role, alongside activities and programmes dedicated to the Focus Personality. Meanwhile, all participating countries will have their own showcases at their respective pavilions. The event presents the audience with cultural, professional, and creative arts programmes, as well as activities for children and youth, exhibitors, and partners, among other carefully curated events.”

 

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024 will be welcoming 12 countries participating for the first time, namely, Greece, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Pakistan, Cyprus, Mozambique, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Brazil.

 

The event offers the audience a diverse set of activities and cultural events, and this year’s edition will see a comprehensive digital payment system implemented for the first time in the Fair’s history. On another note, China will participate significantly this year with nine pavilions, making it the country’s largest presence at any book fair in the world. The official Chinese delegation will include 70 guests representing 80 Chinese publishing houses. The Chinese pavilion will offer 15 cultural, professional, and artistic events. Meanwhile, India will be participating with 23 publishing houses, along with a diverse cultural programme and activities focusing on various Indian dishes and cultures.

 

Guest of Honour

The exhibition this year hosts the Arab Republic of Egypt as Guest of Honour to engage the audience with a rich and diverse cultural programme reflecting its intellectual, knowledge, and civilisational history. Egypt’s selection for the programme reaffirms the deep-seated and historic relationship between the two countries, underlining the ALC’s commitment to enhancing cultural and intellectual collaboration, building on Egypt’s role as a beacon of knowledge, culture, and art that has influenced the cultures and knowledge of the masses with creative content across various fields.

 

Focus Personality

The ADIBF has chosen renowned Arab and international novelist Naguib Mahfouz as the Focus Personality of this year’s edition, in recognition of his great role and achievements that have long drawn attention to Arab culture and Arabic novels. This year’s Fair celebrates the first Arab author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, making an undeniable impact with his literary works, most notably the ‘Cairo Trilogy’ and ‘Children of Gebelawi’, which were banned from publication in Egypt until recently, along with other influential works by the author.

 

Focus Personality Programme

ADIBF 2024 dedicates a comprehensive programme to its Focus Personality, offering a unique space to delve into the rich and creative worlds Naguib Mahfouz has created, exploring his origins, and analysing and appreciating his works. This includes in-depth and critical reading of these works, underlining their influence on various aspects of culture and other arts.

 

The program covers all the exhibition's events and activities to highlight the significant contributions of the writer and novelist Naguib Mahfouz, whose works are considered a mirror of life that had a profound impact on shaping the awareness of an entire generation through its achievements and projects, as well as its role in enhancing the status of the Arabic language. This provides a rare opportunity to identify with the author and explore his personality traits through modern audio-visual tools, seminars, and critical sessions, helping visitors paint an inspiring and comprehensive picture of the life and work of Naguib Mahfouz.

 

The Focus Personality programme takes place across all of the Fair’s events and activities, covering various aspects of Naguib Mahfouz’s life and career. A dedicated pavilion will be det up to shed light on Mahfouz’s most notable achievements, his life story, and his impact on literature and humanity, in addition to hosting daily sessions as part of the Cultural Programme.

 

With the Focus Personality programme, the Fair to shed light on the undeniable contributions of author and novelist Naguib Mahfouz, whose works are considered a mirror of life and have had a profound impact on shaping the awareness of an entire generation, in addition to its role in advancing the status of the Arabic language.

 

This year’s Focus Personality programme offers diverse themes under the Cultural Programme. It features a series of sessions hosting accomplished authors, thinkers, and artists from various parts of the Arab world to showcase Mahfouz’s timeless impact. Notable activities include a session titled ‘Naguib Mahfouz: Mirror of History and Society’, which discusses his works from a sociological and historical perspective; a session on ‘Beginnings and Endings’ that sheds light on Mahfouz’s early and later works; a session titled ‘The Harafish Group’, which hosts figures close to Naguib Mahfouz to discuss their memories with him; and a session on ‘Naguib Mahfouz and Criticism’, exploring his relationship with this art and the most important trends and currents that have addressed his literature.

 

The Cultural Programme includes a range of sessions, such as ‘Naguib Mahfouz: An Enduring Legacy’, ‘Naguib Mahfouz’s Descendants’, ‘Worlds of Naguib Mahfouz’, and ‘Naguib Mahfouz Novels in a New Format’, which introduces illustrated novels of the late author, to be published for the first time at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024, among other sessions.

 

Focus Personality Pavilion

The Book Fair offers visitors an immersive and exceptional experience to familiarise themselves with this year’s Focus Personality through a distinguished pavilion that will take the audience on a journey through Naguib Mahfouz’s historical works, his life, secrets, and much more. The pavilion’s a design was inspired by the Egyptian neighbourhood that the late writer was keen to embody in his immortal works.

 

Book of the World

In a new and notable step in its history, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is introducing the Book of the World programme this year, which sheds light on a book that has influenced the course of literature and culture around the world, and influenced various cultures throughout history. This year’s Book of the World is ‘Kalila wa Dimna’ by Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa, which has had an enduring impact throughout history and across cultures.

 

The dedicated programme for the Book of the World sheds light on the literary genre the book belongs to, which this year is the fable, bringing together renowned experts and specialists to explore it. This coincides with the art exhibition organised by the Louvre Abu Dhabi on the book, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and the panel discussion on ‘Fables: Between the East and the West’, among other activities.

 

Rich and diverse cultural program

This year’s edition of the Fair offers visitors a rich and diverse Cultural Programme, featuring prominent intellectuals, experts, and specialists. Now in its third consecutive year, the event will host a series of debates modelled after the world-renowned Oxford style, making it the first in the Arab world to do so.

 

Abu Dhabi Podcasts

Following the success of the Podcast from Abu Dhabi programme’s episodes last year, the Fair has organised a second season this year, bringing together the most popular podcasts in the Arab world, including Thmanyah, El-Podcasters, El-Sharq Podcast, Bouh podcast, Micspod, and Arab Youth Podcast.

 

The Fair is hosting Thmanyah podcast from Saudi Arabia for the first time this year, featuring its CEO Abdulrahman Abumalih, who will engage the audience in a panel discussion highlighting Thmanyah’s experience and success. A mural titled ‘Thmanyah Writes, the World Reads’ will be displayed at one of the entrances to the Fair, depicting historical figures who influenced world culture. Moreover, the exhibition will include the Thmanyah platform, hosting a series of interviews and discussions with authors, moderated by Iman Asaad, head writer at Thmanyah and editor-in-chief of its newsletters.

 

Poetry Nights

Poetry lovers can look forward to daily encounters with prominent poets during the Poetry Nights events, where renowned Emirati poets will present special evenings celebrating poetry and its leading figures.

 

Professional Programme

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair opens new horizons for publishing and creative industries this year, offering a Professional Programme designed to support Arab and international publishers. In this year’s edition, the Programme will highlight artificial intelligence and its impact on the publishing world and creative industries, bringing together a select group of experts and specialists to discuss the topic. The Programme focuses on sustainability, in line with the ‘Year of Sustainability’ initiative in the UAE, as well as knowledge exchange and copyright issues with international publishers. Experts are set to explore new opportunities in AI, digital technologies, creative industries, and more.

 

Furthermore, the Programme will offer a comprehensive range of keynote lectures, workshops focusing on AI in publishing, a Copyright Exchange Forum, introductory sessions, the Abu Dhabi Fellowship Programme (Abu Dhabi Connect), and the New Opportunities Centre. The Fair will also adopt a new initiative to support digital technologies and statistics in the Arab world, with a special focus on artificial intelligence, offering advanced workshops to build Arab publishers’ skills in this field.

 

Prominent experts and specialists in the field are set to take part in the Professional Programme, including Karine Pansa, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA); José Borghino, IPA Secretary General; Miles Stevens-Hoare, Managing Director at RBmedia, the world’s largest audio publisher; Michele Cobb, Executive Director of the Audio Publishers Association; and Mohamed Rashad, President of the Arab Publishers Association.

 

Arabic Content Forum for Children and Adolescents

This year’s edition of the Fair will be organising the first-ever Arabic Content Forum for Children and Adolescents, targeting writers, illustrators, publishers, and creators in this sector. Activities will be overseen by industry experts, who will address the most prominent topics and content that cater to the tastes and knowledge of younger generations.

 

Image as Language

For the first time this year, the Book Fair will provide photography enthusiasts a dedicated forum as part of the Arts Corner titled ‘Image as Language’, which will embody a dialogue between languages and alphabets, highlighting the history and evolution of photography in the UAE and the world. The Forum will shed light on the historical timeline of photography, from prehistoric cave drawings to alphabets and languages, all the way to sign language and software. It will also introduce the changes and developments that have occurred in the field of photography regarding film, lenses, and technologies, transitioning from analogue to digital, among other valuable aspects.

 

Art Corner

The ADIBF dedicates a corner for art lovers, characterised by its creative atmosphere, and welcoming the public to enjoy a unique and diverse artistic experience. The space provides artists with the opportunity to showcase their talents and artworks in aesthetic details, which serves to strengthen artistic culture in the local community and enhance interaction between artists and their audience.

 

Children and Youth Programmes

This year, the Fair dedicates a special corner and a comprehensive cultural programme for children and youth, offering a series of enriching activities that blend knowledge, science, practical application, and fun. These events are overseen by a group of experts and specialists from around the world.

 

Popular Book Markets: Al-Azbakiya Wall Book Market

For the first time in its history, the Book Fair also offers an exceptional experience for the public, allowing the audience to enjoy a unique experience at a popular book market named Al-Azbakiya Market after the old and prestigious Al-Azbakiya Wall Book Market in Egypt, providing an opportunity for visitors to explore its intellectual and knowledge treasures.

 

Offers and Discounts for All Members of the Community

This year’s Fair presents the public with a range of offers and discounts, offering visitors a free one-time visit to the Qasr Al Hosn and Louvre Abu Dhabi museums, in addition to exclusive discounts from audiobook publishing partners Iqraaly, Storytel, and Rufoof, along with discounts on book prices from all exhibitors of up to 25%.

 

Celebrating Creativity and its Pioneers

The ADIBF has always sought to be a platform for celebrating creative achievements and their creators. This year, the ALC will present three notable awards: the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, the Kanz Al Jeel Award, and the Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award. The Centre will also be lending its support for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and the Ibn Battuta Award for Travel Literature. Additionally, this year will celebrate the Asma Siddiq Al Mutawa First Novel Award and the World Organisation of Writers (WOW) award, which this year is granting the gold medal to poet Adel Khozam.

 

Cinema Corner

As part of its commitment to providing comprehensive content for all members of the community, the Book Fair is holding a dedicated Cinema Corner, where the Abu Dhabi Creative Media Authority will participate for the first time with a distinguished cinema programme, including film screenings and creative workshops for various age groups.

 

Lifestyle Corner

The Lifestyle Programme, held throughout the event, offers a diverse range of seminars, discussions, live shows, and interactive workshops covering various topics including health, fitness, nutrition, relaxation, and personal development, among other topics related to a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

 

Cuisines and Cultures

This year’s Fair allows visitors to explore the cultural diversity of cuisines from around the world, tasting a range of dishes and learning the stories behind each recipe. This corner offers a valuable and enjoyable educational opportunity to learn about different cultures through food and cooking.

 

Music is Culture

Celebrating the art of music, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024 is organising a comprehensive music programme that highlights diverse artistic experiences and distinctive rhythms. Audiences will experience magical moments with beautiful compositions presented by a group of talented artists and musicians, putting on performances that reflect the beauty of artistic differences between cultures and peoples. Moreover, audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy roaming musical performances from the Guest of Honour country, showcasing its diverse artistic cultures.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Launches a Range of Offers and Discounts for Visitors

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) 2024, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) under the theme ‘Where the World’s Tales Unfold’, has announced a range of offers and discounts provided by the Fair’s partners in its 33rd edition for visitors of all categories.

 

The offerings form part of the initiatives launched by the ADIBF to support its goals to encourage a love of reading; promote culture and knowledge locally, regionally, and internationally; and enhance cultural exchange and dialogue among peoples, leveraging the Fair’s role as one of the foremost global cultural platforms that brings together diverse cultures.

 

Offers include diverse packages for book lovers to indulge in their passion for exploring the latest releases from the approximately 1,350 exhibitors and publishers participating in this year’s Fair from 90 countries. Discounts are also available on platform subscriptions, along with free entry tickets to prominent cultural landmarks in the emirate.

 

Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, ALC Executive Director and Director of the ADIBF, said: “The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has grown into one of the region’s leading cultural events, commanding attention from creative, cultural, and publishing industry leaders worldwide. The Fair is committed to keeping up with the latest developments in publishing and creative industries, in order to offer the best initiatives to exhibitors and visitors, a rich experience full of knowledge and creativity, and an enjoyable journey through world cultures, all in an effort to promote a culture of reading and book acquisition.”

 

“The growing attendance from publishers and visitors at the Fair reflects Abu Dhabi’s role as a leading international cultural hub, underlining the emirate’s efforts to promote Arabic language and culture, and support intellectual and cultural exchange among peoples, in line with the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre,” Al Tunaiji added. “This year’s Fair offers a range of new initiatives and events, as well as a wide selection of books, including print, e-books, and audiobooks. The agenda also includes diverse cultural and professional programmes, activities for children and families, the Guest of Honour programme – which, this year, honours Egypt – and the Focus Personality for ADIBF 2024, renowned Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz. Moreover, the Fair has launched a new programme titled Book of the World, which highlights precious works that have influenced world culture.”

 

For the second consecutive year, a ticket to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair grants visitors a free one-time visit to the Qasr Al Hosn and Louvre Abu Dhabi museums, available for two weeks for each ticket. This offer runs from the Fair’s opening on 29 April until 12 May 2024.

 

Furthermore, the Fair’s publishing partners offer a range of discounts and exclusive offers for visitors. The ‘Rufoof’ platform offers a special three-month subscription for fair visitors at a nominal fee of AED30. Each visitor will also receive offers and discounts in exchange for each free ticket to the ADIBF 2024, including a 60% discount on annual subscription to the Storytel platform, available throughout the duration of the Fair, as well as a 50% discount on annual subscription for the ‘Iqraaly‏’ platform.

 

On the same note, the ‘Iqraaly‏’ platform, in collaboration with Diwan Publishing, provides a special offer for visitors to the Fair, which, this year, is celebrating global literary figure Naguib Mahfouz as its Focus Personality, allowing them to listen to his works on the ‘Iqraaly‏’ application for free throughout the duration of the 2024 Fair.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Extends Submission Deadline for Second Sard Al Thahab Award to 31 May

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC (has announced an extension to the application submission deadline for the second edition of its Sard Al Thahab Award to 31 May 2024. This will give more potential candidates the opportunity to participate in the Award, which is inspired by the thought and poetry of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE.

 

H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Given the overwhelming demand for participation in the second edition of the Sard Al Thahab Award, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has decided to extend the deadline for applications. This will enable more individuals to submit works and creations that align with the Award’s mission to support the creative artistic movement, preserve the UAE’s narrative heritage, and maintain its cultural role in fostering communication, in addition to highlighting significant historical moments and inspiring stages for various peoples and cultures.”

 

Eligibility criteria include applying for only one category of the Award and ensuring the submitted work has not been nominated for another major award in the same year. Nominated works must be written in Arabic, except for the Emirati Narration category, which accepts entries in Arabic or other languages. Moreover, the candidate needs to have contributed to shaping the Emirati narrative through creative or research work covering various aspects of the country’s history and present.

 

The Award accepts both published or unpublished narrative or research works, however, for published works, they must be submitted within five years of their publication. The Award is not granted to entries that have previously won a major Arab or international award, and candidates must adhere to the conditions outlined in the nomination form for each category. It is possible to reapply for the Award with the same work, provided that the time period requirement is met and that an application is submitted.

 

The Sard Al Thahab Award offers a total prize pool of AED2 million, includes six categories: Short Story for Unpublished Stories, which is awarded to unpublished collections of short stories that demonstrate  talent and the ability to add quality to this art, provided that the collection consists of no less than 10 short stories; Short Story for Published Stories, which is awarded to outstanding published local and Arabic short stories to promote and support this artform; and Popular Narratives, which is awarded to creative works that collect folk tales, stories, proverbs, and narratives that shape the collective memory and build a cultural identity.

 

Categories also include Narrators, which is given to the narrators of folk literature who communicate the nation’s heritage; Illustrated Story, awarded to works that are based on photography, a collection of photographs, short videos, a feature film, or paintings in a way that blends literary narrative with visual arts; and Emirati Narration, which recognises outstanding works that reinforce Emirati and Arabic identity, drawing on history and geography to build a distinctive work.

 

The award celebrates inspiring works in the fields of literature and storytelling, honouring their authors and publishing their creative works. Moreover, Sard Al Thahab seeks to revive the art of folktales and storytelling, as well as folk epics, which are a key component of Arab culture, expressing them in a modern, artistic way that highlights their distinction and beauty, as well as the wisdom of our forefathers.

 

Narrators interested in participating in the second edition can find more information about the online nomination process on the ALC’s official website at  or by contacting the team at Email.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre continues to receive Submissions for Third Kanz Al Jeel Award

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC(,  continues to receive submissions for the third edition of the Kanz Al Jeel Award until 31 May 2024, to provide creative individuals with the opportunity to showcase their creative works.

 

H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Kanz Al Jeel Award has become a notable and prestigious milestone in the cultural and literary sphere at the regional level, due to its ability to attract high-quality submissions from literature enthusiasts and writers with creative projects that elevate the stature of this authentic literary genre.”

 

“We aim for the Award to continue as a catalyst for creativity in the field of poetry and literature, as well as a platform that aligns with the Centre’s strategic objectives to promote the Arabic language and strengthen its significance,” H.E. bin Tamim added. “Furthermore, we aspire for it to serve as a notable cultural event that highlights the beauty and excellence of Poetry Matching, and its essential role in enriching the intellectual and cultural movement with its authentic content and values.”

 

The ALC launched the Kanz Al Jeel Award to acknowledge unique poetic compositions, folklore research, and studies into Nabati poetry; it is given to researchers and artists who have presented works that focus on the heritage associated with Nabati poetry and its authentic values. The Award’s name is inspired by a poem of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, and it aims to promote poetry and its role as a mirror of society and an embodiment of Emirati and Arab creativity. Further details on the Award’s conditions and submission procedures is available on the website or by reaching out to the Award’s committee at Email.

 

The Kanz Al Jeel Award has quickly established itself as a prominent player in the cultural scene, serving as a distinguished cultural platform eagerly awaited by Nabati poets, folklore researchers, translators, and artists looking to showcase their literary and academic contributions towards reviving this rich and diverse facet of Emirati cultural heritage. The award features six categories: Poetry Matching, Arts, Studies and Research, Poetic Publications, Translation, and Creative Personality.

 

The conditions for participating in the Award, which offers a total prize pool of AED 1.5 million, are designed to enhance competitiveness. A set of strict criteria and standards are used to evaluate submitted entries and studies, in a bid to ensure fairness and credibility. Under these, the nomination of candidates for the Creative Personality category is done through academic, research, or cultural institutions, or by the Award’s Higher Committee. Nomination for the remaining five categories is open to individual creators, literary and cultural institutions, universities, and publishing houses.

 

Candidates must have actively contributed to enriching and developing the local and Arab poetic, critical, or artistic movements. Submitted works must demonstrate a high degree of authenticity and innovation, representing a significant addition to human culture and knowledge. Additionally, submitted works must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) to protect intellectual property rights.

 

One work may be submitted for one Award category, and entries should not have participated in any other competition or received another award in the same year. Winners of the Kanz Al Jeel Award can apply for the award again five years after winning. Works must be written in Arabic, except for the Translation, Studies and Research, and Creative Personality categories. The Kanz Al Jeel Award reserves the right to publish submitted works.

 

Artists are invited to submit their works in the Arts category, as per the artform selected by the Higher Committee for each edition. For this year’s edition, the selected artform is Arabic calligraphy. Participating artists are required to create their works using verses from the poem ‘Ya Tha al-Shabab Ili Ghatarif’ (يا ذا الشباب الي غِطاريف) by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and styling them as Arabic calligraphy. Meanwhile, the Poetry Matching award is given to one poem that excels in matching that same poem.

 

The Creative Personality award is presented to individuals or institutions that have made notable and effective creative contributions to Nabati poetry and studies, as well as in the fields of music, singing, drawing, and Arabic calligraphy.

 

In the Arts category, the award granted to an artwork that uses visual tools to interpret and embody Sheikh Zayed’s poetry and Nabati poetry, including Arabic calligraphy or abstract arts, while the Studies and Research category is awarded to published studies on Nabati poetry that employ a scientific approach to study its methods, content, and lexicon.

 

Poetic Publications is presented to a Nabati poetry collection that embodies authenticity in form and content, while the final category, Translation, honours efforts to translate the late Sheikh Zayed’s poetry into other languages or works that constituted significant contributions towards translating Arabic poetry into other languages.

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Sheikh Zayed Book Award Announces Winners of its 18th Edition

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced winners of its 18th edition following a meeting of its Board of Trustees.

 

The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the SZBA Board of Trustees, and attended by Board Members H.E. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to H.H. the President of the UAE; H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi; H.E. Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi; H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary General of the SZBA and Chairman of ALC; H.E. Abdulla Majed Al Ali, Director-General of the National Library and Archives; and Abdulrahman Mohamed Alnaqbi, Literary Award Department Director at ALC.

 

H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, said: “Through ALC’s various initiatives, we seek to promote Arabic language proficiency and ensure greater cultural understanding. For 18 years, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has played a pivotal role in supporting our efforts to enrich cultural and intellectual creativity worldwide while providing a platform for writers, translators, academics and organisations to reach global audiences. Through this platform, we are celebrating Arabic-speaking writers and authors who write about Arab culture and civilisation, collectively  advancing our intellectual and cultural heritage.”

 

H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, Secretary General of the SZBA, said: “Since its inception, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has been an influential catalyst for the Arab cultural scene, actively contributing to the revitalisation of literary and poetic movements as well as translation efforts. We are proud to spotlight landmark projects and works from great minds around the world which have greatly impressed and inspired us. We congratulate this year’s winners and invite all creators to participate in the next edition of the Award, offering them the opportunity to make their contribution towards enriching the wider cultural scene.”

 

The winner of the Literature category of the Award is Egyptian writer Reem Bassiouney for her novel ‘Al Halwani...Thulathiyat al-Fatimiyeen’ (Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy), published by Nahdet Misr Publishing, Printing and Distribution in 2022. Bassiouney is working on a project to write historical novels about Egypt in the Middle Ages, where she seeks to shed light on the Egyptian character with narratives that intertwine poetry, architecture, and mythology, while underscoring the human dimension. The author works to construct the narrative of historical and social development in Egypt in that era, using a narrative tone that aligns with the nature of that extended historical period and its intellectual and social dimensions.

 

Meanwhile, Dr. Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia won the SZBA in the Young Author category for his work ‘Al Mashhad al-Moriski: Sardiyat al-Tard fi al-Fikr al-Espani’ (The Morisco Landscape Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought), issued by the Centre for Research and Knowledge Intercommunication in 2023. The work sheds light on the expulsion of the Moriscos who had remained in Spain, addressing its socio-cultural dimensions, and exploring the relation between memory and historic identity. The researcher makes a notable effort in investigating and documenting facts, while ensuring analytical and critical presentation. The study presents historical material documented in Spanish on the subject, offering an interdisciplinary historical study into civilisations and their relationships from a scientific perspective.

 

The Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category saw Dr. Mustafa Said from Egypt win for his study titled ‘Safinat al-Mulk wa-Nafisat al-Fulk (Shehab al-Din) al-Muwashah wa-Musiqa al-Maqam al-Natiqa bil-Arabiya bayn al-Tantheer wal-Maras’ (The Ship of Possession and the Precious Ship (Shehab al-Din) - Muwashah and Arabic-speaking Maqam Music between Theory and Practice), published by ElAin Publishing in 2023. The researcher conducted a comprehensive methodological study, showcasing his scientific acumen and enhanced prowess to analyse, understand, and critique. Dr. Said’s work makes it evident that he made a significant effort to organise his report and present information clearly to the reader. Remarkably this study stands out as the first comprehensive report from a scientific point of view and includes an in-depth study and statistical charts of melodies and connections.

 

Moreover, the winner of the Contribution to the Development of Nations category is Dr. Khalifa Alromaithi from the UAE, who won for his book: ‘Al-Asmaa’ al-Jughrafiya – Thakirat Ajyal’ (Geographical Names – Legacy of Generations), published by Austin Macauley Publishers in 2022. The book is characterised by its scientific spirit, accuracy of its language, and clarity of its style. It constitutes a study of geographical names in the United Arab Emirates, providing a reference for researchers into the subject. The author combines a historical and geographical approach, relying on data, numbers, maps, and historical tracing, making it a work of outstanding distinction and precision.

 

In the Translation category of the Award, the winner was Dr. Ahmed Somai from Tunisia, for his translation of ‘Al-Ilm al-Jadeed’ (La Scienza Nuova – The New Science), authored by Giambattista Vico, translated from Italian into Arabic, and published by Adab Publishing and Distribution in 2022. Dr. Somai stands out for skilfully transferring the terminology, structure, formulation, and context in which it was mentioned in Arabic. Furthermore, the translator included a notable introduction, as well as extensive annotations to help clarify the ideas and information presented in the text, making his translation a significant addition for the Arabic library.

 

Meanwhile, Frank Griffel won in the Arab Culture in Other Languages category for his book ‘The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam’, published in English by Oxford University Press in 2021. The book sheds light on the key contributions of Islamic philosophy and its impact on subsequent developments in theology, science, and literature. It covers the developments that led to reshaping philosophical discourse in Islam during the 12th century. Griffel highlights figures who spoke in depth about philosophy in that era, delving into metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, and the intricate relationship between reason and revelation. One of the most innovative ideas expressed in the book is the combination of Greek philosophical ideas with Arab and Islamic schools of thought; it explains how scholars like Al-Farabi and Ibn Sina attempted to reconcile these diverse traditions. The book also reviews the figures and movements that influenced Islamic philosophy, making it a valuable contribution to understanding post-classical eras in Islamic philosophy.

 

The Publishing and Technology category saw China-based Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries win the Award. The group aims to establish a cultural bridge that tells China’s story and history, promoting cross-cultural dialogue between China and the Arab world. Since its establishment, the group has translated and published more than 300 books and publications, in addition to a vast number of documents and newspapers. These efforts have allowed Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries to compile a large database of Chinese and Arabic linguistic inventory, which can be employed to serve cultural endeavours on both the Chinese and Arab sides.

 

The group is an integrated cultural project operating in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and China. In just a few years, it has managed to build Arab, regional, and international knowledge bridges through its branches and projects that focus on connecting the Middle East with the Far East and establishing rooted knowledge through publishing, translation, education, visual media, cultural industries, and trade. The group includes a comprehensive children's library comprising books and stories for children and adolescents, ranging from illustrated stories to skill development books, educational resources, and motivational educational novels for adolescents.

 

Submissions for the 18th edition were the highest in the Award’s history, with a total of 4,240 nominations received, marking a 35% increase over last year’s 3,151 submissions. Additionally, the number of participating countries grew to 74, including 19 Arab nations and 55 countries from around the world.

 

The winner of the Cultural Personality of the Year award will be announced in the upcoming few weeks. The winners will be honoured at a ceremony organised by the ALC during the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which is held annually at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is organised annually by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to honour the pioneering cultural legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE. The Award honours intellectuals, creators, publishers, and youth for their contributions to the fields of development, authorship, and translation that have had a clear impact on cultural, literary, and social life, based on scientific and objective criteria.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces 33rd Edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, has announced details of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) 2024. The event will commence with its professional programme, featuring the highly anticipated third edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries on April 28. The 33rd edition of the Fair will open its doors the following day and run until 5 May at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), with the Arab Republic of Egypt chosen as the Guest of Honour.

 

ALC has also announced the selection of the Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz as the ‘Focus Personality’ for the Book Fair. In 1988, Mahfouz became the first Arab author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, with his works translated into numerous languages.

 

Egypt's rich literary tradition, iconic writers, and profound influence on Arab thought and creativity make it a fitting choice to be celebrated as the guest of honour at this prestigious event.

 

Naguib Mahfouz, the late Egyptian literary figure, has been chosen as the Focus Personality for this year's edition. His exceptional literary legacy leaves a profound imprint on the Arab literary landscape. As the first Arab writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988, his works have immensely contributed to enriching the Arab literary heritage. The translations of his novels into different languages have played a pivotal role in drawing international attention to the world of Arabic fiction.

 

Among the innovative programmes introduced by ALC at ADIBF 2024 is the "Books of the World" programme. This programme spotlights outstanding work that has shaped human civilization over the years and has influenced cultures in unique ways. This year's book of the world is "Kalila and Dimna" by Abdullah Ibn Al Muqaffa.  In parallel to the book fair, an engaging art exhibition entitled "The Art of Fables from Kalila wa Dimna to La Fontaine" will be hosted by Louvre Abu Dhabi, complementing this literary exploration.

 

H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of The Abu Dhabi Language Centre, underlined the Centre's commitment to celebrating influential cultural icons from the Arab world globally. These cultural icons have been instrumental in shaping ideas among the new generation and have played a key role in enhancing the status of the Arabic language.

 

He said: "The Fair continues to enrich the cultural landscape of the Arab world with its inspiring initiatives. Egypt specifically has been a pioneer in creative work on various fronts including literary, artistic, intellectual, and cognitive. Naguib Mahfouz is the dean of Arab novelists, a figure who placed Arab literature and the distinctive aspects of Egyptian local culture on a global platform. He introduced Arab culture to other people and civilizations, broadening its reach and scope, shedding light on its aesthetic quality and richness."

 

His Excellency highlighted that the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair's longstanding tradition of selecting a ‘Guest of Honour’ and a ‘Focus Personality’ for each edition plays a key role in promoting sustainability, strongly supported by the UAE's visionary leadership. This tradition honours intellectuals as cultural and creative icons who have significantly enriched humanity and introduces their work to the next generation. Moreover, it fosters meaningful intercultural dialogue by bridging the cultural divide between the UAE, the Arab world, and the diverse global cultures represented at the Fair.

 

The newly introduced "Books of the World" programme which will debut at this year's edition aims to reintroduce the most illuminating books that have enlightened humanity with their ideas, literature, and science.

 

"Kalila wa Dimna” is one of the most prominent works from Arabic literature. Regarded as a top grade Arabic book by Arab critics it has earned the distinction of being among the four outstanding books alongside Al Mubarrad's "Al-Kamil," Al-Jahiz's "Al-Bayan wa al-Tabyin," and Ibn Rushd's "Al-Umdah." It serves as an excellent representation of the cultural synthesis between civilizations, based on its origin that combines languages such as Sanskrit from India, Pahlavi from Persia and Arabic elements. The book is celebrated for influencing other cultures most notably the great French poet Jean de La Fontaine who drew inspiration from it in creating one of his finest fables, and the late Ahmed Shawqi, who crafted his significant collection for children based on it.”

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Expands the Scope of the ‘Reading in Public’ Initiative

As part of its activities for the Reading Month initiative, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has expanded the scope of the first phase of its ‘Reading in Public’ initiative, which was launched at the beginning of the year, to include coffee shops around the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in a bid to strengthen the culture of reading among all segments of the community.

 

The ALC signed a cooperation agreement with Cartel Coffee Roasters to showcase its publications in branches of the café across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This deal is part of a series of agreements the Centre plans to conclude with coffee shops across the emirate to expand the reach of the initiative.

 

H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Language Centre, said: “Applied experiments have demonstrated that making books available in social spaces draws more attention to them and presents reading as an alternative pastime, which, in turn, enhances the prevalence of reading, gradually turning it into a habit among youth. And this makes the ‘Reading in Public’ initiative all the more important, given its role in integrating books into social life, making them accessible to all lifestyles, spreading a culture of reading, and instilling it as a habit among all members of the community.”

 

“Our goal is to reach the younger generations in places that suit their lifestyles and their new social patterns,” H.E. added. “This is a great duty and responsibility, and with that in mind, we have relied on a set of specific selection criteria to identify dozens of modern cafés and branches across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for the initiative. Moreover, targeted surveys have led to the conclusion that these coffee shops have become meeting places for young people, including university students and young professionals.”

 

“The first phase of the initiative includes signing agreements with 12 cafés in Abu Dhabi, starting with Cartel Coffee Roasters,” H.E. Al Tunaiji continued. “The project includes dozens of other cafés across the Emirate who will join the ‘Reading in Public’ initiative, which we seek to expand to include various parts of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi over the course of the year.”

 

The first stage of the ‘Reading in Public’ initiative targets eight locations, including hotels, hospitals, and cafés, among others. It aims to encourage the public to use their free time in waiting areas to read, and to promote reading in Arabic, in line with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s objectives to enhance the presence of Arabic as a language of culture, science, and creativity.

 

The initiative provides publications and printed books from the ALC’s Kalima Project for Translation and the ‘Esdarat’ project across various fields. The process for selecting the displayed books includes studying their popularity and updating them every quarter to meet the requirements of the target audience and provide them with the latest releases that align with their aspirations and help develop their cultural and intellectual inventory.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre organises a Cultural Retreat on ‘Translation: Literature and Technology’ in collaboration with the University of London

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) organised a cultural retreat themed ‘Translation: Literature and Technology’, in collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

 

The session formed part of ALC’s participation in the London Book Fair 2024, bringing together 30 experts and academics from various fields of translation.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Our approach to organising our retreats was inspired by the UAE Government’s administrative excellence, which we transferred it to the field of culture, turning the Cultural Retreats organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre into an important tradition that we have hosted in major world capitals to great success.”

 

“The Centre recognises the important role translation plays in shedding light on cultures and the particular traits of various peoples,” H.E. added. “We also acknowledge literature’s role as a bridge that combines thought, culture, knowledge, science, and human experiences into a blend of creative writing methods. With that in mind, we organised this year’s Cultural Retreat as part of our activities for the London Book Fair, in partnership with the University of London, to serve as an ideal platform to foster meaningful cultural discussion about translation, one of the most significant means to connect all members of the human family. The Retreat focuses on literary translation, in particular, as a vehicle for communicating intellectual heritage in a creative and an aesthetically appealing mould.”

 

The retreat shed light on a number of sub-topics in the fields of Arabic language and the publishing industry through three sessions. The first session focused on the challenges facing literary translation, while the second discussed the challenges of translating content into Arabic, and the third session focused on publishing Arabic translations and discussed translation and artificial intelligence.

 

In the first session, participants recommended translators strive to understand the cultural and intellectual weight of a given text, and familiarising themselves with its specific traits relating to space, time, and social characteristics. They advised translators to avoid confusion with terminology, which results from having multiple translations of a single term, urging them to pay attention to the fact that translating works for children requires them to take into account the linguistic aspects.

 

Meanwhile, participants in the second session discussed the challenges facing the publishing of Arabic translations from other languages, citing the disproportionate focus placed on translating works from more popular languages, such as English and French, while overlooking other important international languages, like Chinese and Hindi. Most Arab translators earn lower wages and there is a lack of a standardised process for negotiating with publishers about remunerations.

 

Additionally, the shortage of courses focusing on criticism of translation in Arab universities has led professional translators to shift towards work in other sectors, which, in turn, paves the way for artificial intelligence to replace them.

 

Participants developed a set of recommendations regarding this topic, where they proposed establishing a code of conduct for Arab translators to standardise legal contracts for rights, wages, and profit shares. The session also stressed the need to develop a transparent process for translation grants and rights acquisition that facilitates interactions in that regard and creates wider opportunities for translators to enrich cultural and scientific content in the Arab world. Moreover, experts concluded that it is imperative to have an expert and credible review of translations into Arabic before publication, as well as to diversify translations to cover additional languages. Recommendations also called for greater coordination among various Arab publishing houses involved in translation in order to avoid redundancy.

 

On the topic of translation and artificial intelligence, the most notable challenges highlighted during the session related to the key characteristics of the Arabic language and the limited data available on the internet to enable automatic translation to and from the Arabic language. Participants in this session called on Arab translation institutions to invest in artificial intelligence to address the challenges facing automatic translation into Arabic. It also urged the development of a deeper understanding of the relationship between human translation and machine translation.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre marks Mother’s Day with ‘Ramadan Nights: The Spirit of Motherhood’ held during Reading Month

As part of its activities for Reading Month and in celebration of Mother’s Day, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), in collaboration with New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Institute, is organising an event titled ‘Ramadan Nights: The Spirit of Motherhood’ to celebrate the occasion and offer a range of cultural and spiritual events inspired by the Holy Month.

 

The event will take place on 21 March 2024 at John E. Sexton Square at the NYUAD campus on Saadiyat Island. Its agenda includes a series of lectures and reading sessions of carefully curated books, along with spiritual musical performances in celebration of the occasion.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, asserted: “Language is an embodiment of civilisation and of every detail and aspect of life. The Arabic language is at the heart of every social, cultural, and intellectual occasion, including this one, which is particularly special as three key cultural celebrations converge, with both Mother’s Day and World Poetry Day coinciding with our celebration of the Holy Month of Ramadan. All of these occasions have overlapping characteristics and features: motherhood is poetry, and poetry is motherhood, love, and warmth, while the Holy Month of Ramadan is all of the above.”

 

“The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is committed to organising notable annual events that highlight the depth of Arabic culture and its connection to significant occasions, in collaboration with prominent cultural and intellectual entities in the UAE,” H.E. bin Tamim added. “The ALC’s partnership with the New York University Abu Dhabi Institute is among the most notable of these collaborations; it allows us to strengthen our cooperation to advance the status of the Arabic language and support the arts, which shed light on the spiritual aspects of the Holy Month of Ramadan. This, in turn, establishes a seamless connection between various arts and cultural events, in order to present a rich blend that highlights the beauty of Arab culture and creative works.”

 

For his part, Maurice Pomerantz, Senior Director of the NYUAD Institute, said: “The New York University Abu Dhabi Institute is excited to participate in planning and organising this prominent cultural event, which serves as an invitation for the public to delve into the cultural and spiritual aspects of motherhood, within the framework of the Holy Month. Our commitment at the Institute revolves around supporting cultural exchange and intellectual enrichment, and this event is a vibrant embodiment of this vision. We look forward to welcoming participants and visitors at John E. Sexton Square to share in rich cultural and spiritual experiences that deepen our appreciation for the beauty of the Holy Month and its noble teachings about motherhood.”

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Launches Comprehensive Programme for UAE Reading Month 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, is taking part in the UAE Reading Month held annually in March. The centre is organising a comprehensive cultural programme comprising of events and activities that cater to people of all ages. The programme includes sessions dedicated to culture, literature, and dialogue, featuring an elite group of writers, thinkers, and poets.

 

Additionally, the programme encompasses other activities including the "Khazanat Al Kutub" initiative designed to enrich participants' cultural and intellectual knowledge, promote the Arabic language, nurture a love for reading and highlight the importance of books as an essential tool for human development.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: "The UAE Reading Month is a significant cultural and developmental initiative. Reading plays a crucial role in building and advancing human knowledge and is an essential pillar of social development. The Reading Month, with its distinctive activities, highlights the country's commitment to  developing a culture of reading. Each year, events are organised to connect all members of society with the Arabic language through books with the overarching goal of improving  knowledge and understanding across society.”

 

The Children's Library at the Cultural Foundation and Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi will host a "Library Treasures Event" session. This event will feature reading sessions for unique cultural publications from "Khazanat Al Kutub” and will create dedicated platforms for books across various shopping centres in Abu Dhabi, to increase the visibility of books and enrich the cultural experiences of members of the community. The session will feature dedicated workshops led by Haya Al Qassim and Maryam Al Jassmi on drawing, Arabic calligraphy, and handicrafts.

 

The ALC will host a virtual workshop for members of the Ministry of Interior. The workshop aims to introduce them to the Specialised Libraries Department website and guide them through the process of subscribing, searching, and targeting the databases available on the platform. The session will be led by the Specialised Libraries Department team and will address all aspects pertaining to the website.

 

The Centre will organise an Arabic Calligraphy session where calligrapher Ismail Al Hosni will share his experience and discuss the history of the artform. He will also highlight the role of the UAE in preserving the art of Arabic calligraphy and its tools internationally. Additionally, the session will emphasise the significance of poetry in terms of their aesthetics and status. To celebrate World Poetry Day on March 21, the ALC is organising a poetry evening. This event will feature a group of poets who will showcase the beauty of Arabic poetry and language, as well as underline the important role of poets in creating innovative and profound literary compositions.

 

To promote reading and encourage the habit of reading among the people of the UAE, the UAE Cabinet has declared the month of March as the National Reading Month every year in support of the Ministry of Culture’s initiatives.

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ALC Collaborates with the Arabic Language Youth Council to Improve Inclusion of Psychology Terms

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, has organised a brainstorming session titled "Psychology Terms in Arabic and Other Languages" in collaboration with the Arabic Language Youth Council. The session aimed to facilitate dialogue on psychology and mental health terms, exploring ways to ensure their inclusion in the dictionary.

 

The session was moderated by Dr. Khalifa Almeqbaali, a psychiatry consultant at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) in Abu Dhabi, along with members of the Arabic Language Youth Council. The participants discussed the possibility of developing an applied model for an Arabic dictionary project focusing on psychology and mental health terminologies.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said, “ As a medium, language supports communications among people from across different cultures of the world and plays a role in shaping their future. The Arabic Language Youth Council supports the ALC’s unwavering dedication to fostering the development of the Arabic language amongst youth through creative ideas. Youth represent the cornerstone of tomorrow and serve as the driving force in identifying the contemporary needs of the Arabic language.”

 

The Arabic Language Youth Council is a joint project of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Arab Youth Centre, in cooperation with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, and the “Zai” Centre for Arabic Language Research at Zayed University. The Council works diligently to foster a positive perception of the Arabic language among young people in different fields and professions, science, education, and society. Its primary goal is to create a framework and strategy that nurtures the commitment of Arab youth to their language, enabling them to represent the Arab identity globally in all aspects of life.

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ALC Launches Campaign to promote Digital Books in Collaboration with the "OverDrive" Platform for Ramadan

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has launched a campaign to promote digital books, to encourage reading during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

This initiative is being rolled out in partnership with OverDrive, a platform that specialises in lending e-books and audiobooks. The platform has a vast collection of over 30,000 digital libraries from all around the world, providing book lovers with access to a wide range of titles in various fields.

The ALC is launching this campaign to reach new audiences and promote its collection of books during the Holy Month. The collection covers a diverse range of topics including philosophy, history, health, sports, biology, children's books, and many more.

H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Language Centre said: “Today, digital books are integral not only to the publishing industry, but also the cultural and creative sectors. E-books, audiobooks, and other formats are now significant choices for readers globally.”

He added, “The ALC recognises the significant technological transformation underway and is committed to making its extensive collection of paper publications more easily accessible online. This includes the Kalima Translation Project and a ‘Publications’ project for Arabic works, available in a variety of formats that cater to modern-day requirements. The centre collaborates with different sectors of society to provide these publications, ensuring they are

 

easily accessible and beneficial to everyone. The aim is to promote sustainable development plans in cultural and creative sectors to foster development in economic, social, tourism, and other sectors.”

 

His Excellency also stated that the promotional campaign for digital books on the OverDrive platform is designed to align with the centre's objectives of bolstering the Arabic language. The campaign aims to elevate the reading rates of Arabic content by expanding its reach, enhancing the share of Arabic books on the platform, and developing Arabic content.

 

The list publications on the platform includes 25 books for the “Kalima” and “Publications” projects. These include:

 

  • “25 Days to Aden” written by Dr. Michael Knights and translated by Samer Abu Hawwash
  • “Children of Prometheus: A History of Humankind before the Invention of Writing” written by the Hermann Parzinger and translated by Dr. Elias Hajoj
  • “Discover Your True North” written by Bill George and translated by Tareq Rashed Alyan
  • “Eating Disorders What Everyone Needs to Know” written by Bernard Timothy Walsh, Evelyn Attia and Deborah Glasofer and translated by Amira Ali Dghaim
  • “Seafaring in the Arabian Gulf and Oman: The People of the Dhow” written by Dionysius Albertus Agios and translated by Sultan Nasser Almujaiwel
  • “Plastic on the Table: When and How We Started Eating Plastic” written by Silvio Greco and translated by Naser Ismail
  • “Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain” written by Matthew Carr and translated by Mustafa Qassem
  • “Sport: A Very Short Introduction” written by Mike Cronin and translated by Hazim Ali
  • “Healing with Nutrition: Better Eating... Easy Fasting... Longer Life” written by Andreas Michalsen Friedrich Karl Sandmann and translated by Dr. Elias Hajoj
  • “Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction” written by Tom Burns and translated by Dr. Hussein Al Abri
  • “Arabs and Portugal in History” written by Faleh Handal
  • “Philosophy in the Islamic World” written by Peter Adamson and translated by Ahmed Salem Darweesh
  • “A History of Reading” written by Steven Roger Fischer and translated by Mohammed Fathi Khadir,
  • “A History of Language” written by Steven Roger Fischer and translated by Faiez Al Joulani
  • “The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block and the Creative Brain” written by Alice Weaver Flaherty and translated by Haitham Rasheed Farht.

 

The list also includes:

  • “Children's drawings” written by Marilyn JS Goodman and translated by Najlaa Hasan
  • "The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family behind the Jewelry Empire”, written by Francesca Cartier Brickell and translated by Tareq Rashed and Omar Saeed Al Ayoubi
  • “Where Corals Lie: A Natural and Cultural History” written by J. Malcolm Shick and translated by Rashah Salah Al-Dakhakhni
  • “Astrobiology” written by David C. Catling and translated by Fatima Ghunaim
  • “In the Restaurant” written by Christoph Ribbat and translated by Mohammad Abu Zaid
  • “The Book of Disquiet - The Complete Edition” written by Fernando Pessoa and translated by Tahseen Al-Khateeb
  • “Future Cities – Architecture and the Imagination” written by Paul Dobraszczyk and translated by Tahseen Al-Khateeb
  • “The Philosopher Queens: The lives and legacies of philosophy's unsung women” written by Rebecca Buxton and Lisa Whiting and translated by Nasser Mustafa Abu Al-Haija
  • “Hedonistic Theories: From Aristippus to Spencer” written by John Waston and translated by Khaled Al Ghnami
  • “Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher” written by Edward J and translated by Saber Al Habasheh.
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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre spotlights ‘The Philosopher Queens’ to celebrate International Women’s Day

The Kalima Reading Club at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), in cooperation with the General Women’s Union, organised a cultural symposium to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th.

 

The symposium focused on the book ‘The Philosopher Queens’ published by the Kalima Translation Project. The authors, Dr. Fatema Al Mazrouei, and Asma Al Siddiq, participated in the discussion to analyse the 258-page book focusing on female philosophers who emerged as prominent figures throughout history. The authors spoke about the contributions of these women in enriching philosophical thought over the past two millennia and discussed in detail the content of the book during the symposium.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Centre for the Arabic Language, said: “The ALC is keen to highlight the contribution of women in different fields, especially their work in the cultural field and their role in the cultural renaissance of the Arab world. Women’s pivotal role in enriching the Arab culture has been immortalised in history.

 

He added: “On International Women’s Day, we take pride in the UAE’s achievements in empowering women and enabling their participation in the developmental process. This approach was inspired by the vision and support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Mother of the Emirates, which has become a model to be emulated.

 

He added: “We were very pleased to cooperate with the General Women’s Union in celebrating International Women’s Day this year. The books for the Kalima Translation Project at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre were selected with utmost care and consideration to spotlight the work of female philosophers. These women have inspired the world and enriched the history of philosophy in the past two thousand years. Their philosophy continues to light the path for humanity in every aspect of life.”

 

Her Excellency Noura Al Suwaidi, Secretary General of the General Women’s Union, said that culture and creativity in the United Arab Emirates are the two basic pillars of society, enriching life and enhancing our country’s global positioning. They play a key role in making thought and knowledge central to our lives, a goal for individuals and institutions to aspire for.  She noted that culture in the UAE is the essence of the country’s civilization and its developmental journey.  By fostering a culture of knowledge and awareness, the UAE has become one of the most important global cultural centres.

 

She expressed her happiness in cooperating with the Kalima Reading Club at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, to organise the symposium, with the participation of an elite group of Emirati women writers.

 

To mark the International Women's Day, Her Excellency sent a message of thanks and appreciation to women in the UAE and the world for their vital role and effective contribution to building societies and supporting their advancement and progress.

 

The discussion focused on the achievements of women in the field of philosophy, beginning with the story of Diotima, Ban Zhao, the first woman historian in ancient China, and also covering Hypatia, Hannah Arendt, and the women philosophers of Oxford.

 

The discussion also showcased research by Angela Davis and Azizah Al-Hibri, whose work focuses on understanding the intersection of contemporary Western concepts such as gender equality with Islamic law.

 

In addition to the book analysis, the symposium also featured musical interludes, creating a festive atmosphere.

 

Kalima Translation Project is an ambitious initiative affiliated with Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC). Launched in 2007 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, Kalima aims to revive the translation movement in the Arab world and support Abu Dhabi’s active cultural role so it can contribute to the regional and global cultural scene and, consequently, lay the foundation for an Arab cultural renaissance that embraces all disciplines of human knowledge. Kalima also organises events and activities related to translation.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Takes Part in the London Book Fair 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) will take part in the London Book Fair 2024 to be held from March 12 to 14 at Olympia London. The London Book Fair is an excellent opportunity for publishers from around the world to expand their international reach and enter new markets.

 

The ALC is dedicated to enhancing its global presence through active participation in international book fairs. It seeks to establish robust partnerships with publishers on a global scale and showcase the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), along with its cultural initiatives. Through these participations, the Centre also aims to connect with decision-makers in the publishing and cultural industry to stay up to date about the latest trends and developments in the publishing sector.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “International book fairs provide a dynamic platform for fostering dialogue and collaboration between publishing trailblazers, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs, bringing different creative perspectives together. Book fairs bolster the Centre's commitment to nurturing cultural domains and creative sectors associated with publishing and literature, in line with the UAE's National Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industries, which seeks to elevate the sector's economic impact, positioning it as a key industry in the nation's future growth.”

 

The ALC’s participation in the London Book Fair features a discussion on the theme ‘Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre: Building Bridges with Arab Culture’. The session sheds light on the projects and initiatives offered by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the opportunities it provides to connect Arab culture with other cultures. It also highlights ALC’s role in the advancement of the Arabic language, promoting interest among native speakers and non-native speakers in learning Arabic, leading linguistic research efforts, and supporting creativity, authorship, translation, and publishing. The session will also discuss some of ALC's most significant projects, such as the Kalima Translation Project, and the various book fairs and festivals it organises, such as the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, as well as the awards and grants offered by the ALC to support the publishing and creative industries.

 

The Kalima Reading Club will be hosting a discussion on the book ‘The Astronomer and the Witch’. The book narrates the story of Johannes Kepler, a renowned German astronomer, and his struggle to defend his mother against witchcraft accusations. The ALC will be also organise a cultural retreat named ‘Translation: Literature and Technology’ in collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, featuring 30 experts and academics from various translation disciplines.

 

During the book fair, the ALC will sign an agreement with the Natural History Museum to purchase translation rights of a collection of books with the aim of launching Arabic translations of these books. The collection includes ‘Nature's Explorers: Adventurers Who Recorded the Wonders of the Natural World’, published by the Natural History Museum. The book features superb artworks and photographs  of plants, animals, landscapes, and people. Also included is the book entitled ‘Voyages of Discovery: A Visual Celebration of Ten of the Greatest Natural History Expeditions’ by Tony Rice. This book showcases a visual and textual record of ten of the most important expeditions of the last three centuries. The photographs and drawings in the book are intertwined with the explorers' stories to express the value of human achievement in discovering the splendour of natural wonders.  

 

The book ‘Dinosaurs: How They Lived and Evolved’ by Darren Naish and Paul Barrett is also a part of this project. It reveals the awe-inspiring secrets of these fascinating creatures. The books covers the evolution of dinosaurs, the most exciting and dominant animals ever to have lived on our planet, which had an evolutionary lineage that spanned more than 150 million years

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Scientific Committee for 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced its Scientific Committee for 2024, bringing together renowned scientists, researchers, experts, and intellectuals from various fields at local, regional, and international levels.

 

The Committee serves as a reliable reference for science and knowledge, supporting the ALC’s work. It also constitutes a significant addition that enhances the global cultural presence of both the Centre and the UAE capital as a whole.

 

The new Scientific Committee is chaired by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, and brings together            Prof. Dr. Ahmed Khrais, Prof. Dr. Bilal Orfalli, Prof.  Dr. Mohamed Abouelfadl Badran, Prof. Dr. Abdulla al Ghathami, Prof. Dr. Ali al Kaabi, Prof. Dr. Vitaly Naumkin, Prof. Dr. Muhsin al Musawi, Prof. Dr. Hanada Taha-Thomure, and Prof. Dr. Wen-Chin Ouyang.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC said, “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is proud of its new Scientific Committee, which brings together inspiring experts and academics from various fields related to the Arabic language, whose visions and ideas form an important pillar in the Centre’s continued development and progress towards achieving its strategic goals, and taking its projects and initiatives to new heights.”

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s Scientific Committee performs several key tasks, such as advising on the development of the Centre’s vision and policies; offering scientific recommendations in the fields of publishing, libraries, technology, activities, and events; and providing counsel regarding the strategic plans, programmes, and projects that the ALC oversees, manages, or implements.

 

The Committee’s responsibilities also include suggesting experts and specialists to support and accomplish the Centre’s objectives and expanding the scope of Arab and international cooperation with specialised research centres.

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'Khazanat Al Kutub' by ALC Promotes National Reading Month at Select Malls

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, has launched the latest edition of  'Khazanat Al Kutub' in shopping malls across the UAE as a part of National Reading Month, celebrated every March.

 

The initiative will offer visitors to shopping malls a chance to purchase a diverse collection of books. It provides a selection of over 350 titles across various genres including books for children and young adults, travel literature, heritage, history, and geography. Additionally, it features books on biography, literature, arts, sports, and natural sciences. Books are also available on social sciences, philosophy, psychology, and general knowledge.

 

'Khazanat Al Kutub' was first launched in Al Ain’s Hili Mall, for the first time this year for two weeks. It featured over 225 titles from the Kalima and Isdarat projects.  A similar activation is also taking place at the Al Ain University Book Fair to showcase the centre's publications with more than 150 titles.  'Khazanat Al Kutub' is currently also running at "City Life Mall" in Ajman until 10 March, offering visitors a selection of 250 titles from ALC’s collection of books and publications.  The initiative is also underway at "Makani Mall" in Abu Dhabi until 9 March, showcasing over 175 titles covering various fields and is also accessible at the Integrated Transport Centre in Abu Dhabi, offering more than 200 titles.

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Sheikh Zayed Book Award unveils shortlists for its 18th edition

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), has unveiled the shortlists for its 18th edition, showcasing an array of remarkable literary works from around the world. The Award revealed shortlisted nominations across its Literature, Young Author, Translation, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Editing of Arabic Manuscripts and Publishing and Technology categories.

 

Shortlists were announced following a meeting of the SZBA Scientific Committee, chaired by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary-General of the SZBA and Chairman of ALC, and attended by Committee members,: H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC; Prof. Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh from Jordan; Dr. Badria Al Bishr from Saudi Arabia; Mr. Juergen Boos from Germany; Prof. Floréal Sanagustin from France; Dr. Nadia El Cheikh from Lebanon; Dr. Amany Fouad Gadallah from Egypt; and Mr. Mustafa Al-Slaiman from Jordan/Germany. The meeting was also attended by Abdulrahman Mohamed Alnaqbi, Literary Awards Department Director at the ALC.

 

H.E. Dr. bin Tamim applauded the Committee members for their significant contributions and role in promoting the Award, noting that their extensive experience and knowledge add tremendous value to the Award and raise its global profile. H.E. bin Tamim asserted that Committee members’ recommendations and systematic approach has contributed to the development of the Award’s standards throughout its past editions, reflecting and reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s cultural and literary prominence.

 

The shortlist for the Literature category consisted of three works, namely ‘Fursa L-Gharam Akheer’ (A Chance for One Last Love) by Hassan Dawood from Lebanon, published by Hachette Antoine/Nofal in 2022; ‘Al Halwani...Thulathiyat al-Fatimiyeen’ (Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy) by Reem Bassiouney from Egypt, published by Nahdet Misr Publishing, Printing and Distribution in 2022; and ‘Nasheej al-Duduk’ (The Duduk’s Whimper) by Jalal Barjas from Jordan, published by the Arab Institute for Research and Publishing in 2023.

 

The shortlist for the Young Author category features three works: ‘Na’eesh li-Nahki: Balaghat al-Takhyeel fi Kalila wa Dimna’ (Living to Narrate: The Eloquent Imagination in Kalīla wa-Dimna) by Mustapha Rajouane from Morocco, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023; ‘Simya’iyat al-Qira’a: Dirasa fi Shurooh Diwan al-Mutanabbi fi al-Qarn al-Sabe’ Hijri’ (The Semiotics of Reading: a Study of the Seventh Hijri Century Interpretation of the Al-Mutanabbi's Diwan), by Dr. Alawi Ahmed Al Malgami from Yemen, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023; and ‘Al Mashhad al-Moriski: Sardiyat al-Tard fi al-Fikr al-Espani’ (The Morisco Landscape Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought), by Dr. Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia, issued by the Centre for Research and Knowledge Intercommunication in 2023.

 

The shortlist for the Translation category consisted of ‘Al-Aalam Iradatan wa-Tamathulan’ (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung – The World: Will and Imagination), authored by Arthur Schopenhauer, translated from German to Arabic by Said Tawfik from Egypt, published by ‏Dar Al Kitab Al Jadeed, in 2023; ‘Limatha Naqraa’ al-Adab al-Classiki?’ (Perché Leggere I Classici – Why Do We Read Classic Literature?), authored by Italo Calvino, translated from Italian to Arabic by Dalal Naserallah from Kuwait, published by Al Mada for Media, Culture, and Arts, in 2021; and ‘Al-Ilm al-Jadeed’ (La Scienza Nuova – The New Science), authored by Giambattista Vico, translated from Italian to Arabic by Dr. Ahmed Somai from Tunisia, published by Adab Publishing and Distribution, in 2022.

 

Three works made it to the shortlist for the Contribution to the Development of Nations category including: ‘Al-Asmaa’ al-Jughrafiya – Thakirat Ajyal’ (Geographical Names – Legacy of Generations), by Dr. Khalifa Alromaithi from the UAE, published by Austin Macauley Publishers, in 2022; ‘Sikkat al-Tramway: Tareeq al-Hadatha Marra bi-Dimashq’ (Tramway Railway: The Path of Modernity Passed Through Damascus), by Sami Marwan Moubayed from Syria/UK, published by Riad El Rayyes Books, in 2022; and ‘Al-Arabiya Lughat al-Aayn: Dirasa Dalaliya Uurfaniya’ (The Arabic Language: A Study of Cognitive Semantics), by Dr. Fatima Bakouch from Tunisia, published by Masciliana Editions, in 2023.

 

Furthermore, the shortlist for the Arab Culture in Other Languages category consisted of five works including: ‘The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy in Islam’ by Frank Griffel, published in English by Oxford University Press in 2021; ‘On Earth or in Poems: The Many Lives of al-Andalus’ by Eric Calderwood, published in English by Harvard University Press in 2023; ‘Warum es kein islamisches Mittelalter gab’ (Why There Was No Islamic Middle Ages) by Thomas Bauer, published in German by C.H. Beck Verlag in 2018; ‘La letteratura d’adab’ (The Literature of Adab) by Antonella Ghersetti, published in Italian by Istituto per l'Oriente Carlo Nallino in 2021; and ‘Louis Massignon et la mystique musulmane: Analyse d’une contribution à l’islamologie’ (Louis Massignon and Islamic mysticism: An analysis of a contribution to Islamology) by Florence Ollivry, published in French by Brill Publishing in 2023.

 

The shortlist for the Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category consisted of ‘Sharh Diwan Thi-Al Rimma li Abi al-Hasan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi’ (Interpretation of the Diwan of Thi Al Rimma by Abi Al Hassan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi) by Awad bin Mohammed Salem Al Daheel Al Awlaqi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Al Nawader - Al Madina Al Munawwarah Literary Publishing Club in 2019; ‘Al-Fawa’id al-Sunniya fi al-Rihla al-Madaniya wal-Rumiya, Tathkirat al-Nahrawali’ (Sunni Benefits in the Madani and Roman Journey ‘Nahrawali Diary’) by Al-Mahdi Eid Al-Rawadieh from Jordan, published by The Orient-Institut Beirut in 2022; ‘Safinat al-Mulk wa-Nafisat al-Fulk (Shehab al-Din) al-Muwashah wa-Musiqa al-Maqam al-Natiqa bil-Arabiya bayn al-Tantheer wal-Maras’ (The Ship of Possession and the Precious Ship (Shehab al-Din) - Muwashah and Arabic-speaking Maqam Music between Theory and Practice) by Dr. Mustafa Said from Egypt, published by ElAin Publishing in 2023.

 

Finally, the Publishing and Technology category shortlist includes The International Youth Library (Internationale Jugendbibliothek) in Munich – Germany; Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) – Spain; Bayt Elhekma for Creative Industries – China; and Finjan Podcast – Saudi Arabia.

 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award decided to withhold the Award from “Children’s Literature” and “Art & Literary Criticism” from this cycle. This year’s edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has seen the largest participation in its history, with a total of 4,240 submissions from 74 countries, including 19 Arab nations and 55 from around the world. This remarkable surge highlights the Award's profound significance and unwavering credibility in the realms of culture, literature, and academia, solidifying its position as a respected entity both regionally and internationally. As a beacon of literary and scholarly excellence, the Award continues to draw submissions from diverse corners of the world, a testament to its universal appeal and enduring impact.

 

The Award honours creative minds and thinkers in the fields of literature, arts, and humanities in Arabic, as well as other languages, in recognition of distinguished achievements. The SZBA provides new opportunities for Arabic-speaking writers and recognises authors who write about Arab culture and civilisation in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre participates in Muscat International Book Fair 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) is taking part in the 28th Muscat International Book Fair. Organised by Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, the Fair runs until  2 March 2024 at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat.

 

The Centre is set to promote its publications across various fields to visitors at its pavilion, showcasing more than 450 titles, including 50 new ones.  These are published  by the Kalima Project for Translation, which aims to revitalise the translation movement in the Arab world and support the active cultural advancement taking place in Abu Dhabi. Publications from the Centre’s ‘Esdarat’ project, which seeks to publish intellectual works by Arab and non-Arab scientists, will also be exhibited at the Fair.

 

Additionally, the ALC strives to advance the presence of the Arabic language and discuss prospects of building partnerships with publishing houses and specialised cultural institutions participating in the exhibition..

 

The Muscat International Book Fair 2024 is set to welcome 847 publishers from 34 countries, offering a programme with more than 250 activities, including 152 cultural events and 131 activities for children and families. The Fair also includes an agenda of social initiatives focusing on reading, authorship, translation, publishing, the book industry, literary salons, and public libraries.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to Offer ‘We Speak Arabic’ Series on Etihad Airways’ E-BOX Inflight Entertainment System

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC( has announced that its popular We Speak Arabic series is available to Etihad Airways passengers through the airline’s signature E-BOX inflight entertainment system.

 

We Speak Arabic offers a dynamic and efficient approach to learning the Arabic language, with engaging episodes that take viewers on an immersive journey to enhance their linguistic proficiency while introducing them to Arab heritage. The series caters to learners of all ages and nationalities, empowering them to master Arabic as a language of knowledge, culture, and creativity.

 

The initiative allows passengers on Etihad Airways to enjoy the ‘We Speak Arabic’ series during their flight. The collaboration aims to facilitate the learning of Arabic for non-Arabic speakers through innovative digital content, fostering language skills and cultural understanding.

 

His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of ALC, said: “This collaboration with Etihad Airways is a significant step towards advancing the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s mission to promote the Arabic language as a gateway to knowledge, culture, and creativity, expanding the reach of our educational content to benefit language enthusiasts worldwide. Offering our flagship We Speak Arabic series to Etihad Airways passengers serves to reflect Abu Dhabi’s central role as a literary and cultural hub and also helps promote the UAE capital as a tourism hot spot, given that several episodes of the series showcase the city’s iconic landmarks, rich heritage, and many amenities and attractions.”

 

Amina Taher, VP Brand, Marketing & Sponsorships at Etihad Airways, said: "At Etihad, we believe that travel should be more than just a journey from one destination to another; it should be an opportunity to discover, learn and connect. Our partnership with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language centre, and the integration of the ‘We Speak Arabic’ series into our award-winning E-BOX inflight entertainment system, reflect our commitment to enhancing the travel experience by providing our passengers with the tools to connect with the culture and heritage of the region. This partnership is a testament to our belief that language is a bridge to understanding, and it is our hope that it will open doors to new experiences and connections for all our guests."

 

Previously, the We Speak Arabic series was only available to audiences through short clips on the ALC’s social media channels, while the complete episodes could be accessed on the Centre’s website and YouTube channel. With a total of 23 clips and episodes, the initiative offers learners a comprehensive range of Arabic language lessons, catering to varying proficiency levels.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Concludes Participation in New Delhi World Book Fair 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) concluded its participation in the 31st New Delhi World Book Fair, which took place from 10 until 18 February in Pragati Maidan square in the Indian capital.

 

The Centre showcased its most notable initiatives and projects, including the Kalima Project for Translation, the Spotlight on Rights copyright programme, as well as various awards, publications, research grants, and more, highlighting its efforts to advance the Arabic language and enhance publishing, translation, and creative industries in the Arab world. The ALC also engaged in networking to invite prominent cultural figures to participate in the cultural programme of the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

 

“The New Delhi World Book Fair is a longstanding platform for cultural exchange, particularly between Asia and the Arab world. It is the ideal event to introduce the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s many programmes and initiatives to Indian and Asian audiences, highlighting the best of Arab thought, art, and creativity,” said His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC. “We look forward to the valuable networking opportunities our participation will provide, as we look to expand the scope of cooperation between the Centre and publishers, cultural bodies, and scientific institutions from around the world.”

 

Celebrating 51 years since its launch in 1972, The New Delhi World Book Fair is one of the longest running international book fairs, bringing together over 600 publishing houses from around the world to participate in a wide range of conferences and literary programmes related to publishing, offering participants a window into the publishing and intellectual worlds in the South Asia region.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Hosts Panel Discussion on Book United Arab Emirates: Architectural Guide

Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s Kalima Reading Club organised a panel discussion about the book United Arab Emirates: Architectural Guide, which sheds light on the UAE’s vast architectural diversity, from the famed, record-breaking structures of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to modern traditionalist architectural landmarks in Sharjah and beyond. The session brought together a group of intellectuals, translators and club members.

 

Co-authored by Hendrik Bohle and Jan Dimog, the publication examines the UAE’s multi-faceted architecture and imaginative construction projects with a critical and insightful eye, exploring key characteristics of the new generation of facilities in the country which emphasise sustainability and the preservation of diverse building traditions. It features over 200 buildings and projects across the UAE, showcasing its transition from a modest Bedouin society to a developed nation, home to world-renowned architectural landmarks such as the iconic Burj Khalifa, all within just three generations. The Guide also includes interviews with international and local architects and articles about the country’s culture and history, painting a rich picture of the Emirates and its uncompromising journey of development and excellence.

 

Hendrik Bohle holds a degree in Architecture; he studied at the Technical University of Berlin and the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany. He is an architect, urban researcher, and author of a wide range of specialised publications. Meanwhile, Jan Dimog is a reporter, PR copy editor, and scriptwriter, working with national and global publishers, institutions, and projects in Germany, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. Their book The Architectural Guide to Istanbul was published by DOM Publishers, and together the two manage The Link Berlin online magazine, which focuses on international architectural tourism.

 

United Arab Emirates: Architectural Guide was translated to Arabic by Musa Al-Halool, a Syrian academic and translator from the Raqqa Governorate. He studied English literature at Aleppo University, moving on to receive a master’s degree and a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Al-Halool is currently a Professor of Comparative Literature at Taif University in Saudi Arabia. He has translated various works from English to Arabic, most notably, ‘Maori Legends and Fairy Tales’ (Abu Dhabi), ‘Senora Edda: An Icelandic Epic’ (Abu Dhabi), ‘The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway’ (Kuwait), and ‘Thus Spoke the Vikings’ (Copenhagen). Meanwhile, his Arabic writings include ‘From Borzuya’s Grass and Gilgamesh’s Serpent: Reflections on Literary Translation’ (Abu Dhabi).

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Joins Cairo International Book Fair 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, is participating in the 55th Cairo International Book Fair, taking place from 24 January to 6 February under the theme ‘We create knowledge, we preserve the word’.

 

The ALC’s participation is showcasing its role in supporting and advancing the Arabic language, while promoting the publishing, translation, and creative industries in the Arab world. The ALC’s agenda for the Fair includes a series of seminars, cultural and professional meetings, specialised workshops, musical evenings, and book signings. More than 500 ALC-produced titles, including 120 new publications, are available for sale.

 

The Fair in Cairo also highlights the Centre’s various projects, awards, initiatives, and grants, including flagship events like the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF). While in Cairo, the Centre will showcase the ADIBF 2024’s Cultural and Professional Programmes.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “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.”

 

The programme 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 renowned performers, artists, and creators from around the Arab world participating. The 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 Centre is also set to announce that Egypt is selected to be Guest of Honour at the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024, while Naguib Mahfouz is chosen as the 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, in addition to a session by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award team about manuscript editing and its challenges.

 

Additional sessions showcase the shortlisted nominees for the Sard Al Thahab Award and explore the Kanz Al Jeel Award’s mission to revive Nabati poetry. The agenda also includes a workshop titled ‘How to Use Social Media for Book Promotion’.

 

The ALC is additionally hosting a series of events and sessions at Prince Mohamed Ali Palace (Al Manial Palace), including a showcase of the book ‘President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan... Highlights in the journey of a man of humanity’ by Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, with a book signing with the author. The agenda also offers a range of sessions focusing on books on music issued by the ALC, hosting 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’.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre releases Arabic Edition of ‘Poverty: A Very Short Introduction’ by Philip Nathan Jefferson

As part of its Kalima Project for Translation, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has recently released the Arabic edition of ‘Poverty: A Very Short Introduction’ by Philip Nathan Jefferson, which offers a useful reference allowing readers to understand fundamental issues in economics and sociology.

 

Translated to Arabic by Mohammed Salah Ali, the book forms part of the Very Short Introductions, series published by the Oxford University Press, which delves into a range of topics relevant to various categories of readers.

 

In this book, Professor Philip Nathan Jefferson, an American economist and member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, addresses questions about poverty, how it was addressed historically, and how it is dealt with today. The author presents a condensed introduction to poverty, how it is measured, and contemporary efforts to alleviate it.

 

The book explores who the poor are, how they live, and the obstacles they face, tracing the history of poverty and how it is passed down through the generations. It also delves into global wealth distribution disparities, examining the reasons behind them, and exploring practical and analytical efforts that were – and continue to be – made to eradicate poverty. Moreover, it discusses global efforts and local initiatives aimed at curbing poverty, in addition to examining the social, economic, and political structures that affect the poor and shape their lives.

 

The author briefly presents a range of key economic and social terminology, including, for example, the equivalence scales, efficiencies in consumption, the feminisation of poverty, and the negative spillovers on group affiliation, among others.

 

Philip Nathan Jefferson has served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2022 and previously held the post of President of the National Economic Association in 2005. His academic roles include Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Davidson College, and Economics Professor at Swarthmore College and Columbia University, where he teaches courses on econometrics, macroeconomics, and poverty and inequality.

 

In 2022, Jefferson became the fourth person of African descent to join the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. His published books include ‘The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty’ (2012), along with a series of economic research papers on the connection between education, unemployment, and poverty, as well as the “geography of hate”.

 

Meanwhile, the translator, Mohammed Salah Ali, is an Egyptian researcher born in Cairo in 1994. He graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at the University of Cairo in 2017, where he specialised in political science, history, and social sciences. Throughout his career, he contributed to articles and studies published across various online platforms and scientific journals, and won the Young Translator Competition, held by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Culture in 2021 for his translation of ‘The Egyptian Labour Union’ whitepaper.

 

Mohammed Salah Ali has translated several books, most notably, ‘God Save the USSR’ by Prof. Jeff Eden, ‘Islam and Nazi Germany’s War’ by David Motadel, ‘Ibn Khaldoun’ by Prof. Syed Farid Alatas, and ‘State in Society’ by Prof. Joel S. Migdal.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Launches Fourth Edition of Research Grant Programme

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has launched the fourth edition of Research Grant Programme, to support researchers in the Arabic language to submit high-quality projects that help advance the language, enhance knowledge, and promote scientific studies. The submission period closes on 29 February 2024.

 

Launched in 2021, the programme offers six to eight grants annually in several fields, including the Arabic Lexicon, Academic Curricula, Literature and Criticism, Applied and Computational Linguistics, Teaching Arabic to Non-Arabic Speakers, and Manuscript Editing in all fields of Arabic language studies. It allocates an annual total of AED 600,000 for the grants.

 

His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “With the launch of the Research Grant Programme’s fourth edition, we are providing further opportunities for researchers to present quality projects that contribute to enriching the Arabic language, strengthening its position, and underlining its role as a fundamental pillar for thought and cultural identity, driving the advancement of scientific research and its impact across all fields of knowledge.”

 

During the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which will take place from 29th April to 5th May 2024, ALC will release the works of the third edition of the Research Grants Programme as part of the Basaer (Insights) series of research papers and studies. These works include: Evolving Narratives in Emirati Literature: A Technical Study by Maryam Al-Hamshi; Ibn Musafir’s Choices, edited by Muqbil Al Ahmadi and Shafiq Al Bitar; Biography of Al-Iskandar Dhul-Qarnayn and the Wonders He Experienced, edited by Nabil Hamdi Al Shahid; Hadith Bayad wa Riyad by Fayez Al-Qais; The New Historical Novel and Betting on Fantasy by Mustafa Al-Nahhal; The Aesthetics of Meaning: The Philosophy of Tradition in the Arabic Language from Interpretation to Meta-Interpretation by Shafiqa Wail; and The Literary and Critical Movement in Saudi Arabia: Beginnings and Trends by Muhammad Al-Safrani.

 

Since its launch, the Research Grant Programme has awarded 20 grants, with the Literature and Criticism category receiving the highest number of submissions, followed by Manuscript Editing and Arabic Lexicon. The ALC’s latest statistics revealed an increase in the number of applicants in 2023, with 111 candidates applying for the grant from 17 countries.

 

For more information about the research grant program, the conditions, submission process, and filling out the nomination form, you can visit the Link.

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Sheikh Zayed Book Award Released 10 Translations in 2023

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced that its Translation Grant initiative enabled the translation of six new books this year. This brings the total number of published translated works through the grant in 2023 to 10, spanning multiple languages including French, English, German, and for the first time this year, Portuguese and Polish.

 

A diverse range of Arabic titles were selected to receive support from the Translation Grant, which offers up to USD 19,000 for the translation of winning and shortlisted books from the SZBA’s Literature, Young Author (fiction) and Children’s Literature categories.

 

The titles which received the Translation Grant in 2023 are:

 

  1. ‘Fi Athar Enayat Al Zayyat’ (Traces of Enayat) by Egyptian novelist Iman Mersal, SZBA winner in 2021 in the Literature category. The book was translated into English by Robin Moger and published by And Other Stories; translated into Portuguese by Nisreene Matar under the title ‘No rastro de Enayat’ and published by Brazilian publisher Editora Rua do Sabão; and translated into Polish by Agnieszka Piotrowska, published by the Polish Arabic Library under the title ‘Śladami Inajat’.

 

  1. Hatless (Hutlos) by Lateefah Boti from Kuwait, SZBA winner in 2017 in the Children’s Literature category; translated into German by Suleman Taufiq and published by Sujet Verlag.

 

  1. ‘Al Fata al-lathi Absara Lawn al-Hawa’ (The Boy Who Saw the Colour of Air) by Abdo Wazen from Lebanon, SZBA winner in 2012 in the Children’s Literature category; translated into French by Nada Ghosn and published by BookLand Press under the title ‘Le jeune homme qui a vu la Couleur de l’air’.

 

  1. ‘Al Fatat al-Laylakiya’ (The Lilac Girl) by Ibtisam Barakat from Palestine, SZBA winner in 2020 in the Children’s Literature category; the author personally translated the book into English which was published by BookLand Press. The book was also translated into French by Leila Taher under the title ‘La fille lilas’.

 

  1. ‘Hadiqat al-Zumurrud’ (The Emerald Garden) by Raja Malah from Morocco, SZBA shortlisted title in 2021 in the Children’s Literature category. The book was translated into English by Nouha Gorani-Homad and into French by Leila Tahir and published by BookLand Press under the title ‘Le jardin d’émeraudes’.

 

  1. ‘Thalathoon Qasida lil-Atfal’ (30 Poems for Children) by Lebanese author Jawdat Fakhreddin, SZBA winner in the Children’s Literature category in 2014; translated into German by Suleman Taufiq and published by Sujet Verlag under the title ‘30 Gedichte für Kinder’.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary-General of the SZBA and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said: “The Translation Grant programme reflects the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s commitment to promoting Arabic literature, providing readers worldwide the opportunity to access the diversity of our literature. The publications are a window into our Arabic heritage, allowing us to build cultural bridges between us and the rest of the world. Our role is to strengthen the translation movement by selecting outstanding Arabic works with the potential to impact readers in other countries, introduce them to our culture, and strengthen their connection to it.”

 

Michael Watson, from And Other Stories publishing house in the UK, said: “We were all enthralled when we first read Robin Moger’s translation of Traces of Enayat. Iman Mersal’s following of Enayat al-Zayyat’s footsteps through modern Egypt could easily not have been realised in all its beauty and subtlety, but Moger’s translation, supported by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s Translation Grant, has breathed new life into this already-vital work. Since its publication, it has been gratifying to speak to many readers who read it initially in Arabic and have felt that this translation has done the original text justice.”

 

Leonardo Garzaro, Founding Editor of Editora Rua do Sabão publishing house in Brazil, noted: “When we were looking for Arabic literature to publish in Brazil, it was a pleasant surprise to learn about the initiatives of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre. The Sheikh Zayed Book Award gave us the direction we needed, in collaboration with an excellent selection of authors, who represent the best of Arabic literature produced annually. Furthermore, we received support at all stages of the book, which was fundamental for publication in Portuguese. We can confidently say that the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s initiatives are the best in the Arabic literary market.”

 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award launched the Translation Grant initiative in an effort to broaden the global reach of Arabic literature. The Award’s Scientific Committee reviews all submitted applications and selects those approved for funding. Applicants can visit the grant’s website to review the application conditions and submit the required documents. Applications are accepted year-round, and applicants are notified of the Committee’s decision within two to three months from the application date.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Launches ‘Reading in Public’, an Initiative to Promote Reading among the Community

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the launch of its ‘Reading in Public’ initiative, which promotes and facilitates the reading of Arabic language content in vital facilities across Abu Dhabi, seeking to foster cultural awareness and promote learning among diverse segments of the community.

 

Organised by the Centre under the umbrella of its Kalima Reading Club, the initiative seeks to encourage reading in hotels, cafes, hospitals, and other vital facilities by providing free publications and print editions of various works from ALC’s Kalima and Esdarat projects across eight locations in Abu Dhabi. The selection of titles will continue to be refreshed throughout the year to meet the needs and interests of the community while providing them access to the latest released publications.

 

The launch of the initiative was announced during a partnership signing ceremony between the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi, with it being the launch location for the initiative. ‘Reading in Public’ will then expand to seven additional locations in 2024, enabling individuals to make the most of their idle time by expanding their knowledge and engaging with cultural content.

 

The agreement, signed by HE Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, the Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and Michael Koth, General Manager & Area Vice President Operations, Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi coordinates joint efforts between the two parties to promote a culture of reading in Abu Dhabi by selecting and designating reader-friendly locations for the public. The agreement also includes collaboration between the parties to publish new Arabic-language content by translating publications from various languages into Arabic.

 

HE Al Tunaiji said: "Promoting a culture of reading among all segments of the community is a major strategic goal for us at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, as we strive to align with the wise leadership’s vision regarding the role that science and knowledge play as key pillars for the development of our society. By strengthening the habit of reading among people, we aim to play our part in driving comprehensive development and sustainable education, as well as to encourage creative and critical thinking, which contributes to creating an intelligent and cultured society that plays an effective role in shaping the future.”

 

“Translation is a vital means to support culture and knowledge, and to facilitate understanding of literary and scientific ideas and works,” HE Al Tunaiji added. “It plays an essential role in promoting cultural exchange, transferring knowledge, and establishing a global understanding. With that in mind, the Centre is committed to launching initiatives that have a real positive impact on individuals wherever they are – and this is what the ‘Reading in Public’ initiative offers. Books are a window to new worlds, expanding readers’ horizons and understanding across all sectors. This initiative allows us to expand the scope of our partnerships with various entities and work together to promote and advance the Arabic language.”

 

Michael Koth, General Manager & Area Vice President Operations, Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi said: "We're excited to embark on a cultural journey with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, celebrating language, hospitality, and unity. Through the Memorandum of Understanding, and our very own service promise we're committed to enriching experiences, creating lasting connections, and merging the art of hospitality with the wealth of our culture."

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s Esdarat Releases New Edition of the Late Emirati Poet Ahmed Rashid Thani’s ‘A Wave at the Door’

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has released the second edition of the book ‘A Wave at the Door’ authored by the late Emirati poet and esteemed writer Ahmed Rashid Thani.

 

First published in 2009, the title of the book, 'A Wave at the Door,' evokes the reader's imagination, depicting a child with the sea at his doorstep. Weaving a unique world, the author narrates a tale that intertwines childhood innocence with the harsh realities of life, set against the backdrop of the waves from his youth on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates. Taking the readers on a journey, it explores his love for the sea and mountains in Khorfakkan, rich with geographical and local details spanning generations. The book consists of six chapters: The Objector, Al-Mudifi, The Mountain Gate, The Sea Gate, Crows, Angels and Films, and In the Embrace of Forgetfulness.

 

This release reflects ALC’s commitment to preserving the late author’s impactful literary legacy and offers readers another opportunity to immerse themselves in the poetic and creative world of Thani.

 

Ahmed Rashid Thani, was born in Khorfakkan, Sharjah, in 1962, and passed away at the age of 49 in 2012. He was one of the most distinguished poets in the United Arab Emirates, excelling in both Nabati and Fasih poetry. Inspired to start writing poetry in the 1970s by Syrian poet Muhammad al-Maghout, who was working in Sharjah at the time, Thani had his poems published in several UAE-based and international newspapers and journals.

 

Beyond the written word, Thani also actively engaged in literary festivals and forums, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape. His literary legacy boasts an impressive tally of 17 books, including eight poetry collections, as well as books about theatre and heritage studies.

 

Readers can acquire their copy of the book directly from the Kalima Website.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Successfully Wraps Up International Conference on Arabic-Russian Translation in Moscow

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) successfully wrapped up the international conference "On the Path of Mutual Understanding: Arabic-Russian and Russian-Arabic Literary Translation", on December 21 and 22 in Moscow, Russia. Held in conjunction with UNESCO's World Arabic Language Day and part of the “Arabian Days” Festival this initiative was in alignment with ALC's mission of promoting and advancing the Arabic language and aimed to showcase the language's artistic, cultural, and societal applications, while also illuminating the contributions of its leading intellectuals and creative minds.

 

Organised in collaboration with the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Russia, and brought together renowned Russian and Arab writers, poets, translators, and linguists and promoted cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through the exchange heritage, culture, and literature.

 

The Conference addressed topics such as the fantasy genre in Russian and Arabic literature, the art of the novel and acculturation between Russian and Arabic, possibility of artificial intelligence replacing the art of translation, and ways to contribute to the development of the art of translating Arabic literature into Russian and vice versa.

 

His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Preserving and promoting the Arabic language celebrates our cultural identity. The Conference has also helped strengthen our cultural ties with one of Moscow’s oldest literary and cultural hubs, fostering dialogue, introducing the timeless works of our language through translations, and exploring the literary gems of other nations.”

 

The agenda for the Conference included four panel discussions, as well as musical performances and activities featuring renowned literary figures, academics, and experts in literature and language. The opening session brought together HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Dr Felix Azhimov, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities - HSE University, Dr Vitaly Naumkin, Head of the Institute of Oriental Studies - RAS, Head of the Main Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the National University of Research - Graduate School of Economics, and full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as Mohammad Rashid Al Mansoori, Head of the Political Department at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in the Russian Federation.

 

The first panel discussion, ‘Fantasy in Russian and Arabic Literature’, featured HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Ekaterina Koloskova, Lecturer at the Institute of Cultures and the Ancient Classical Era at the National University of Research - Graduate School of Economics, and an Arabic Literature Translator, and Ekaterina Zvontsova, writer, editor, novelist, and instructor of literary skills. Moderated by Vasily Kuznetsov, Vice President of the Institute of Oriental Studies - Russian Academy of Sciences and Head of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies, the session discussed the role of fantasy literature in Russian and Arab cultures, outlining key defining features of the genre.

 

The second session, ‘The Art of the Novel and Cultural Exchange between Russian and Arabic’, featured Shamil Idiatullin, journalist, writer, and winner of the “Big Book” literary prize, along with Dr Christina Osipova, Assistant Professor in the Department of Arabic Philology at the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Moscow State University. Moderated by Rami El Kaliubi, an Egyptian-Russian journalist, translator, and visiting lecturer at the School of Orientalism at HSE, the session discussed the main tenets of the novel in modern Russian and Arab literature, the reasons driving the public’s renewed interest in this literary genre, and the common elements and differences between modern novels in both cultures.

 

The third session, ‘Will Artificial Intelligence Replace the Art of Translation?’, featured Dr Alexander Kostyrkin, Head Researcher in the Department of Asian and African Languages at the Institute of Oriental Studies - Russian Acedemy of Sciences, Ksenia Burjskaya, author, poet, journalist, and AI specialised trainer, and Dr Abdallah Abushmaes, Acting Language Research and Studies Unit Head at the ALC. Moderated by Dr Berlant Qabeel, Programmes Section Head at the ALC, the session posed a number of questions, most notably: What does the art of translation consist of? Can AI replace humans in translation? And what are the specific features for using AI in literary translation from Russian to Arabic and vice-versa? The discussion also explored how auto translation technologies can bring people and cultures together, and the extent to which this can threaten cultural identity.

 

The fourth and final session titled ‘How Can We Contribute to the Development of the Art of Arabic-Russian and Russian-Arabic Literary Translation?’, delved into the traditions of literary translation from Arabic to Russian and vice-versa over many centuries, exploring means to generate more interest in Russian literature. Speakers were Elena Gimon, visiting lecturer at the School of Oriental Studies at the National University of Research - HSE University and organiser of the Russian-Arabic Literary Translation Competition, and Leonid Kogan, Deputy Director of the Institute of Cultures and the Ancient Classical Era at the National University of Research - HSE University, and Head Researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies - Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as Hind Khlaifat, Journalist and Director at “Deraya”.

 

The discussion was moderated by Vitaly Naumkin, Head of the Institute of Oriental Studies - Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Main Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the National University of Research - Graduate School of Economics, and Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The participants explored the current state of literary translation between the two languages, the potential to increase readers’ interest in Russian literature in the Arab world and Arabic literature in Russia, and the role of writers, translators, publishers, and experts in oriental studies in enhancing this interest.

 

The conference agenda also included the announcement of a new translation competition organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) in collaboration with the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), as well as a musical performance titled ‘Spirit of the Emirates’, which presented renditions of poems by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, performed by Sherine Tohamy, oud soloist and professor at Bait Al Oud in Egypt, along with musician and violinist Ali Dridi and percussionist Hussain Al Hammadi.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center concludes ‘Arabian Days’ festival organised in conjunction with World Arabic Language Day

Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center (ALC) concluded the inaugural edition of the ‘Arabian Days’ festival, which was held between December 15 and 18, 2023, at Manart Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, under the theme ‘Arabic - The Language of Poetry and the Arts’.

 

This first-of-its-kind festival, which coincided with the UNESCO’s celebration for the World Arabic Language Day, featured the participation of numerous experts in Arabic language. This included Arab authors, poets, and researchers, as well as a group of talented individuals from the UAE and the Arab world, all of whom presented discussion sessions, theatrical performances, musical events, and poetry.

 

The ‘Arabian Days’ festival entailed a number of cultural events, including the ‘Antarah Exhibition... the Poet of Love and Horsemanship’, which emphasised the life of Antarah ibn Shaddad al-'Absi, the renowned Arab poet, and his poetry. In addition, numerous interactive sessions were also held, including ‘Wonders of the Arabic Language’, ‘Roots of Words’, ‘Platform of Audio Recordings’. Furthermore, interactive drama performances were also organised from a week before to the event for visitors to numerous public places in Abu Dhabi, including the Emirate’s shopping centres. As part of this, performers and actors portrayed historical personalities in poetry and creativity from ancient times through drama performances, reflecting the poetic nature, styles, and literature of the Arabic language.

 

The festival further included musical shows and special experiences, which provided a unique opportunity for audiences of all age group to delve deep into the specific aspects of the Arabic language. It also featured discussions with well-known poets, including the Ali Jafar Al-Allaq, Iraqi poet and critic, Moncef Ouahibi, a Tunisian poet, and Ahmed Abdel-Moaty Hegazy, the Egyptian poet. There were additionally discussions with Marwan Khoury and the artist Mona Zaki, which emphasised the connection between Arabic language and art.

 

Great artists in music, criticism, literature, and translation, such as Nasir Shamma, Abdullah Al-Ghathami, Khalil Al-Sheikh, Parween Habib, Bilal Al-Arfah Li, Stefan Widner, Carmen Graw, Aida Zilio Grandi, Ann Millet, Mohammed Haki Soutchin, Mustafa Al-Sulaiman, Maurice Bomrants, and Yara Al-Masri, also participated in this festival.

 

Nojoom Al-Ghanim, Mahmoud Shubber, Najat Maki, and Khaled Al-Jalaf, all of whom are experts in the field of calligraphy, composition, and drama, were hosted in this event. In the field of innovative dialogue management, a selected group of media professionals were invited who are distinguished by their ability to combine composition, literature, and art in their work. The individuals included – Amal Saqr, Sarah Dandrawi, Samih Ka'oush, Hind Khleifat, and Walid Alaa Al-Din. Renowned oud performer Nasir Shamma and music composer Anwar Abu Dragh were featured in the field of authentic art.

 

Her Excellency Sheikha Alyazia bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, graced the occasion with her presence. The guest of honour, H.E. Aireen Domingo, President of Casa Arabe, Madrid, stated in her speech: “Estimates imply that the Arabic language will become the mother tongue for 10 per cent of the population in many European Union Member States by 2050.”

 

H.E. Huda Ibrahim Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “It is our responsibility to preserve our identity and language in the present fast-paced world that is characterised by numerous rapidly evolving technologies and innovations. It is further necessary that we strive relentlessly to achieve the three main goals – teaching Arabic in a modern and appealing manner, disseminating and translating it into living global languages, and solidifying its global position for non-speakers.”

 

The ‘Arabian Days’ festival sought to emphasise the richness, vibrancy, significance and diversity of the Arabic language in poetry, arts, and linguistic aesthetics. It also set forth a unique opportunity for both Arabic and non-Arabic speakers to participate in a variety of activities. Furthermore, the festival showcased the connection between the Arabic language and music by hosting renowned vocalists and musicians who have made their mark on the language through various arts. The first evening of the festival featured the participation of Abeer Naama, a skilled artist, while the subsequent evenings included Noel Kharman and Rima Kheshish as performers. On the fourth day, Marwan Khoury, a musician concluded the festival with his mesmerising performance.

 

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, emphasised the significance of the ‘Arabian Days’ festival as a unique platform that connects various community groups with this historic language and through a variety of cultural events covering thought, science, poetry, literature, and other arts, such as music, singing, and drama. Bin Tamim stated that the initiative echoes the UAE leadership’s interest in the Arabic language as a vital component of cultural identity and a major pillar in the revival of civilization, as a result of which, there is a necessity for maintaining and improving its status in society. Furthermore, he also emphasised that the Arabic language continues to play a significant role in human civilization as a sign of communication, tolerance, and dialogue, highlighting its richness, diversity, and uniqueness as well as the ability to keep up with the modern age and advanced sciences. Bin Tamim further went on to say that the UAE will observe World Arabic Language Day annually through ‘Arabian Days’.

 

Numerous collaborations were formed with several partners as the ‘Abu Dhabi Culture and Arts Foundation’ organised an innovative and interactive dialogue titled ‘The Poetry of Language and the Art of Poetry’. Additionally, the Arab Oud House presented a unique music during the festival. As part of this significant event, ‘Anghami’ released a curated playlist of songs titled ‘Arabian Days’.

 

The ‘Arabian Days’ festival is slated to become a prominent annual event in the cultural calendar of the UAE for celebrating the rich diversity of the Arabic language as well as improving its position as one of the most dynamic and lively language in the world.

 

Carrying Arabic philosophy, culture, and identity, the ‘Arabian Days’ festival will be continuing its journey to enhancing the status of the Arabic language from Abu Dhabi to Moscow to participate in the international conference – ‘Steps of Mutual Understanding - Arabic-Russian and Russian-Arabic Literary Translation’. The conference is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, in partnership with the UAE Embassy in Moscow and the Institute of Oriental Studies affiliated of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center is dedicated to elevating the status of the Arabic language and devising strategies for its advancement in science, education, culture, and creativity. The center additionally embraces research and studies in these areas and aims to expand the use of Arabic in scientific, cultural, and public spheres. It provides support for researchers, professionals, and activists across various fields of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, while also promoting interest in learning Arabic among both native and non-native speakers. Additionally, the center leads efforts in linguistic research and development, as well as actively supports knowledge transfer, creativity, authorship, translation, and publishing.

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The "On the Path of Mutual Understanding: Arabic-Russian and Russian-Arabic Literary Translation" Conference Is Held in the Framework of the "Arabian Days" in Moscow

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, in collaboration with the Institute of Oriental Studies RAS, the Higher School of Economics (HSE) University and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to the Russian Federation, holds the international Conference "On the Path of Mutual Understanding: Arabic-Russian and Russian-Arabic Literary Translation" as part of the "Arabian Days" Festival at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow, on 21 - 22 December.

 

The Conference will address topics such as the fantasy genre in Russian and Arabic literature, the art of the novel and acculturation between Russian and Arabic, possibility of artificial intelligence replacing the art of translation, and how to contribute to the development of the art of translating Arabic literature into Russian and vice versa. The Conference will also include a cultural programme for participants, as well as Arab musical slots featuring a selection of famous sung poems by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

 

The Conference includes the participation of HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, Karin Aghadjanian, Strategic Planning Office Director, Dr Berlant Qabeel, Programmes Section Head, Ibrahim Al Salama, Acting Business Development and Sales Section Head, Dr Wisam Al Hariri, Acting Operations Management Section Head, and Dr Abdallah Abu Shmaes, Acting Language Research and Studies Unit Head.

 

The Conference will also feature an elite group of Russian and Arab writers, poets, translators, and linguists, among which are Dr Felix Azhimov, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the HSE University, Dr Denis Volkov, Head of the Institute of Cultures and Ancient Classical Era at the HSE University’s National University of Research, and Dr Vitaly Naumkin, Head of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Head of the Main Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the National University of Research as well as Mohammad Rashid Al Mansoori, Head of the Political Department at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in the Russian Federation, who are participating in the Conference's opening session.

 

HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Ekaterina Koloskova, Lecturer at the Institute of Cultures and the Ancient Classical Era at the National University of Research, and Ekaterina Zvontsova, writer, editor, and instructor of literary skills, will speak in the first session titled "Fantasy Genre in Russian and Arabic Literature", which will discuss the role of fantasy genre literature in Russian and Arabic cultures, how fantasy genre is changing today, and the specific features of fantasy genre in Russian and Arab literature. The session will be moderated by Dr Vasily Kuznetsov, Vice President of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences and Head of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies.

 

The second session, "The Art of the Novel and Acculturation between Russian and Arabic", will discuss the art of novels’ features in modern Russian and Arab literature, the reason for the public's desire to enjoy this genre again, the common elements and differences between modern novels in both Russian and Arabic literature. Both journalist and writer Shamil Idiatullin, winner of the literary prize “Big Book”, and Dr Christina Osipova, Assistant Professor in the Department of Arabic Philology at the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Moscow State University, will be interviewed by the Egyptian-Russian journalist and translator Rami El Kaliubi, visiting lecturer at the School of Orientalism at HSE in Moscow.

 

The session "Will Artificial Intelligence Replace the Art of Translation?" will discuss the art of translation, the possibility of artificial intelligence replacing humans in translating, the specific features of using artificial intelligence technologies in Russian-Arabic and Arabic-Russian literary translation, and the impact of convergence of peoples and cultures -happening due to machine translation techniques- on the destruction of cultural identity. Dr Alexander Kostyrkin, Head Researcher in the Department of Asian and African Languages at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies, and Ksenia Burjskaya, author, poet, journalist, and specialized trainer in artificial intelligence, as well as Dr Abdallah Abu Shmaes, Acting Language Research and Studies Unit Head at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, will speak in the session, interviewed by Dr Berlant Qabeel, Programmes Section Head at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.

 

In the Conference's fourth and final session, "How Can We Contribute to the Development of the Art of Translating Arabic Literature into Russian and Russian Literature into Arabic?", Elena Gimon, Visiting Lecturer at the School of Oriental Studies at the National University of Research - HSE University, and Dr Leonid Kogan, Deputy Director of the Institute of Cultures and the Ancient Classical Era at the National University of Research - HSE University, and Head Researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as Hind Khlaifat, Journalist and Director of "Derayah". The session will be moderated by Dr Vitaly Naumkin.

 

This is in addition to a number of Arab artists performing between sessions, including the first female oud soloist to graduate with distinction from Bait Al Oud in Egypt, Sherine Tohamy, who later became a professor at Bait Al Oud in the UAE and New York University Abu Dhabi, as well as Tunisian violinist Ali Dridi, who participated in the Tunisian Symphony Orchestra and the National Tunisian Band at the Regional Institute of Music in Bizerte, and Emirati percussionist Hussain Al Hammadi.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Opens Submissions for Kanz Al Jeel Award 2024

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced that the submission period for the Kanz Al Jeel Award 2024 is now open and will be accepting nominations until 31 March 2024. The announcement was made following the grand ceremony of the Award’s second edition, held at Zayed Central Library in Al Ain under the patronage of HH Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region.

 

The Kanz Al Jeel Award is a distinguished cultural platform eagerly awaited by Nabati poets, folklore researchers, translators and artists looking to showcase their valued literary and academic contributions towards reviving this rich and diverse facet of Emirati cultural heritage. The Award is now accepting applications across its six categories – Poetry Matching, Arts, Studies and Research, Poetic Publications, Translation, and Creative Personality – which can be submitted on the KAJ website.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The launch of the third edition of the Kanz Al Jeel Award builds on the significant success of previous cycles in promoting the art form as well as fostering a sense of cultural belonging. The Award plays a critical role in shedding light on the unique character of the literary and cultural legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and reviving this heritage to inspire younger generations.”

 

“The Award has attracted outstanding poetic and literary creations, contributing to the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s strategic goals to promote the Arabic language, enrich the cultural landscape with diverse literary productions, and support creative efforts, authorship, and translation around the world,” H.E. bin Tamim added. “Kanz Al Jeel brings together the pillars of poetry and heritage in a notable cultural event, reminiscent of the great traditional poetry nights and the masterpieces that embody the golden ages of authentic Arabic poetry.”

 

The Kanz Al Jeel award aims to elevate the status of poetry and its role as a mirror of society and an embodiment of Emirati and Arab creativity. It seeks to generate interest in Nabati poetry, honour and publish outstanding poetic experiences, and highlight Sheikh Zayed’s poetry, with its aesthetic and human values, shedding light on it from various artistic perspectives to enrich the Sheikh Zayed Poetry Encyclopaedia.

 

The Award’s objectives also include preserving the heritage arts to strengthen younger generations’ identity by connecting them to their poetry, culture, and heritage. It focuses on arts closely tied to Nabati poetry and the Arabic language as a cultural vessel for poetry, as well as fields such as music, folk singing, painting, and Arabic calligraphy. Moreover, it seeks to translate Sheikh Zayed’s poetry into various languages, and translate impactful and inspiring Nabati poetic texts, in line with the ALC’s goals.

 

The conditions for participating in the Kanz Al Jeel Award are designed to enhance competitiveness and include criteria and standards to evaluate submitted texts and studies and ensure fairness and credibility. Under these conditions, nomination of candidates for the Creative Personality category is done through academic, research, or cultural institutions, or by the Award’s Higher Committee. Meanwhile, nomination for the remaining five categories is open to individual creators, literary and cultural institutions, universities, and publishing houses.

 

Candidates must have actively contributed to enriching and developing the local and Arab poetic, critical, or artistic movements. Submitted works must demonstrate a high degree of authenticity and innovation, representing a significant addition to human culture and knowledge. Additionally, submitted works must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) to protect intellectual property rights.

 

One work may be submitted for one award category, and entries should not have participated in any other competition or received another award in the same year. Works must be written in Arabic, except for the Translation, Studies and Research, and Creative Personality categories. The Kanz Al Jeel Award reserves the right to publish submitted works. Additionally, winners of the Kanz Al Jeel Award are allowed to apply for the award again five years after winning.

 

Artists are invited to submit their works in the Arts category, as per the artform selected by the Higher Committee for each edition. For this year’s edition, the selected artform is Arabic calligraphy. Participating artists are required to create their works using verses from the poem ‘Ya Tha al-Shabab Ili Ghatarif’ (يا ذا الشباب الي غِطاريف) by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and styling them as Arabic calligraphy.

 

The Poetry Matching category is given to one poem that excels in matching Sheikh Zayed’s ‘Ya Tha al-Shabab Ili Ghatarif’ (يا ذا الشباب الي غِطاريف), while the Creative Personality award is presented to individuals or institutions that have made notable and effective creative contributions to Nabati poetry and studies, as well as in the fields of music, singing, drawing, and Arabic calligraphy.

 

The Arts category sees the award granted to an artwork that uses visual tools to interpret and embody Sheikh Zayed’s poetry and Nabati poetry, including Arabic calligraphy or abstract arts, while the Studies and Research category  is awarded to published studies on Nabati poetry that employ a scientific approach to study its methods, content, and lexicon.

 

Poetic Publications is presented to a Nabati poetry collection that embodies authenticity in form and content, while the final category, Translation, honours efforts to translate the late Sheikh Zayed’s poetry into other languages, or works that constituted significant contributions towards translating Arabic poetry into other languages.

 

The 2023 Kanz Al Jeel Award received distinguished contributions from countries around the world, offering a total prize pool of AED 1.5 million.

 

The Poetry Matching category saw renowned Saudi poet and media figure Ali Asiri, also known as Ali Al Sabaan, win for his poem ‘Qudwat Al Shu’ar’ (The Role Model Poet), while Dr. Abdalla Belhaif Alnuaimi from the UAE won the award in the Poetic Publications category for his collection ‘Ishq Yatajaddad’ (A Love Renewed), and Jordanian artist Muntasir Fathi won in the Arts category saw for his piece titled ‘Fiha Zahat Al Anwar’ (In It Blossomed the Lights).

 

The Kanz Al Jeel Award for the Studies and Research category went to Dr. Abdullah Maneh Ghleis from Kuwait for his book ‘Al-Marjaa al-Wafi fi al-Awzan wal-Qawafi lil-Shi’r al-Fasih wal-Nabati’ (The Comprehensive Reference of Rhymes for Classical and Nabati Poetry), while Emirati poet Saif Al Saadi won the award’s Creative Personality category, in recognition of his contributions as one of the most prominent poets in the Gulf region, whose poems are known for their deep meaning, use of local colloquialisms, and unique poetic imagery.

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Innovative Literary and Artistic Sessions Held as Part of the Conference Accompanying the "Arabian Days" Festival

In the presence of HE Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, the Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the conference accompanying the "Arabian Days" Festival, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, was launched today at Manarat Al Saadiyat and included a number of dialogue sessions and innovative literary discussions.

 

Following the opening address by HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and keynote address by the guest of honour, HE Irene Lozano Domingo, Director of Casa Árabe in Madrid; audience attended the musical performance "The Red Gloom of Time" by the Spanish band "Mawlid”, which weaved Andalusian/Spanish melodies together with verses of authentic Arabic poetry, written almost 8 centuries ago by Lisan Al Din ibn Al Khatib.

 

The conference began with the session "Arabic Melody: A Poetic Journey through the World of Harmony and Rhythm" that delved deeper into the history of Arabic’s evocative artform and discovered the treasures hidden within its words. The session was moderated by Amal Al Sahlawi, an Emirati poet and writer, who had the discussion with Egyptian poet and critic Ahmed Abdelmuti Hijazi, Tunisian poet, novelist, and university professor Moncef Al Wahaibi, and Iraqi critic, poet, and university professor Ali Jaafar Al Alaaq.

 

It was followed by the fascinating dialogue session "Arab Poetry in the Age of the World: Challenges of Reception and Future Translation Prospects". Translator Mustafa Al Sulaiman moderated the discussion with Maurice A. Pomerantz, Program Head of Arab Crossroads Studies and Associate Professor of Literature at New York University Abu Dhabi, Yara Al Masri, an Egyptian translator specialising in Arabic and Chinese, and Stefan Weidner, a German writer, translator, and critic.

 

The 3rd innovative talk session was titled "Music as a Language: The Cultural and Linguistic Effects of Arabic Music Today", which reflected on the role of contemporary Arabic music, considering its structure and patterns, and its influence on language and culture. It was moderated by Sarah Dundarawy, TV presenter at Al Arabiya News (MBC), who had the discussion with the Lebanese orchestra conductor Toufic Maatouk, Deputy Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF), Lebanese singer Rima Khcheich, Saudi singer Salwa Al Ahmad, and Egyptian singer, oud musician, and music researcher Mustafa Al Saeed.

 

The Conference was concluded with a special dialogue on "Drama and Theatre" with the Egyptian artist Mona Zaki, discussing how theatre and drama have contributed to Arab culture, enhancing the potential of the Arabic language.

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The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Celebrates the Inaugural Edition of “Arabian Days” on December 15th

The inaugural edition of the "Arabian Days" Festival, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, will take place in Abu Dhabi from December 15 to 18 at Manarat Al Saadiyat, to celebrate the Arabic language, exploring its historical significance, its vibrant present, and its enduring importance in shaping the future. It also pays homage to the language’s pivotal role in nurturing culture and civilisation through the ages.

 

The Arabian Days Festival coincides with UNESCO’s celebration of World Arabic language Day on the 18th of December which comes this year under the theme of "Arabic – the language of Poetry and Arts".

 

The programme for this year's inaugural edition includes a variety of literary, cultural, and artistic activities aimed at broadening the scope of the Arabic language and its applications, as well as consolidating its diversity as a living language, within modern and vibrant programmes.

 

On the main stage, there will be a number of Arab and international artists performing, including Abeer Nehme, Noel Kharman, Rima Khcheich, and Marwan Khoury, who will perform daily singing evenings throughout the Festival's nights. This is in addition to the Spanish "Mawlid" band, which harmoniously blends Spanish and Arabic melodies, intertwining the rich heritage of Andalusian tunes, as well as the "a cappella" artist and producer Alaa Wardi, the Emirati opera singer and pianist Fatima Al Hashmi, a traditional folk dancing from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan, among others.

 

Visitors will also be able to attend innovative literary discussions within the conference accompanying the "Arabia Days" activities in the auditorium, where many topics that touch the core of the Arabic language in poetry and arts will be discussed, from the journey of Arabic poetry in the world of melody and rhythm and the horizons of Arabic translation, to the cultural and linguistic influences of Arabic music and sung poetry, as well as transformations and challenges in Arabic language curricula, fine arts and Arabic calligraphy, drama and theatre, and the role of Arabic literature in promoting tolerance and understanding of different cultures. Among those speaking at the conference are HE Irene Domingo, Director of Casa Árabe in Madrid, Egyptian artist Mona Zaki, Lebanese artist Marwan Khoury, and a number of other poets, writers, and artists.

 

Attendees will also be able to listen to traditional and contemporary Arab tales through the "Bonfire Storytelling" programme, which brings them together to hear stories that have influenced their lives, including folk stories and tales passed down through generations in the United Arab Emirates.

 

"Cinema Akil" will include feature film screenings in the auditorium, as well as prose and poetry inspired by Arab heritage and reality, in order to raise awareness and knowledge of the cinematic arts and the Arab story. The audience will watch the films "El Ard" by Youssef Chahine, "Nearby Sky" by Nujoom Alghanem, "The Last Queen" by Damien Ounouri and Adila Bendimerad, as well as "In Fields of Words" by Rania Stephen, which is a dialogue between exiled Syrian writer Samar Yazbek and the filmmaker who tries to ask vital questions about cinema and literature in the face of war, death, and violence.

 

This is in addition to the theatrical performances in the auditorium, which will include the "Arabic Pals" competition awarding ceremony, a certificate awarding ceremony by the Mexican Embassy for successful graduates of Arabic Language course, and reenactments of Arab historical figures from ancient and contemporary history, such as poet Antarah ibn Shaddad, musician and singer Ziryab, poet Al Mutanabbi, musician Mohamed Abdelwahab, author Naguib Mahfouz, poet and author May Ziadeh, poet and author Gibran Khalil Gibran, and others.

 

On the other hand, the children and youth workshops will include one that delves into the rich cultural and historical significance of henna, another on the fascinating world of geometric design and patterns, and another on sound healing and storytelling, as well as other workshops on drawing a poem, Arabic drumming, Arabic perfume making, and Arabic calligraphy bookmark, among others that will take place in the terrace.

 

Among the all-day programme that runs every day from morning till evening during the Festival, there will be an art exhibition by artist Dr Mahmood Shubbar, which presents the poet Antarah ibn Shaddad through his poetry and his busy life from a modern and unique perspective, and the "Kanz Al Jeel" art exhibition of the most prominent artworks from the Kanz Al Jeel Award 2023, which celebrates the inspiration of Arabic and Nabatai poetry in distinguished works of art, as well as a number of unique interactive and immersive visual and audio experiences.

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"Arabian Days" Festival Commences Tomorrow at Manarat Al Saadiyat

The "Arabian Days" festival, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, kicks off tomorrow at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi, coinciding with UNESCO's World Arabic Language Day on December 18th which comes this year under the theme "Arabic as the Language of Poetry and Arts".

 

The event aims at celebrating the Arabic language and highlighting its vital role in contributing to Arab culture and civilisation, past, present, and future.

 

Starting tomorrow, December 15th, and continuing until December 18th, the festival offers a four-day journey into the depths of Arabic culture and arts.

 

Visitors will explore the beauty of the Arabic language and its diverse creative manifestations through a rich programme of cultural and artistic events, meticulously designed to meet the varied interests of Arabic language enthusiasts.

The festival features intellectual and literary events, film screenings, drama, theater, workshops for children and youth, and interactive art experiences.

 

In its inaugural edition, the festival hosts a selection of artists, musicians, and high-profile celebrities in the Arabic language, such as Mona Zaki and Marwan Khoury. It also features several Arab authors, poets, and researchers, alongside a group of emerging Emirati and Arab creators, in a diverse programme of discussions, theatrical performances, and music and poetry shows.

 

Over its four days, the "Arabian Days" festival hosts a selection of artists and musicians, showcasing a wide range of artistic and musical styles and genres. The festival will feature several musical and singing performances by stars of art and music from the Arab World. Notably, the festival opens with a singing evening featuring artist and music researcher Abeer Nehme. On the second day, singer-songwriter Noel Kharman will give a singing performance, followed by a performance with artist Reema Khcheich on the third day. The festival culminates on its final day with a concert by the renowned artist and composer Marwan Khoury, marking a grand finale to the festival's artistic events.

 

The festival's programme encompasses various cultural and artistic fields, including innovative literary discussions, in-depth intellectual dialogue sessions, and other cultural and artistic performances. Accompanying these main events are various art exhibitions and interactive activities. Notable among these are the "Antara... Poet of Love and Chivalry" exhibition by artist Dr Mahmood Shubbar, and a showcase of most prominent artworks from the 2023 Kanz Al Jeel Award. The festival also features a "Bonfire Session", dedicated to traditional storytelling, screenings of significant Arabic films from Cinema Akil, performances by the Spanish band "Mawlid," musical performances by various artists, workshops for non-Arabic speakers, Arabic calligraphy workshops, and special reenactments of iconic Arabic historical and contemporary figures.

 

The festival warmly welcomes visitors at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi starting tomorrow, Friday, from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM, and from Saturday to Monday, daily from 10:30 AM to 11:00 PM. Visitors can view the full festival programme and its array of artistic shows and activities at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre website.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Results of this Year’s ‘Spotlight on Rights’ Programme

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the results of the 2023 edition of its ‘Spotlight on Rights’ programme, which enhances Arabic content across various platforms.

 

Each year the programme provides support for publishers participating in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) who wish to acquire translation rights or convert printed books into e-book and audiobook formats. This helps boost efforts to translate content to and from Arabic, as well as efforts to digitalise print publications.

 

‘Spotlight on Rights’ received a total of 1,021 requests in the current cycle, including 575 requests for converting physical books into e-books and audiobooks, along with 446 requests for translation grants. The number of publishing houses that applied for the grant this year was 191.

 

A total of 289 titles were awarded a grant, including 101 titles in the translation category, 120 in the e-book category, and 68 titles in the audiobook category. The winning titles were submitted by 51 publishing houses that received the grant.

 

His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, said: “The ‘Spotlight on Rights’ programme contributes significantly towards enriching the Arabic digital library with select content covering various intellectual, literary, and scientific fields. The programme has garnered attention from local, regional, and international publishers, successfully launching several of their prominent releases in digital and audio formats. This is in line with our goals at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to promote authorship, translation, and publishing, while actively contributing to the expansion of publishing activities, and making knowledge and innovations more accessible in wider formats.”

 

Launched in 2009, the Spotlight on Rights programme has distributed over 1,324 books in various categories, including children’s literature, science, history, social sciences, and more, through over 191 publishers.

 

In 2020, the programme introduced grants for audiobooks, in line with the rapid evolution of the global publishing sector. Moreover, the programme aims to contribute to the development of e-books and audiobooks in the Arab world, taking the lead on that front in the region, and bringing Arabic and international releases to readers everywhere.

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Abu Dhabi Language Centre to Organise the Arabian Days Festival

Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has announced its plans to organise the inaugural edition of the Arabian Days Festival to celebrate the history or the Arabic language and support its preservation and cross-cultural understanding. The festival will take place from 15-18 December 2023 at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

 

Held under the theme of Arabic as the Language of Poetry and Arts, the festival will feature interactive installations, films, performances and workshops. The event will gather artists, musicians, poets, writers and other performers from around the world.

 

His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Arabian Days will bring to life the many ways in which the Arabic language has inspired art and culture, forming a cornerstone of our cultural identity. Arabian Days coincides with the annual celebration of UNESCO's World Arabic Language Day on 18 December. Education around the language can help instil cross-cultural understanding and support our tangible and intangible heritage. This event unites diverse voices, including those with a passion for Arabic and those who are new to the language, to come together in the spirit of creativity and cultural exchange.”

 

His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said: “I am proud to see the launch of what will become an annual opportunity for enthusiasts of the Arabic language and culture to come together and celebrate our beautiful language. By supporting established and emerging talent, Arabian Days will become a key cultural date in the Abu Dhabi calendar and help younger Arabic speakers and non-Arabic speakers recognise the extraordinary creative potential of the language and inspire a range of art forms. The event is an important milestone in our work to promote the Arabic language and encourage its use across all fields of knowledge and creativity.”

 

Featured performers included Spanish band Al-Mawlid, Russian students from HSE Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and Naseer Shamma, Iraqi musician and oud player. The programme will also feature art exhibitions, including a gallery displaying artworks from the finalists of the Kanz Al Jeel prize, and paintings by Mahmoud Shubbar.

 

The festival will also feature the live work of Lebanese graffiti artist Georges Ekmekji, who will create a new piece during the event. Cinema Akil will host a pop-up cinema, showing a programme of long-form films around the theme of Arabic writers and poets, alongside bonfire storytelling featuring traditional and contemporary Arabic narratives.

 

Literary-themed workshops will also be hosted through the festival for both speakers and non-speakers of Arabic, in addition to historical reenactments. The programme also includes literary discussions and in-depth dialogue of poets, artists, and writers, including Mona Zaki, Marwan Khoury, Ahmed Abdel Muti Hegazy, Najat Makki, Nujoom Al-Ghanem, Sarah Dandrawi, Rima Khashish, and Salwa Al-Ahmad.

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan honours winners of the first edition of Sard Al Thahab Award

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan honoured the winners of the first edition of the Sard Al Thahab Award, launched by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) to honour storytellers and narrators of literature and folktales, shedding light on their most notable works that have made an indelible mark on the Emirati, Arab, and international cultural landscape.

 

The winners were celebrated in an official ceremony held yesterday at Al Dhafra Castle, attended by His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi); HE Ahmed Matar Al Dhaheri, Director of the Office of the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region; HE Nasser Mohammed Al Mansouri, Undersecretary of the Court of the Ruler’s Representative Court in Al Dhafra Region; HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC; and HE Abdullah Majid al Ali, Director General of National Archives and National Library, Chairman of the Higher Committee of the Sard Al Thahab Award, along with a number of high-ranking officials.

 

HE Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Through the Sard Al Thahab Award, we are safeguarding the art of storytelling that is deeply ingrained in our literary tradition and heritage. The Arabic language is interwoven with our heritage and extensive history, and it is essential to ensure its continuity and longevity. In recognising and awarding these talented writers, we continue to celebrate the literary works that contribute to the intangible heritage of our nation.”

 

HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, noted: “The ALC continues to champion cultural initiatives that enhance the UAE’s creative and cultural scene. The Sard Al Thahab Award forms part of the ongoing efforts to celebrate creative storytellers and highlight their new projects, which help enrich the local library, spark readers’ imagination, and expand their intellectual and knowledge horizons.”

 

Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan honoured the winners in the Unpublished Short Story category, namely, Moroccan author Abdelrahim Selili for his story ‘Zilzal’ (Earthquake), Mahmoud Saeed Mohamed from Egypt for his story ‘Ibn Aarous: Almataha wal-Khalas’ (Ibn Aarous: The Maze and the Salvation), Egyptian author Rania Ahmed Helal Kamel for her story ‘Ma Bayn Shiqqay Raha’ (Between Two Millstones), and Huda Al Shamashi from Morocco for her story ‘Marthiyat al-’Itr wal-Bahr’ (Elegy of Fragrance and the Sea).

 

In the Published Short Story category, Emirati writer Lulwah Al Mansouri won for her story ‘Indama Kanat al-Ard Murabaa’ (When the Earth Was Square), while in the Popular Narratives category, Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam from the UAE won for his collection of stories Banat Waq Waq wa Hikayat Ukhra’ (The Girls of Waq Waq and Other Stories).

 

As for the Illustrated Story category, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan presented the award to Emirati artist Mohamed Hassan Ahmed won for ‘Al Zahra allati la Tamoot’ (The Flower That Never Dies), a cinematic piece with deep and innovative ideas, enchanting and poetic cinematography, concise dialogues, and a unique local narrative style. The Narrators category, for its part, Dr. Najima ThayThay Ghazali from Morocco was awarded for her storytelling, which preserves the original narrative language and presents it in a suspenseful style.

 

Finally, the Emirati Narration category award went to French-language novel Le Faucon’ (The Falcon) by French author Gilbert Sinoué, published by Gallimard in 2020. The novel revolves around the character of the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, documenting the narrative of Sheikh Zayed’s life using the metaphor of the falcon with all that it symbolises – from authenticity to strength, wisdom, foresight, and ambition to soar to great heights. The narrative recounts the significant historical milestones in Sheikh Zayed’s life, which align and resonate with the modern history of the UAE.

 

The Sard Al Thahab Award is an initiative by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre that draws its inspired name from the thoughts and poetry of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

 

 The first edition of the Sard Al Thahab drew participants from countries around the world and across all categories. The Award received more than 983 nominations from 22 countries, which underscores the important role it plays in generating a unique creative movement in the field of narration.

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The Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023 Celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, commemorates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Monday, December 4, featuring a performance by students of the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination on the Festival's main stage, as well as cultural sessions within the Cultural Programme and students participating in artistic shows.

 

Among the cultural sessions is one in which parents share their experiences in raising their children of determination, reviewing success stories, and overcoming challenges at various stages of their children's lives and exchanging their experiences and advice on enhancing their children's growth and empowering them in society.

 

This is in addition to a lecture that explores the comprehensive approach adopted by the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, encompassing education, therapy, and community integration. It also highlights success stories, innovative programmes, and the holistic care provided by the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination – Madinat Zayed Centre to empower individuals with disabilities to lead better lives, by fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone through collaborative efforts between families and the Centre.

 

Throughout its voyage, the Organization made successful strides in humanitarian care sectors, the most prominent of which was its effort to provide care and rehabilitation services for all types of people of determination in all locations of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra.

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‘Celebrating a Cultural Legacy’ is Theme for 2023 Edition of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s Al Dhafra Book Festival

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is organising the Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023 under the theme ‘Celebrating a Cultural Legacy’ from 4 to 10 December at the Public Park, Madinat Zayed.

 

The annual Al Dhafra Book Festival reflects the ALC’s objectives to promote the Arabic language as a core pillar of the Emirati identity and culture and encourage a love of reading and knowledge among all segments of society. This year’s edition brings together 50 exhibitors and features a packed programme that documents the Emirati community’s connection to its rich past.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Building on the success of previous editions, Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023 offers a rich programme that spotlights Emirati cultural, literary, and artistic heritage. The agenda promises visitors a rich and memorable experience with a comprehensive range of cultural, educational and entertainment activities that caters to all members of the public.”

 

“The festival is closely connected to the unique nature of the Al Dhafra region,” H.E. bin Tamim added. “It works to strengthen people’s relations with the authentic local Emirati heritage, which is a source of inspiration and fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty to the nation.”

 

For the second consecutive year, the festival presents the ‘Poetry Nights: Voices Loved by People, featuring a selection of poets from the Al Dhafra region. The agenda includes ‘An Evening with Poet Ali Ahmed Al Kandi Al Marar’, ‘An Evening with Poet Rashad bin Sendiah Al Mansoori, ‘An Evening with Poet Rashed bin Ftaimah Al Mansoori, ‘An Evening with Poet Ali Salem Al Hamli, ‘An Evening with Poet Abdullah Omar Bakheet Al Mansoori’, and ‘An Evening with Poet Mubarak bin Yafoor Al Ameri. Moreover, the festival will host a ceremony to honour the winners of the first edition of Sard Al Thahab Award, launched by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to honour narrators of biographies, literature, and folk narrations locally, regionally, and globally.

 

Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023 is celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the first day of the event, presenting a series of seminars, activities, and artistic performances featuring students from the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination. The seminars include ‘Yes I Can!’, which highlights successful experiences of mothers caring for their children with disabilities, and ‘A Story of Hope’, which addresses the empowerment of People of Determination and their integration in education.

 

The festival programme’s cultural seminars include ‘Sustainability from Ancestors to Descendants’, in collaboration with the Environment Friends Society, ‘Arab Youth of Today and Their Connection with the Linguistic Heritage of the Arabic Language’, in collaboration with the Arabic Language Youth Council.

 

At the children’s corner, the festival offers a diverse range of activities and programmes for children and youth to enhance their intellectual growth and skill development in an entertaining and educational setting. In attendance will be a selection of beloved characters who will engage with children through interactive sessions.

 

In addition, the Al Dhafra Book Festival is introducing a youth section for the first time, with a media corner, science shows, a space corner, and chemistry and physics corners. These will present specialised activities for young people over the age of 12 which expand their knowledge and stimulate innovation and curiosity.

 

The festival’s arts programme this year features a variety of creative aspects including floor murals, caricatures, a new photography corner, arts, chemistry, space, and physics.

 

Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023 will be open daily from 4:00 PM – 12:00 AM, and is held in collaboration with the Municipal Community Centre at Al Dhafra Region as a partner and PayRaw as a logistic partner. The programs are also organised in collaboration with a group of partners, including the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, the Arabic Language Youth Council, the Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan Future Generation Society, and the Environment Friends Society.

 

For more information about the event, and for the full programme, visit https://adbookfair.com/adbf.

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Al Ain Book Festival 2023 Honours the Winners of Kanz Al Jeel Award’s 2nd Edition

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, the 14th edition of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023 allocated a dialogue session at Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa to honour the winners of the 2nd edition of the Kanz Al Jeel Award, where the audience got to meet the winners and learn more about their works that have enriched the Nabati poetry landscape across a range of categories, including arts, poetry matching, poetic publications, studies and research, as well as creative personality.

 

The winners shone presenting their poetic and artistic works within the session moderated by Dr Ali Saeed Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Higher Committee of the Kanz Al Jeel Award, and attended by HH Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.

 

During the session, Dr Abdullah Maneh Ghleis, winner of the Studies and Research category, talked about poetic rhymes in classical and Nabati poetry, as he has a doctorate in Arabic language and has published a numerous specialised books and research in the fields of poetry and prosody. He has also served on several jury committees for Arab poetry awards and festivals and lectured at several colleges.

 

Ali Asiri, winner of the Poetry Matching category, also discussed matching the late Sheikh Zayed's poem that starts with "What a wonderful life! The sky is lit up” and read his winning poem “The Poetry Role Model”.  Asiri's poems have appeared in the majority of Gulf newspapers and publications. He also wrote several columns for Emirati and Saudi publications, hosted poetry evenings at a number of Arab and Gulf festivals, hosted a number of talk shows on radio and satellite channels, and his poems were sung by some of the Gulf's most famous artists.

 

Saif Al Saadi, winner of the Creative Personality category, discussed his motivations for supporting aspiring poets and the importance of it. Al Saadi is regarded as one of the most prominent poets in the Gulf and is known for his deep-meaning poems, his use of local colloquialisms and unique poetic imagery. For 30 years, he has presented numerous distinguished poetry programmes and served as a judge on the “Raa’i Al Qaseed” competition on Sama Dubai TV.

 

Muntasir Fathi, winner of the Arts category, spoke about his painting in which he used "The sky is lit up" phrase of the late Sheikh Zayed's poem, and combined calligraphy, design with letters, and abstraction in a creative path. Muntasir Fathi is an Arabic calligraphist who has participated in numerous international exhibitions of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic arts. He was also part of judging Arabic calligraphy competitions, participated in numerous specialised exhibitions, and received a number of international awards.

 

In the Poetic Publications category, the prize has been awarded to HE Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi for his collection “A Love Renewed”, published by Dar Molhimon Publishing in 2022. With its authentic and expressive language, the poetic work offers diverse content and purposes with a fresh and distinctive perspective on Nabati poetry. It maintains the authenticity of Nabati poetry with all its unique features, showcasing rich poetic imagery and vocabulary.

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Al Ain Book Festival 2023 Launches into Space with Al Neyadi and Al Mansoori

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, the 14th edition of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023 celebrates a special space day on Saturday, November 25, in honour of the United Arab Emirates' achievements in this field, allocating a special area to display models of spacecraft and space suits.

 

Starting at 5:00 PM in the Al Ain Square, the special event begins with children and youth dressed in space suits, and then meeting with Hazza Al Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut, and Sultan Al Neyadi, the first Arab to serve on a space mission for 6 months, where attendees will be able to take photos with them near the Festival's space exhibits.

 

Children and youth will also be able to participate in interactive experiences, such as "Astronaut Helmet", "Mars Mission", "Renewable Energy," and many others, within the space area in the Al Ain Square.

 

In 2017, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, invited young men and women in the UAE to register in the Emirates Astronaut Programme, run by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, in order for the best, most capable, and most qualified to be chosen as UAE’s space ambassadors.

 

Later in the same year, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced the names of the first Arab astronauts for the International Space Station, Hazza Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi, who were chosen among over 4,000 applicants after passing a series of tests in the UAE and Russia.

 

In 2019, Hazza Al Mansoori launched on “Soyuz MS-15” to the International Space Station, where he conducted a series of scientific experiments. In 2023, Sultan Al Neyadi also launched on “SpaceX Crew-6” to the International Space Station on the longest space mission in Arab history, lasting 6 months, to conduct scientific experiments in advanced space biology research. He also made history for the UAE by becoming the first Arab to undertake a spacewalk.

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Reminiscing the Beginnings” Concludes the Al Ain Book Festival 2023

As we approach the end of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and reach this year’s final cultural destination, visitors will be able to attend the cultural event “Reminiscing the Beginnings” at Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, brought by the Cultural Embassy of the United Arab Emirates at the Arab League of Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO).

 

Among the highlights of the event is an unprecedented musical performance of the Prince of Poet’s poem “Mount Toubad” with a Gulf-style rearrangement by musician Ihab Darwish, performed by artists Tariq Al Menhali and Ali Al Junaibi.

 

The event also includes a joint art exhibition featuring a selection of prominent Emirati and Arab artists and creators, including Sheikha Alyazia bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, as well as the artists Omar Safa, Aya Sharifa, Salma El Banna, Fatima Al Dhaheri, and Hala Ammous.

 

Furthermore, to celebrate those who enriched our cultural heritage, a group of distinguished cultural icons in the Arab world, from artists and authors to media figures, will be honoured, including Isobel Abulhoul, founder, consultant, and member of the Emirates Literature Foundation's Board of Trustees, as well as Dr Mohamed Safi Al Mosteghanemi, Secretary General of Sharjah's Arabic Language Academy, Dr Parween Habib and Fayez Kazak.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to Participate in Kuwait International Book Fair 2023

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) is taking part in the 46th Kuwait International Book Fair, organised by the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Literature (NCCAL) in Kuwait from 22 November to 2 December 2023 at the Kuwait International Fairground.

 

With its participation at the fair, the Centre aims to strengthen means of communication and interaction with prominent pioneers and stakeholders in the book and book-focused exhibitions industry. The event also allows the ALC to expand its reach to the largest possible audience across the Gulf and Arab regions, where taking part in various exhibitions offers the Centre a platform to promote and sell its various publications.

 

Kuwait International Book Fair is one of the most prominent Arab exhibitions, consistently bringing in sizeable attendance from the Kuwaiti public. It offers an ideal opportunity to introduce the Centre’s cultural initiatives, shed light on the progress made to its existing projects, and highlight its efforts to support cultural initiatives in the Arab region and chart a roadmap for the regional and international cultural scenes.

 

The Kuwait International Book Fair 2023 will provide a platform for authors, publishers, and readers to converge, facilitating knowledge-sharing and creative exchange. The fair presents more than 350,000 titles and includes seminars, lectures, and poetry evenings as part of its cultural agenda, in addition to hosting intellectuals, authors, experts, and publishers to discuss innovative ideas for the development of the sector.

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What Will the 4th Day of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023 Bring?

The Al Ain Book Festival 2023, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, continues for the 4th day with a variety of entertainment, educational, artistic, and cultural programmes at the various festival locations.

 

A night dedicated to the poetess “Matla'a Al-Shams” will be presented at Qasr Al Muwaiji, exploring the life of the poetess and her achievements, as well as the progression of her poetic ability from its inception to the contents of her most recent collection, "Qalayid", comprising more than 40 poems.

 

Two consecutive sessions of the cultural programme will be held at Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa. The initial session, "Meet the Winners of the 2nd Edition of Kanz Al Jeel Award", will provide an opportunity to meet the awardees and their influential works in various fields, including arts, poetry matching, poetic publications, studies and research, and creative personality, all of which have contributed to the development of Nabati poetry. Also, and with the participation of Iraqi artist Dr Naseer Shamma, the second session pays tribute to the late Iraqi poet Karim Al Iraqi and late musician Yas Khader, highlighting some of their works.

 

The cultural programme session "Autobiographical Literature in the UAE, Between Paper and Digital" at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) examines the degree to which autobiographical literature is present in the Emirati cultural sphere, the ways in which this presence manifests itself between paper books and digital blogs, and strategies for promoting this literary genre in the Emirates. Additionally, it examines the rise of autobiographical literature on a global scale, particularly in the Arab World, the advantages that biographical literature has gained from the current digital revolution, the key contributions that define it in Emirati literature, the degree of overlap between literary genres in Emirati biography, and the most significant factors contributing to the development of autobiographical literature at the local level.

 

Furthermore, Al Ain Square organises several inventive artistic workshops as part of its artistic programme. These workshops include one that fosters artistic creativity by colouring on rocks and transforming solid mediums into various shapes; and another that instructs the fundamentals and techniques of ink drawing by arranging and forming dazzling formations and utilising alcohol ink to manipulate the ink's motion. In the afternoon, participants will also have the opportunity to learn the process of drawing on canvas bags, beginning with a simple drawing scheme and concluding with a fully realised design that reflects each individual's preferences, after which they will have the opportunity to engage in a hands-on workshop where they will be instructed in the art of charcoal drawing using a variety of industrial and natural charcoals.

 

Lifestyle-minded individuals will have the opportunity to engage in "Yin Yoga" at Al Qattara Arts Centre. This practise involves holding deep breathing exercises and extended pose holds, and it enhances the body's posture, promotes relaxation and overall well-being, alleviates stress, and increases flexibility. Additionally, visitors will have the chance to participate in an aromatic candle crafting workshop, which provides the opportunity to gain new skills.

 

As part of the children and youth programme activities, Al Ain Square will hold the "Use It Again" workshop, conducted as part of the Year of Sustainability activities, and organised to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and the quality of environmentally friendly tools and materials. Our young visitors can also attend and learn from an interview titled "How Reading Formed My Personality" with Amna Al Mansouri, the champion of the 2023 Arab Reading Challenge. And in the afternoon, children will enjoy the reading of the interactive story “Sa’afah Saif”, which will encourage their love of reading, as well as a session titled "Sustainability of Talents" discussing the significance of preserving and ensuring the sustainability of talent, as well as the role of reading in enhancing and developing skills, with the objective of cultivating children’s dialogue, recitation, and presentation skills.

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The Al Ain Book Festival 2023: From Earth to Space... Sustaining Talents and Empowering Future Leaders

Under the resounding slogan, "All Eyes on Al Ain", the Al Ain Book Festival kicks off its fourteenth edition, celebrating the book as a symbol of literature, science, culture, art, and societal values that have consistently formed an integral part of the mission of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, driving its cultural and social initiatives across diverse age groups locally, regionally, and globally.

 

However, this year's festival outlook extends beyond the immediate horizon, envisioning a green and flourishing future by placing a special emphasis on children and youth. The festival seeks to channel their passion, energy, curiosity, and enthusiasm towards nurturing their minds, skills, talents, and capabilities. This commitment aligns with the overarching theme of sustainability; a central focus of this year's festival.

 

Sustainability, in this context, transcends its environmental connotation. The Al Ain Book Festival 2023 presents it as a comprehensive strategy that includes cultural, artistic, heritage, social, and health sustainability, as well as the sustainability of talents and other areas.

 

Sustainability: An Emirati Path to a Prosperous Future

To emphasize the importance of spreading awareness about sustainability and its practical applications, as well as showcasing and empowering emerging talents, promoting reading, and addressing challenges related to the Arabic language, Al Ain Square at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium - the festival’s main venue - will host a variety of programs and events for children and youth from November 19 to 25. Key events include celebrations for World Children's Day on November 20 and Space Day on November 25, along with the “We Read for Children” and “The Green Buds” initiatives, interviews, book signings, youth discussions, and exploratory tours.

 

Children's Corner... Savoring the Flavors of Arts and Crafts

Following its established tradition, this year's Al Ain Book Festival features a special corner for children. Here, children can learn cooking skills while enjoying making cotton candy, decorating cupcakes and biscuits, and crafting cocktail cups. They will also unleash their artistic talents through free-style drawing, foam coloring, and creating mandalas, and mosaic art.

 

Youth Corner... Ambitions Reaching for the Stars

The Al Ain Book Festival 2023 introduces an innovative zone tailored for teenagers, marking the first time in the festival's history that caters specifically to the age group of 13 to 18 years. This dedicated space is designed around four primary stations: Media, Chemistry, Physics, and Space.

 

The Media Station incorporates a voice over studio and a 360-degree camera platform, offering young individuals the chance to stand in front of the camera, present news, practice voice-overs and record voice comments.

 

In the Chemistry Lab, budding chemists will engage in captivating experiments, witnessing phenomena like the vanishing act of vitamin C, the revelation of liquid illusions, the DNA extraction, and insights into magical water and dry ice.

 

Physics enthusiasts will delve into the realms of sound, electricity, and momentum, the principles of light reflection, the construction of a Catapult, and more.

 

The final section of the Youth Zone promises to be the most entertaining, as the captivating world of space unfolds. Visitors to the space station can wear astronaut helmets, capture souvenir photos, interact with intelligent robots, observe wind patterns, create paper helicopters, and gain insights into the principles of flight and renewable energy, plasma characteristics, and other engaging educational activities.

 

Scientific Shows... Experiments that Spark Curiosity

For science enthusiasts of all age groups, the festival offers live science experiments on the theatre stage, including a presentation titled "Kitchen Wonders," revealing the mysteries of everyday ingredients, and another show that ignites curiosity and educates minds through unusual phenomena.

 

Art Programs... Beauty and Inspiration Through Local Artistry

The Al Ain Book Festival does not overlook the celebration of art that brings beauty to life. It showcases a unique array of art programs, including murals, floor art, 3D drawings and live art performances.

 

Furthermore, a designated space is reserved for pieces brimming with inspiration and creativity, crafted by local artists who excel in unconventional mediums such as ink, charcoal, burning, environmentally friendly acrylic colors, palm materials, wood and clay painting, and shell art.

 

Theater Shows... When Life Breathes into Cartoon Characters

On another note, visitors will have an unforgettable experience witnessing the small blue creatures transition from the virtual Smurfs world to reality, in larger sizes with real interaction on the Al Ain Festival stage. The entertaining Bluey show, which always generates significant audience interaction with its charming characters, will also return.

 

Music… The Universal Language of Mankind

From the violin, oud, and guitar, to the qanun, flute, and hang drums, the Al Ain Book Festival takes us on a captivating musical journey throughout the day. Talented musicians accompany us, playing melodies that resonate with our souls and bring the world together through a universal language understood by all hearts.

 

Roaming Shows... Don't Try to Escape from the Fairies

Music isn't the sole companion throughout the day; roaming entertainment shows will also be part of the experience. Whether led by puppeteers, roaming magicians, space jumpers, or even galaxy fairies, these shows are set to bring joy and excitement to various corners of the festival, delighting all attendees.

 

Finally, Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy more than 400 events and 150 exhibitors at the Al Ain Book Festival 2023, from November 19 to 25, (9 AM to 1 PM and 5 PM to 10 PM), at Al Ain Square - Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Al Qattara Arts Centre, Zayed Central Library, United Arab Emirates University, and shopping centres (Al Ain Mall, Barari Mall, and Al Foah Mall).

 

Al Ain Book Festival 2023... "All Eyes on Al Ain".

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The Al Ain Book Festival 2023 Celebrates International Children's Day

The Al Ain Book Festival 2023, coordinated by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, celebrates the International Children's Day on the 2nd day of the festival. November 20 marks the anniversary of the UN General Assembly adopting the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

 

Educational and entertaining activities abound at the festival for children and youth, including artistic workshops and group marches, specialised sessions, and touring musical and artistic performances throughout the day.

 

Commencing at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain Square, the International Children's Day celebrations feature schoolchildren participating in sport exercises and taking a tour of the festival grounds. Subsequently, a variety of performances and activities take place.

 

As part of the "We Read for Children" initiative, the festival will showcase an engaging session titled "The Story of Layla and the Many Forgotten Things", in addition to a lecture on “the Importance of Good Nutrition for Children's Health”.

 

Children will also have the opportunity to manifest their imaginative capacities through a diverse array of artistic endeavours over the day, including free-hand drawing, vibrant hand printing, foam colouring, an art wall, a Mandela wall, a mosaic wall, and a cooking skills workshop.

 

In addition to voiceover, interactive chemical experiments, space science exploration, and souvenir photo opportunities, youth will be able to participate in areas designated for fascinating physics experiments and engage in interactive activities. Furthermore, these exhibits feature captivating scientific demonstrations and uncommon phenomena that arouse curiosity.

 

The day's activities will also include shows of animation characters that children adore, dinosaur shows, and numerous other roaming entertainment events.

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Extensive Variety at the Al Ain Book Festival 2003

The 14th edition of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, commenced yesterday with the opening ceremony, during which the programme "Poetry Nights: The Sung Poetry" was introduced, honouring the Nabati poets and their enduring legacy of sung poems that were recognised both locally and widely in the Arab world. A number of musical and artistic performances preceded a discussion with HE Saeed Al-Tunaiji, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.

 

The first day witnessed a diverse array of events, including a session at Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa to discuss the impact of social media’s popularity on theatre, as well as honouring the late poet Kemaidesh bin Noman Al Kaabi at Qasr Al Muwaiji. Additionally, there were artistic and athletic activities in Al Ain Square, including relaxation and meditation exercises and pottery engraving to inspire creativity.

 

New activities are scheduled for the 2nd day of the festival, including a session at Qasr Al Muwaiji for "The Night of the Poetess Angham Al Khuloud" honouring the poetess Hind bint Saeed Al Dhaheri, who rose to prominence in the poetic and lyrical spheres with her prowess in Nabati poetry.

 

The session "The Role of Youth in Confronting Challenges Related to the Arabic Language" at the House of Mohammed bin Khalifa illuminates the desired function of the Arabic Language Youth Council, which is to foster youth-generated concepts, initiatives, and programmes that promote the active presence of the Arabic language and strengthen youth's connection to Arab identity and culture across all spheres, in terms of creativity and routine operation in every institution of society.

 

Furthermore, the "Intangible Cultural Heritage of the UAE" underscores the significance of heritage in safeguarding national identity and the UAE's leading efforts to document tangible and intangible components of heritage for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

 

Individuals who are enthusiastic about mental health and relaxation exercises will have the opportunity to participate in a "Group Reiki Session: Enhancing Holistic Well-Being" at Al Qattara Arts Centre, which will encompass various practises that benefit health care, self-discovery, establishing a connection to life beyond one's daily routine, stress reduction, fostering productive relationships, and cultivating a more positive work environment. This session is appropriate for anyone desiring to manage challenging circumstances and gain emotional control, as it improves their overall health and emotional fortitude.

 

Those interested in lifestyles and art will have the opportunity to attend the "Creativity with Natural Elements: Sustainable Arts" workshop later at the centre. The workshop's objective is to motivate attendees to incorporate natural elements into their artistic creations. Participants will be instructed on how to use natural materials to produce one-of-a-kind sustainable works of art.

 

Regarding our cherished children, the festival presents a session titled "The Story of Layla and the Many Forgotten Things" within the “We Read for Children” initiative, in Al Ain Square. During this time, they will have the opportunity to engage with a lively atmosphere that fosters a deeper appreciation for reading. Additionally, there will be a lecture that emphasises the significance of adequate nutrition for children's health, along with numerous entertaining and educational activities, in celebration of World Children's Day.

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18th Sheikh Zayed Book Award Reveals Longlists for Literature, Young Author, Children’s Literature, and Editing of Arabic Manuscripts Categories

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has revealed the longlists for its 18th edition (2023-2024) in the Literature, Young Author, Children’s Literature, and Editing of Arabic Manuscripts categories. The lists were announced as the judging committees began the evaluation of all longlisted entries.

 

This edition saw the Young Author category rank among the highest in terms of submissions received, with 1,078 entries accounting for 25% of the total, while the Literature category ranked second with 1,032 entries received, accounting for 24%. These are followed by the Children’s Literature category with a total of 437 submissions, accounting for 10% of the entries.  In 2022, the SZBA introduced a new category, Editing of Arabic Manuscripts, which is dedicated to efforts in editing Arabic manuscripts in any field of knowledge in the Arabic tradition. The category also includes the production of specialised and general lexicons.

 

Literature Category Longlist

The Literature longlist consists of 13 titles from nine countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Oman, and Bahrain.

  1. ‘Utla fi Hay al-Noor’ (Holiday in Al Noor District) by Elhabib ElSelmi from Tunisia, published by Dar Al Adab Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
  2. ‘Nasheej al-Duduk’ (The Duduk's Whimper) by Jalal Barjas from Jordan, published by the Arab Institute for Research and Publishing in 2023.
  3. ‘Fursat al-Gharam al-Akheer’ (A Chance for One Last Love) by Hassan Dawood from Lebanon, published by Hachette Antoine/Nofal in 2022.
  4. ‘Laylat Hadiqat al-Shitaa’ (Winter Garden Night) by Hassouna ElMosbahi from Tunisia, published by Editions Arabesques in 2023.
  5. ‘Al Halwani.. Thulathiyat al-Fatimiyeen’ (Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy) by Reem Bassiouney from Egypt, published by Nahdet Misr Publishing, Printing and Distribution in 2022.
  6. ‘Mualaqat Gharnata’ (Ode of Granada) by Ziyad Abdulaziz Al Shaikh from Saudi Arabia, issued by Dar Athar for Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
  7. ‘Hadatha fi Sabya’ (It Happened in Sabya) by Suaad Aloraimi from the UAE, published by Dar Al Saqi in 2022.
  8. ‘Al Majee’’ (The Arrival) by Saad Al-Yasiry from Iraq/Sweden, published by Takween Publishing in 2021.
  9. ‘Al-Tahi Yaqtul al-Katib Yantahir’ (The Chef Kills, the Writer Commits Suicide) by Ezzat Elkamhawy from Egypt, published by Dar Al-Masriah Al-Lubnaniah in 2023.
  10. ‘Ka’inat al-Teeh’ (Labyrinth Creatures) by Magbaul Al Alawi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Al Saqi in 2022.
  11. ‘Al-Ghurfa wa-Dawahiha’ (The Room and its Suburbs) by Maysaloon Hadi from Iraq, published by Dar Al Thakera Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
  12. ‘La Yuthkaroon fi Majaz’ (Not Mentioned as a Metaphor) by Houda Hamed from Oman, published by Dar Al Adab Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
  13. ‘Quddas al-Tamr’ (Dates Liturgy) by Yathreb Alaali from Bahrain, published by Dar Athar Publishing and Distribution in 2022.

Young Author Longlist

The Young Author longlist features 15 titles, including literary texts and studies, from 10 Arab countries: UAE, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.

  1. ‘Aaynaki ya Noura’ (Noura, your Eyes) by Asma Salem Alketbi from the UAE, published by Taatheer Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
  2. ‘Al Mashhad al-Moriski: Sardiyat al-Tard fi al-Fikr al-Espani’ (The Morisco Landscape: Narratives of Expulsion in Modern Spanish Thought), by Dr. Houssem Eddine Chachia from Tunisia, issued by the Centre for Research and Knowledge Intercommunication in 2023.
  3. ‘Mimma Hakah al-Maa’ lil-Aatash’ (Tales of Thirst as Told by Water) by Hassan Abdu Sumayli from of Saudi Arabia, issued by Adab for Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
  4. ‘Nakhlaa al-Thil aala Aatabat al-Bab’ (We Leave our Shadows at the Doorstep) by Hassan Ali Alnajjar from the UAE, published by Takween Publishing in 2023.
  5. ‘Al-Usooli wal-Lisani: Bahth fi al-Bunyat al-Nahawiya wa-Taaddud al-Dalalat’ (The Fundamentalist and the Linguist: A Study of Syntactic Structures and Polysemy), by Dr. El Wali El Imrani from Morocco, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023.
  6. ‘Genealogia al-Ikhtilaf ’ (Genealogy of Difference) by Sami Kareem Moshi from Iraq, published by Mominoun Without Borders Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
  7. ‘Mashrou’ al-Nawm’ (The Sleeping Project) by Chiheb Abdullah from Tunisia, published by Hachette Antoine/Nofal in 2023.
  8. ‘Simya’iyat al-Qira’a: Dirasa fi Shurooh Diwan al-Mutanabbi fi al-Qarn al-Sabe’ Hijri’ (The Semiotics of Reading: a Study of the Seventh Hijri Century Interpretation of the Al-Mutanabbi's Diwan), by Dr. Alawi Ahmed Al Malgami from Yemen, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023.
  9. ‘Jame’ al-Kutub Gharib al-Atwar’ (The Eccentric Book Collector) by Omar Zakaria from Jordan, published by ElHarf Publications in 2023.
  10. ‘Al Mamar al-Lama’loof allathi Yukhfih Rajul al-Astuh’ (The Uncharted Path Concealed by the Rooftop Man) by Firas Almaasarani from Syria, issued by Mamdouh Adwan Publishing and Distribution House in 2022.
  11. ‘Microphone Katem al-Sawt’ (A Soundless Microphone) by Mohammad Tarazi from Lebanon, issued by Arab Scientific Publishers Inc. in 2023.
  12. ‘Markab Waraqi Yahrus al-Nahr’ (A Paper Boat Guarding the River) by Mohammad Arab Saleh from Egypt, published by Madarek Publishing House in 2023.
  13. ‘She’riyat al-Itithar fi al-Shi’r al-Arabi al-Qadeem hatta Nihayat al-Aasr al-Umawi’ (The Poetic Art of Apology in Ancient Arabic Poetry until Umayyad Era), by Dr. Mohammed Ali Saleh Qaid Alqablani from Yemen, issued by Maraya Books in 2022.
  14. ‘Na’eesh li-Nahki: Balaghat al-Takhyeel fi Kalila wa Dimna’ (Living to Narrate: The Eloquent Imagination in Kalīla wa-Dimna) by Mustapha Rajouane from Morocco, issued by Kunouz Al-Ma’refa Publishing and Distribution House in 2023.
  15. ‘Ghiwayat al-Fana’’ (The Temptation of Mortality) by Hala Saleh Elsayyad from Egypt, issued by Sefsafa Publishing House in 2023.

 

Children’s Literature Longlist

The Children’s Literature longlist comprises 16 titles by authors from nine Arab countries: Syria, Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, UAE, and Tunisia.

  1. ‘Aa’ilati hiya al Dunya’ (My Family is my World) by Rama Kanawati from Syria, published by Kalimat Group in 2023.
  2. ‘Aalam Khass’ (A Private World) by Marianna Barsoum from Egypt, published by Kitaby for Printing, Publishing, and Distribution in 2023.
  3. ‘Qissat al-Ja’iza’ (The Award’s Story) by Ahmad Almotawaa from Kuwait, published by Hzaya Library in 2023.
  4. ‘Al-Fata allathi Yushbih Al-Sindibad’ (The Boy Who Looks Like Sinbad) by Ahmed Korani from Egypt, published by Bayt ElHekma for Creative Industries in 2023.
  5. ‘Satea’’ (Bright) by Estabraq Ahmed from Kuwait, published by Takween Publishing in 2023.
  6. ‘Al Daw’’ (The Light) by Israa Kalash from Palestine, published by Al Ahlia Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
  7. ‘Suwar wa-Hikayat min Thakirat Jaddi’ (Pictures and Tales from my Grandfather’s Memory) by Fatima Sharafeddine from Lebanon, published by Dar Al Saqi in 2023.
  8. ‘Abi Al Sajeen 118’ (My Father Prisoner 118) by Taghreed Aref Alnajjar from Jordan, issued by Al Salwa Books in 2022.
  9. ‘Shaden wa Sihr Al Farasha’ (Shadin and the Butterfly Magic) by Dr. Dalal Saleh Albaroud from Kuwait, published by Kalemat Publishing and Distribution in 2023.
  10. ‘Al Bint allati Hamalat Baytaha’ (The Girl Who Carried her Home) by Rawaa Sunbol from Syria, published by Damaa Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
  11. ‘Fata al-Burj al-Ajeeb wal-Kawakib al-Sabaa’ (The Wonderful Boy of the Tower and the Seven Planets) by Shakir Noori from Iraq, published by Dar Al Moualef Publishing, Printing, and Distribution in 2022.
  12. ‘Fata al-Shajara’ (The Tree Boy) by Dheyaa Gubili from Iraq, published by Al Hajan Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
  13. ‘Al Kalimat that al-Khuyoot al-Sawda’ (The Black Threaded Words) by Fatima Alameri from the UAE, published by Al Saif Publishing in 2021.
  14. ‘Shajarat al-Ahlam’ (The Tree of Dreams), by Mounira El Daraoui from Tunisia, published by El Amina Edition in 2023.
  15. ‘Tefl al Musiqa’ (Child of Music) by Naser Chbana from Jordan, issued by the Ministry of Culture - Jordan in 2021.
  16. ‘Ana Astatee’’ (I Can) by Najem Aldeen Haj Bakri from Syria, published by Kotobna Books in 2023.

 

Editing of Arabic Manuscripts Longlist

The Editing of Arabic Manuscripts longlist features nine titles by authors from five Arab and foreign countries: the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.

  1. ‘Diwan Antara bin Shaddad: Dirasa Adabiya Tarikhiya’ (Diwan ’Antarah ibn Shaddad: A Literary-Historical Study), by James Montgomery from the United Kingdom, published by the Library of Arabic Literature at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in 2018.
  2. ‘Sharh Diwan Thi-Al Rimma li Abi al-Hasan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi’ (Interpretation of the Diwan of Thi Al Rimma by Abi Al Hassan Ali bin Mohammed bin Ali bin Kharouf Al-Eshbili Al-Andalusi) by Awad bin Mohammed Salem Al Daheel Al Awlaqi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Al Nawader - Al Madina Al Munawwarah Literary Publishing Club in 2019.
  3. ‘Kitab Riyadat al-Uqool al-Maaroof bi Kitab Ta’kheer al-Maarifa’ (The Book of Mental Exercise Known as the Book of Delaying Knowledge) by Dr. Ahmed Abdelbaset from Egypt, published by Dar Malamih Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
  4. ‘Al-Amali min al-Fawa’id wal-Akhbar’ (Dictations of Benefits and News) by Mohammad Kheir Mahmoud Alboukahi from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar AlGharb Al Islami in 2021.
  5. ‘Sharh Shuthoor al-Thahab fi Maarifat Kalam al-Arab’ (Explanation of Gold Particles: Understanding the Talk of Arabs) by Dr. Abi Fahr Wael bin Ahmed bin Mohamed Seif from Egypt, issued by Dar Ebn Abas Publishing and Distribution in 2021.
  6. ‘Al-Fawa’id al-Sunniya fi al-Rihla al-Madaniya wal-Rumiya, Tathkirat al-Nahrawali’ (Sunni Benefits in the Madani and Roman Journey ‘Nahrawali Diary’) by Al-Mahdi Eid Al-Rawadieh from Jordan, published by The Orient-Institut Beirut in 2022.
  7. ‘Muthanna Al-Manshi: Li-Muhyiddin Muhammed bin Badr Al-Din, al-Shaheer bil-Manshi’ (Muthanna Al-Manshi by Muhyiddin Muhammad bin Badr al-Din, known as Al-Manshi), by Dr. Lafai bin Lafi Alsulami from Saudi Arabia, published by Dar Malamih Publishing and Distribution in 2022.
  8. ‘Dirasa wa-Tahqeeq, ‘Kitab al-Mara’i lil-Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mu'ti Al-Sharqawi’ A Study and Editing of “Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mu’ti Al-Sharqawi’s Book of Dreams”), by Mohamed Ahmad Ankar from Morocco, published by Bab Al Hikma Publishing in 2020.
  9. ‘Safinat al-Mulk wa-Nafisat al-Fulk (Shehab al-Din) al-Muwashah wa-Musiqa al-Maqam al-Natiqa bil-Arabiya bayn al-Tantheer wal-Maras’ (The Ship of Possession and the Precious Ship (Shehab al-Din) - Muwashah and Arabic-speaking Maqam Music between Theory and Practice) by Dr. Mustafa Said from Egypt, published by ElAin Publishing in 2023.

 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award will announce the longlists for the remaining categories in the coming weeks.

 

The Award is given to creative minds and thinkers in the fields of literature, arts, and humanities in Arabic, as well as other languages, in recognition of distinguished achievements. The SZBA also supports the translation movement by honouring authors who produce literary works about Arab culture and civilisation in various languages.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Exempts Participants from Rental and Participation Fees for 2023 Al Ain and Al Dhafra Book Festivals

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), has confirmed that all exhibitors will be exempt from rental and participation fees in both the Al Ain Book Festival 2023 (19-25 November) and Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023 (4-10 December), in an effort to support Emirati publishers.

 

The decision to waive the fees is in line with the Centre’s vision to advance the Arabic language’s role in all academic and cultural fields, in addition to supporting research efforts and the exchange of knowledge, promoting creativity, authorship, translation, and publishing of the written word.

 

With Abu Dhabi’s continued growth as a global cultural capital and a hub for the publishing sector, the exemption reflects the emirate’s commitment to supporting publishers and contributing to the sustainable development and growth of the sector.

 

For the third consecutive year, rental and participation fees have been waived for all publishing houses, exhibitors, and publishers participating in the Al Ain and Al Dhafra Book Festivals. The objective is to enrich the local and regional cultural scene and supply Arab libraries with a wide collection of international publications.

 

Al Ain Book Festival – formerly known as the Al Ain Book Fair – was founded in 2009 to celebrate Al Ain’s rich cultural heritage and the inspiring works of Emirati authors, intellectuals, and creatives, past and present. Rebranded in 2022, the festival delivers a diverse programme that aims to foster a culture of reading, inspire people to connect with Emirati heritage and culture, and encourage creativity by bringing Emirati stories to life through poetry, performances, film, art, and music for all audiences, especially young people.  Meanwhile, Al Dhafra Book Festival was first established in 2018 as Al Dhafra Book Fair. The festival was rebranded in 2022.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Winners of Inaugural Sard Al Thahab Award

Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the winners of its inaugural Sard Al Thahab Award, which honours Emirati, Arab and international storytellers and narrators of literature and folktales.

 

In the ‘Unpublished Short Story’ category, four short stories were recognised for their outstanding quality and artistic excellence. ‘Zilzal’ (Earthquake) by Moroccan author Abdelrahim Selili tells the story of the earthquake that shook Morocco, across 11 sections, skilfully depicting the events and portraying the emotions they stirred. It revolves around the character of a grandmother who urges the narrator to awaken her for the Fajr prayer, but never gets to perform it. The story’s language is dense and poetic, capturing intricate details and gradual transformations, delicately blending events and emotions to reflect the magnitude of the tragedy.

 

‘Ibn Aarous: Almataha w Alkhalas’ (Ibn Aarous: The Maze and the Salvation) by Mahmoud Saeed Mohamed from Egypt explores the transformation of Ahmed Al Mansour from a rebellious character who cuts off roads and intercepts caravans to a refined poet of delicate emotions. The writer effectively utilises a historical narrative to depict a life’s journey that unfolds seamlessly, using beautiful language and precise storytelling.

 

Meanwhile, ‘Ma Bayn Shiqqay Raha’ (Between Two Millstones) by Egyptian author Rania Ahmed Helal Kamel introduces the concept of the traditional grinding millstone, which was an essential part of village life. The millstone is highly valued by the mother character in the story, who insists on returning it when borrowed, but it is damaged at the end. The author cleverly employs the millstone to describe the village’s atmosphere and build a world around it, using precise language and interweaving narration, description, and dialogue to highlight a strong bond between the millstone and the mother, paralleling their tragic endings.

 

The fourth winner in this category is ‘Marthiyat al-’Itr wal-Bahr’ (Elegy of Fragrance and the Sea) by Huda Al Shamashi from Morocco, which combines Andalusian heritage and the Mediterranean Sea. It beautifully juxtaposes the exodus from Andalusia in the past with contemporary clandestine migration to Spain. The teacher, inspired by her new village, falls in love with a young man contemplating migration. The narrative provides a detailed depiction of village life while transitioning between history and the present, offering a multi-voiced text that goes beyond the themes of love, migration, and death, and successfully presenting contrasting worlds.

 

In the ‘Published Short Story’ category, the winner is ‘Indama Kanat al-Ard Murabaa’ (When the Earth Was Square) by Emirati writer Lulwah Al Mansouri, published by the Emirates Writers Union and Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation in 2020. The author drew inspiration from the local UAE environment. The collection reflects a desire to transcend logic into the realm of the irrational at times, all while maintaining smooth construction and navigation through worlds of wonder.

 

As for the ‘Popular Narratives’ category, the winner is the collection of stories Banat Waq Waq wa hikayat 'ukhraa’ (The Girls of Waq Waq and Other Stories) by Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam from the UAE, published by the Sharjah Institute for Heritage in 2023. In this collection, the author revisits and reimagines 30 folk tales, breathing new life into Emirati and Arab folk storytelling and engaging new generations to preserve their cultural identity. The author becomes the modern narrator reviving various Arab folk tales, some inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, particularly the story of ‘Banat Waq Waq’. This collection is significant as it celebrates and revives Emirati and Arab cultural heritage, presenting it in a way that appeals to a younger audience.

 

The ‘Illustrated Story’ category has awarded ‘Al Zahra allati la Tamoot’ (The Flower That Never Dies) by Emirati artist Mohamed Hassan Ahmed. It is a cinematic piece with deep and innovative ideas, enchanting and poetic cinematography, concise dialogues, and a unique local and human narrative style.  It discusses how despite the flower being merely an ornament on doors, clothes, and windows, its fragrance in this documentary film precedes or follows us. The work is multi-faceted, delving into its unprecedented philosophical concept and exploring the depths of human meanings.

 

The ‘Narrators’ category has seen Dr. Najima ThayThay Ghazali from Morocco win for her storytelling, which preserves the original narrative language and presents it in a suspenseful style that showcases her dedication to preserving this heritage and presenting it in a new and contemporary way that resonates with modern audiences.

 

Finally, the ‘Emirati Narration’ category award has gone to French-language novel Le Faucon’ (The Falcon) by French author Gilbert Sinoué, published by Gallimard in 2020. The novel revolves around the character of the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, styled in a way that makes it seem self-narrated in Sheikh Zayed’s voice, recalling key moments in building the nation, and interweaving the modern UAE’s political and cultural landscape with personal family details.

 

Sinoué masterfully handles these narrative junctions and storytelling keys in the character of the Founding Father, starting from the personal to the establishment of the ambitious Union, its achievements, and its commitment to values of openness to others and cultural tolerance. The novel documents the narrative of Sheikh Zayed’s life, using the metaphor of the falcon with all that it symbolises – from authenticity to strength, wisdom, foresight, and ambition to soar to great heights. The narrative recounts the significant historical milestones in Sheikh Zayed’s life, which align and resonate with the modern history of the UAE.

 

H.E. Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, said: “Our Arabic language undeniably possesses an illustrious narrative heritage and extensive history, and it is essential today to acknowledge, build upon, and accumulate experiences to ensure its continuity and longevity. We take great pride in our continuous efforts to enrich the written word in Arabic with new and outstanding publications that reflect the rich heritage of our nation. Today, we celebrate those who have gone beyond traditional narrative conventions with their creative works, offering new and thought-provoking content, contributing greatly to Abu Dhabi’s standing as a cultural and artistic hub, rooted in the region and connected to the world.”

 

H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is committed to documenting the treasures and creative works of the Arabic language, celebrating new and notable projects which elevate the intellectual and cultural awareness of our society. With the Sard Al Thahab Award, we aim to shine a light on the art of storytelling, which is the cornerstone of literary creativity. The Award recognises creative pioneers and supports an environment that nurtures quality, authenticity, and individuality in storytelling.”

 

H.E. Abdulla Majed Al Ali, Chairman of the Sard Al Thahab Award’s Higher Committee and Director General of the National Library and Archives, said: “The Sard Al Thahab Award is a new step forward in Abu Dhabi’s cultural journey, honouring an inspiring group of creators whose works present innovative takes on Emirati folk and narrative arts and track the UAE’s history and development through local, Arab, and global studies. The inaugural edition has been a remarkable success, receiving a diverse range of submissions boasting a strong connection to the deep-seated traditions of Emirati and Arab culture. We are confident that the award, in all of its upcoming editions, will contribute to enriching the local and international cultural scene by highlighting unique new voices.”

 

The Higher Committee of the Sard Al Thahab Award is set to hold a special award ceremony for the winners at 6:30pm on Wednesday, 6 December at Al Dhafra Castle, in parallel with the Al Dhafra Book Festival.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s Al Ain Book Festival 2023 to Offer Cultural, Artistic, and Family Activities

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced its annual Al Ain Book Festival (AABF) 2023, which will be held from 19 to 25 November under the theme ‘All Eyes on Al Ain’ at Al Ain Square - Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and cultural sites including Qasr Al Muwaiji, Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Zayed Central Library, and Al Qattara Arts Centre, as well as commercial centres around Al Ain city.

 

Now in its 14th edition, the festival celebrates books, art, and various aspects of literary creativity, with a rich and diverse programme and interactive activities which promote a culture of reading and engage various segments of the community, especially youth, in connecting with the rich cultural heritage of the United Arab Emirates.

 

This year’s event will showcase publications covering all cultural fields, with 150 exhibitors presenting over 60,000 distinctive titles. The festival aims to attract more than 82,000 visitors to enjoy over 400 events and specialised programmes, distributed across various festival locations, collectively offering a unique cultural, entertainment, and tourist destination for all visitors.

 

The AABF aims to highlight Al Ain as a prominent destination for organising outstanding events and exhibitions that cater to various segments of the community. The event showcases the diversity of the city, which is home to numerous historical and heritage sites, creating an exceptional platform for hosting the festival’s cultural, literary, artistic, sports, and entertainment activities designed to suit all ages and tastes.

 

His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Al Ain Book Festival is an inspiring cultural platform to empower youth and celebrate the pioneers of knowledge and arts. It is a major platform for the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to strengthen the position of the Arabic language as a key cultural component of Emirati society. The book festival works to enhance the vision of the UAE leadership to build a generation that reads and is connected with the Arabic language and the authentic Emirati heritage and values.”

 

“The festival is not just focused on books but also celebrates creativity and innovation, through the arts, music and singing. The current edition builds on the success of last year’s book festival which offered an interactive and communicative format to all members of society.” HE bin Tamim added.

 

The ALC Chairman went on to explain that that the festival seeks to enhance public awareness and knowledge of the cultural and heritage status of the city of Al Ain that offers a host of historical landmarks that have witnessed the various developmental stages of the UAE. These landmarks reflect the creative, cultural and artistic spirit of the city of Al Ain providing a backdrop for its various events and festivals that cater different segments of society. He stressed that this year's edition showcased the various aspects of sustainable living in line with the efforts of the United Arab Emirates to promote sustainability as a way of life.

 

For his part, HE Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, asserted: “Al Ain Book Festival has proven its presence among the most important cultural and community events in the city of Al Ain. It succeeded in becoming a popular event, a cultural and touristic entertainment destination, and in putting books and culture at the forefront of family interest. In its new session, it continues to celebrate books and culture, addressing the interests of all members of society with more than 400 events and specialized programs, distributed across the festival’s distinctive sites, designed specifically to suit all tastes. The festival aims to attract 82,000 visitors this year.

 

The festival offers an ideal platform to showcase the latest works and publications of authors from the UAE and other parts of the world covering a range of topics. This year’s edition enjoys the participation of 150 exhibitors presenting more than 60,000 titles, in addition to the Poetry Nights event. Poetry Nights presents the legacy of popular poets who present culture through song and music.”

 

Locations across the city

Al Ain Book Festival 2023 is set to host activities and events across seven key locations around Al Ain city. Al Ain Square - Hazza bin Zayed Stadium is the festival’s main location, hosting a range of educational and entertainment activities, creative writing workshops, book signing events and more, with dedicated areas for children and youth. There will be art exhibitions and musical performances throughout the day, as well as an art corner offering workshops to nurture artistic talent.

 

Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, a prominent Al Ain landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will host a series of cultural sessions, as well as the closing ceremony of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023. These activities will allow visitors to explore the site, which sheds light on the UAE’s social and architectural transition into modernism during the 1950s and 1960s.

 

Qasr Al Muwaiji will host the ‘Poetry Nights: Sung Poems’ event, which celebrates Al Ain’s iconic Nabati poets and their rich legacy of sung poems that have become famous locally and across the Arab world over the past decades. The location will serve as a platform for enjoyable poetry evenings that combine the arts of recitation and singing, appealing to various segments of the community.

 

Al Qattara Arts Centre, which plays a vital role in Al Ain’s artistic and cultural scene, will be hosting lifestyle sessions organised by the Festival, while its gallery proudly exhibits the works of Emirati and resident artists. AABF events will also be taking place at the Zayed Central Library, which will host the award ceremony for the second edition of the Kanz Al Jeel Award. Established in 2016, the venue is the largest public library in Al Ain, with an extensive collection that includes more than 100,000 books catering to both children and adults.

 

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) will be hosting several sessions from the AABF Cultural Programme. UAEU is the first and foremost national university in the United Arab Emirates, established in 1976 by decision from the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE. Meanwhile, Al Ain Mall, Barari Mall, and Al Foah Mall will host the ‘Khazanat Al Kutub’ initiative as part of the festival agenda.

 

A packed agenda of events

The Cultural Programme for the Al Ain Book Festival offers seminars and discussions that shed light on a wide range of vital topics, most notably sustainability, space science, and the UAE’s remarkable advancements in those fields, alongside subjects related to youth empowerment and child development. The programme also showcases the contributions made by Emirati women in various sectors, highlighting ways to foster a culture of innovation, and exploring models of literary creativity and children’s literature. It also includes other sessions to celebrate World Children’s Day.

 

For the second consecutive year, the Al Ain Book Festival is dedicating a programme to celebrating leading poets from Al Ain, known for their popular sung poems, and the event will host daily poetry evenings that highlight their legacy.

 

Entertainment for the whole family

The festival dedicates a significant part of its agenda to exciting activities and programmes for children and youth that contribute to their growth and skill development within an entertaining and educational framework. It also hosts an Arts Corner featuring artistic and creative workshops presented by a select group of artists and experts in various fields, in addition to musical performances on the stage and travelling shows held throughout the day.

 

Meanwhile, the Lifestyle Programme offers visitors to the Al Ain Book Festival 2023 an opportunity to explore rich and diverse lifestyles that help them cultivate enduring interests, with daily interactive workshops featuring various art forms. The Programme also focuses on promoting positive health practices, encouraging mindfulness, and developing new skills guided by specialised experts.

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18th Edition of Sheikh Zayed Book Award Receives 4240 Nominations from 74 Countries

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, announced that its 18th edition (2023 - 2024) has received the largest number of nominations in the Award’s history. A total of 4,240 nominations were received from 74 countries – including 19 Arab nations and 55 other countries around the world.

 

Chaired by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, SZBA Secretary-General and Chairman of the ALC, the SZBA Reading Panel Committee that includes His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, and Prof. Dr. Bilal Orfali, member of the ALC Scientific Advisory Committee, along with members of the Scientific Committee of the SZBA, Prof. Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh and Dr. Badria Bishr, evaluated the submissions for conforming to requirements. The meetings were held in the presence of Abdulrahman Mohamed Al-Naqbi, Director of the ALC’s Literary Awards Department.

 

HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim said: “For nearly two decades, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has firmly established itself as an authority in the regional and global cultural arena. The Award commands tremendous respect through its continued pursuit of fulfilling the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, who always sought to strengthen the foundations of creativity and knowledge and amplify the work of talented individuals. The remarkable increase in the number of submissions we received this year reflects the growing prominence of the Award worldwide. We look forward to continuing along this path to enrich human knowledge, spotlighting works that elevate humanity and our collective intellectual and cultural heritage.”

 

This year, Egypt topped the list of participating countries in terms of nominations received, followed by Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Palestine, and the UAE. Outside the Arab region, India led the list, followed by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany. The Award also saw a number of countries participate for the first time, namely Slovenia, Serbia, Romania, Nepal, Mauritius, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Guinea, and Djibouti.

 

Of the Award’s 10 categories, the Young Author category received the highest number of submissions with a total of 1,078 nominations, accounting for 25% of the total. The Literature category ranked second with 1,032 submissions, making up 24% of the nominations, while the Children’s Literature category received 437 submissions, representing 10% of the total. The other categories are Literary and Art Criticism, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Translation, Editing of Arabic Manuscripts, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Cultural Personality of the Year, and Publishing and Technology.

 

The Young Author and Literature categories recorded significant increases in submissions for the current edition, with a total of 1,078 nominations for the former, up from 954 in the previous edition, and 1,032 for the latter, compared to 688 last year. Submissions from female nominees also saw a notable uptick, with the Award receiving 1,182 nominations, compared to 1,042 in the previous edition and 915 the year before that. Moreover, the number of nominated institutions also increased significantly to 201 this year, up from 24 in the previous edition.

 

The Award had introduced a new category last year – Editing of Arabic Manuscripts. The category is  dedicated to the editing of Arabic heritage manuscripts following scientific methods within any field of knowledge in Arabic traditions, including specialised and general lexicons.

 

Launched in 2006, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award aims to promote Arab literature and culture and honours outstanding achievements of creative thinkers in the fields of literature, arts, and humanities in Arabic and other languages, creating new opportunities for Arabic-speaking writers. It also honours authors who write about Arab culture and civilisation in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Winners of Kanz Al Jeel Award 2023

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the winners of the Kanz Al Jeel Award 2023, which honours creators and outstanding artistic works that focus on Nabati poetry and have enriched the Arab literary canon. Winners in the Award’s second edition include renowned artists, writers, and poets across various categories.

 

This year, the Kanz Al Jeel Award received a notable increase in submissions with a total of 264 entries across its six categories, with nominees hailing from 27 countries including 17 Arab nations and 10 others around the world.

 

The Arts category saw artist Muntasir Fathi from Jordan win for his piece titled ‘Fiha Zahat Al Anwar’ (In It Blossomed the Lights), which creatively combines calligraphy, lettering, and abstract art. The colour treatment enhances the beauty and unique character of the piece, striking a harmonious balance between design, letters, and colour masses, reflecting an aesthetic perspective that reaffirms the Award’s purpose and the meaning of its name (“treasured sayings”).

 

In the Studies and Research category, Dr. Abdullah Maneh Ghleis from Kuwait won for his book ‘Al-Marjaa al-Wafi fi al-Awzan wal-Qawafi lil-Shi’r al-Fasih wal-Nabati’ (The Comprehensive Reference of Rhymes for Classical and Nabati Poetry), published by Dar Al-Aasma’ in 2023. The study is a notable addition to the Arabic library, characterised by its depth, accuracy, and clear and precise scientific methodology. It offers a systematic comparison between the metrics of classical and Nabati poetry, forming an important reference for scholars and researchers in the field.

 

In the Poetic Publications category, the prize was awarded to Dr. Abdalla Belhaif Alnuaimi from the UAE for his collection ‘Ishq Yatajaddad’ (A Love Renewed), published by Dar Molhimon Publishing in 2022. With its authentic and expressive language, the poetic work offers diverse content and purposes with a fresh and distinctive perspective on Nabati poetry. It maintains the authenticity of Nabati poetry with all its unique features, showcasing rich poetic imagery and vocabulary. This collection represents a significant experiment in terms of its themes and the uniqueness of its poetic language.

 

The Poetry Matching category saw renowned Saudi poet and media figure Ali Asiri, also known as Ali Al Sabaan, win for his poem ‘Qudwat Al Shu’ar’ (The Role Model Poet). The text is distinguished by its coherence, precise style, and rich vocabulary. The poet enriched his work with grandeur in poetry and meanings, offering a remarkable and harmonious poetic matching with elements that align with the original text. The poem maintains the sequence of ideas, deep meanings, and the essence of the authentic concept, striking a parallel balance between tradition and modernity, depth of thought, and simplicity of vocabulary, setting it apart from other works of poetic matching.

 

Emirati poet Saif Al Saadi won the Award’s Creative Personality category. Al Saadi is one of the most prominent poets in the Gulf region; his poems are known for their deep meaning, use of local colloquialisms, and unique poetic imagery. For 30 years, he has presented numerous distinguished poetry programmes and served as a judge on the ‘Raa’i Al Qaseed’ competition on Sama Dubai TV. He also oversaw the ‘Folk Poetry’ section in Al Bayan newspaper, founded by the late poet Hamad Khalifa Bou Shihab in the early 1980s. Al Saadi led the Jawaher magazine for folk poetry and published a collection titled ‘Mythaq’.

 

HE Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said: “The Kanz Al Jeel Award draws its inspiration from the poetic vision, eloquence, and wisdom of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose legacy inspires the work we do to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage. The award aligns with our strategic goal to support and nurture creativity, and to foster pride in our cultural identity through the preservation and advancement of our Arabic language.”

 

HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is committed to preserving and developing the Arabic language, and poetry is a fundamental pillar of the Arabic literary canon. This year’s Kanz Al Jeel Award honours a diverse group of winners from countries spanning the region and has seen a significant increase in the number of submissions, reflecting the award’s growing status and reach. We are advancing the Arabic language and enabling artistic expression by recognising a new generation of Nabati poets and researchers who, through their works and projects, are promoting and elevating the genre.”

 

HE Dr. Ali Saeed Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Kanz Al Jeel Award Higher Committee, said: “The Kanz Al Jeel Award is an important step towards enriching the Arab cultural and literary landscape, spotlighting new and innovative poetic masterpieces that showcase the literary artistry of the genre, providing readers with high quality projects that highlight the aesthetics and unique character of this artform. The winning entries in the second edition of the Award stand out for their unique charm and originality, showcasing the immense creativity in the field of Nabati poetry.”

 

The ceremony to honour the winners will be held on 22 November at Zayed Central Library in Al Ain, coinciding with the activities of the Al Ain Book Festival 2023, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre from 19 to 25 November.

 

The Creative Personality winner will be presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit, as well as an AED 500,000 prize, while winners of other categories will each receive a gold medal, a certificate of merit, and a prize of AED 200,000.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Shortlists for Inaugural Sard Al Thahab Award

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the 13 shortlisted works for the inaugural edition of its Sard Al Thahab Award, which include submissions from various countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco. The Award honours storytellers and narrators of biography, literature, and folk narratives locally, regionally and globally. It also  celebrates those who craft Emirati narratives that capture the past, present, and future of the nation, enriching the cultural sector with distinctive works in this authentic art form.

 

In the Short Story for Unpublished Stories category, four works made the shortlist: ‘Zilzal’ (Earthquake) by Moroccan author Abdelrahim Selili; ‘Masr, Ibn Aarous: Almataha w Alkhalas’ (Egypt, Ibn Aarous’: The Maze and the Salvation) by Mahmoud Saeed Mohamed from Egypt; ‘Ma Bayn Shiqqay Raha’ (Between Two Millstones) by Egyptian author Rania Ahmed Helal Kamel; and ‘Marthiyat al-’Itr wal-Bahr’ (Elegy of Fragrance and the Sea) by Huda Al Shamashi from Morocco.

 

Three works are competing in the Short Story for Published Stories category: ‘Qamees Takweeh Emar’atan’ (A Shirt Ironed by Two Women) by Egyptian author Ahmed Aldariny, published in 2019; ‘Indama Kanat al-Ard Murabaa’ (When the Earth Was Square) by Emirati writer Lulwah Al Mansouri, published in 2020; and ‘Thawr Ha’ij’ (Raging Bull) by Hisham Shaaban from Egypt, published in 2023.

 

In the Popular Narratives category, the shortlist also features three works: ‘Sawalif Skeek’ (Skaik Talks( by the Emirati author Maisoon Youssef Al Ansari, published in 2021; ‘Banat Waq Waq wa hikayat 'ukhraa’ (The Girls of Waq Waq and Other Stories) story collection by Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam from the UAE, published in 2023; and ‘Rhalat Albatal fi Hikayat Al Aaqili wal-AlYaziya’ (The Hero's Journey in the Tale of Al-Aqeeli and Al-Yazia) from the Emirati heritage by Ayedi Ali Juma from Egypt, published in 2023.

 

Three artworks have been shortlisted in the Illustrated Story category: ‘Al Zahra allati la Tamoot’ (The Flower That Never Dies) by Mohamed Hassan Ahmed from the UAE; ‘At-Talib allathi Yaqra’ al-Qur’an’ (The Student Who Reads the Quran) by Hussein Saeed Baqer Al Hashem from Saudi Arabia; and ‘Tasbeeh’ (Prayers) by Mouza Al Falasi from the UAE.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to Showcase Aesthetics of the Arabic Language at Sharjah International Book Fair 2023

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced its participation in the 42nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), organised by the Sharjah Book Authority from 1-12 November 2023 at Expo Centre Sharjah.  ALC will showcase the aesthetics of the Arabic language at the global event, further to highlighting its ongoing work to advance the language’s status as a cornerstone of Emirati and Arab identity.

 

The Centre will present a wide range of publications aimed at various segments of the community, and highlight several of its most prominent cultural projects dedicated to advancing the publishing sector – most notably the Kalima Project for Translation, which aims to revitalise translation efforts in the Arab world and enrich the Arab library by translating notable literary works from foreign languages into Arabic.

 

The Centre’s stand at the Fair will offer visitors a range of its most notable publications, with up to 500 titles across fields including general knowledge, philosophy, psychology, social sciences, languages, arts, literature, history, and geography, as well as children’s and young adult literature.

 

The ALC’s array of literary awards will be showcased, including the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, the ‘Kanz Al Jeel’ Award, and the Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award. Visitors will be able to browse literary projects such as One Hundred and One Novels: Arab Novels that Enriched the 20th Century and One Hundred and One Books from Arab Heritage; Al Markaz: The Journal of Arab Studies; Atheer Al Kutub and Wajeez Al Kutub for e-books and audiobooks (grouped under the title “Eyes of Arabic Prose) (Oyoon Al Nathr Al Arabi); the Emirati Treasures initiative; the ‘We Read for Children’ initiative; and the ‘Excerpts from Travel Books’ initiative, among others.

 

The 42nd Sharjah International Book Fair is set to welcome as many as 2,033 publishers from 108 countries, who will present more than 1.5 million titles from across various sectors of knowledge and culture. This year’s Fair will also include 1,700 events bringing together over 215 participants from 69 countries, along with 460 events under a cultural programme presented by 127 participants from 33 countries.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Holds Higher Committee Meeting of Inaugural Sard Al Thahab Award

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) concluded its  meeting of the Higher Committee for the first edition of the Sard Al Thahab Award, to discuss and review the recommendations of the judging panels in preparation for the shortlisting stage. The Sard Al Thahab Award recognises the work of narrators locally and across the Arab world who specialise in biographies, literature, and folk narratives.

 

The Award’s Higher Committee is headed by His Excellency Abdullah Majid Al Ali, Director General of the National Library and Archives, and brings together Bahraini academic and critic Dr. Dheya Al Kaabi; Egyptian author Dr. Miral al-Tahawy; Emirati director, writer, and producer Nasser Al Dhaheri; and Dr. Saïd Yaktine, Moroccan narratologist and critic. Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh, a researcher, scholar, and literary critic, serves as the Committee’s rapporteur.

 

HE Al Ali said: “Having reviewed and evaluated the list of works recommended by the judges for the inaugural Sard Al Thahab Award, it is clear that narration has growing popularity and influence at BOTH  local and global levels. These works enrich Arab libraries with remarkable stories that reflect our past, embody our heritage and examine the development of societies. The Award will allow us to celebrate Arab talents in this field and promote their work on a wider scale.”

 

Across all categories, the Award has seen participation from around the world, receiving over 983 nominations from 22 countries for this first edition.

 

The Sard Al Thahab Award draws its name from the poetry of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, and offers a total prize pool of AED 2 million.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and NYU Abu Dhabi to Develop AI-powered Digital Platform

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has signed an agreement with New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) to develop the Balanced Arabic Readability Evaluation Corpus (BAREC), a digital platform for assessing readability in Arabic using machine learning. The new project forms part of the Centre’s strategy to enable Arabic language content and technologies creation and promotion.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “This project efficiently leverages technological advancements and artificial intelligence to serve our strategic goals at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, where we strive to enrich Arabic language content in the digital space. It also supports scientific efforts with analytical and descriptive characteristics related to the use of the Arabic language, practically linking them to readers according to scientific classifications related to age and cognitive abilities., in addition to providing tools to assist researchers and writers to use language effectively and make the most of its capabilities as a means of communication.”

 

The ALC Chairman stressed that Emirati culture will be given priority in the materials used by the project to create its linguistic repository. This includes children’s literature in its narrative, poetic, and theatrical forms, either written by well-known Emirati authors or having received prestigious Emirati awards. “In general, the project will avoid any unreliable or marginal inputs to ensure the linguistic repository is free from terms that do not align with the refined Arab culture that we strive to enhance,” H.E. said.

 

“I am excited about our collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre on the development of the Balanced Arabic Readability Evaluation Corpus (BAREC) through cutting-edge machine learning. This partnership aligns perfectly with NYUAD's mission to contribute significantly to the development of and access to Arabic content and technology to facilitate that. By combining our efforts, we are taking a significant step towards enriching the linguistic landscape of the region and beyond," said Petters.

 

The BAREC project will be led by a team of researchers and experts from NYUAD, Zayed University and the ALC. The Principal Investigator is Prof. Nizar Habash, NYUAD Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Computational Approaches to Modeling Language (CAMeL) Lab, a leading research group on Arabic Artificial Intelligence. Prof. Hanada Taha, Director of the ZAI Centre at Zayed University, will work closely on the development of the project as the Co-Prinicipal Investigator.

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Kanz Al Jeel Award Announces Shortlists for its Arts, Poetic Publications, and Poetry Matching Categories

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the shortlists for the Arts, Poetic Publications, and Poetry Matching categories for the second edition of its Kanz Al Jeel Award, which honours works of Nabati poetry, folk studies, and research and promotes creativity to foster a poetic, critical, and artistic movement.

 

The shortlists include 15 works from Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, the UK, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

 

The shortlist for the Arts category includes five paintings: Dunya Mahla Watraha’ (Life Is Beautiful) by artist Mohammed Tifardine from Morocco; Al-Aseel’(The Original) by Khalled Sebaa from Algeria; Feeha Zahat Al Anwar’ (The Lights Shone There) by Muntasir Fathi from Jordan; ‘Kul Yawm bi Takbur Ghalatak wa-Alqak Dawm bi Aayni Tzein’ (Every Day Your Love Grows Bigger, and your Sight Graces my Eyes) by Mohammed Shalabi from Jordan; and Khaimah min Hatbatayn wa-Qumash, Rabbat Ajyal bil-Thahab Tinqas’ (A Tent Made of Two Sticks and Cloth, Raised Generations of Gold) by Anas Sawalem from the UK.

                                                                             

Meanwhile, five works were shortlisted for the Poetic Publications category: Watani’ (My Homeland), a collection of poems by Ali AlKhawar from the UAE, published by Medad Publishing in 2022; Nabad’ (Pulse), a collection by poet Mohamed Al Marzouqi from the UAE, published by Kalamon Publishing in 2023; W Hal Ta’alam’ (And Did You Know), a collection by poet Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallem from the UAE, published by Kalamon Publishing in 2020; Sutoo al Qamarah’ (The Radiance of the Moon), a collection by poet Salama Al Ahababi from the UAE, known as “Qamarah”, published by the Sharjah Department of Culture in 2018; and Ishq Yatajaddad’ (A Love Renewed), a collection by Dr. Abdalla Belhaif Alnuaimi from the UAE, published by Dar Molhimon Publishing and Distribution in 2022.

 

As for the Poetry Matching category, the shortlist features: Dunya Mahla Watraha’ (Life Is Beautiful) by poet Obaid Alkaabi from the UAE; Fitnat Aasriha’ (The Temptation of Her Time) by poet Fahad Al Thafiri from Kuwait; Jannah’ (Paradise) by Majedah Jarah from Jordan; ‘Qudwah Al-Shu’ar’ (Muse of the Poets) by renowned Saudi poet Ali Asiri (Ali Al-Sabban); and Bouh Al-Abrar’ by Abdullah Alanazi from Saudi Arabia.

 

The Kanz Al Jeel Award has decided to withhold the Award from the “Translation” category for this edition. The Award’s second edition has seen a remarkable turnout, receiving a diverse set of 264 submissions across its six categories, from 27 countries (17 Arab countries and 10 others). This marks a 13% increase compared to the first edition, which received 234 submissions. The 2023 edition has also seen submissions from new countries around the world, including China, Comoros, the Philippines, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and others.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and its Flagship Sheikh Zayed Book Award Wrap Up Inspiring and Successful Roadshow Across Spain

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) have concluded a successful expedition across Spain, featuring a busy agenda of activities from 27 September to 4 October 2023 across three Spanish cities: Granada, Cordoba, and Madrid. The journey included collaborations and high-profile meetings with the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (FUNDEA), the University of Granada, and Casa Árabe cultural centre, bringing together distinguished experts and leading figures in Arabic literature, Islamic studies, and translation from the UAE, Spain, and around the world.

 

The delegation included His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary-General of the SZBA and Chairman of the ALC, His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, and Dr. Muhsin Al-Musawi, member of the ALC’s Scientific Committee and a Professor of Classical and Modern Arabic Literature, Comparative and Cultural Studies at Columbia University, New York.

 

 “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award remain committed to our mission to promote Arabic literature around the world, foster cross-cultural understanding and partnership, and advance the status and use of the Arabic language across cultural, scientific, literary, and creative spheres,” said H.E. bin Tamim. “Our journey through Spain offered a unique opportunity for us to exchange knowledge and expertise with our Spanish partners. We had the honour of collaborating closely with the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (FUNDEA), the University of Granada, and Casa Árabe cultural centre – three highly influential and prominent institutions that share our commitment to cultural exchange and partnership, and with whom we worked closely to explore innovative ways to bring our cultures closer through literature and deeper understanding. Spain holds a prominent position in the world of literature, and our collaboration with Spanish partners marks a significant step forward in promoting Arabic literature and culture to all corners of the globe.”

 

Among the most notable items on the agenda was the seminar titled ‘Arab Literature and World Literature: What is the Arabic Literary Canon’, which was held in partnership with the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (FUNDEA) at the University of Granada. H.E. bin Tamim took part in the opening session, alongside Dr. Margarita Sánchez Romero, Vice-Rector at the University of Granada, and Dr. Maria Inmaculada Ramos Tapia, Executive Secretary of FUNDEA. The session featured thought-provoking panels on topics such as references in Arabic literature, both old and new, and intercultural influences between Spanish and Arabic literature.

 

FUNDEA’s Dr. Tapia said: “I congratulate the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies at the University of Granada, which I am honoured to be directing, on the remarkable success this seminar has achieved at all levels. The contributions and whitepapers that were presented were of high scientific value, as speakers introduced new ideas about the references of Arab literature, its evolution throughout history, and its interaction with European, Spanish, and Andalusian literature.”  

 

“In terms of participation, the seminar was attended by a select group of intellectuals, researchers, artists, journalists, students, and professors from various Spanish cities, who converged in the Andalusian city of Granada, representing universities, cultural centres, media institutions, publishing houses, and libraries,” Dr. Tapia added. “Moreover, a considerable audience followed the seminar remotely in both Spanish and Arabic from various countries across four continents: Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. With that in mind, we can be sure that organising this type of scholarly event contributes greatly towards strengthening relations between the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Spain, and the entire Arab world.”

 

The ALC delegation also held extensive talks with the University of Granada, in the presence of H.E. Pedro Mercado Pacheco, Dean of the University, exploring plans and opportunities to foster closer collaboration with Spanish academic networks, particularly academic and literary institutions, to initiate projects and collaborations that help promote Arabic culture and literature in Spain.   

 

Another prominent stop on the agenda was the meeting with Casa Árabe, a prestigious institution that operates as a key player in Spain’s relations with the Arab world and a meeting point where different stakeholders and institutions converge and collaborate. The meeting was aimed at strengthening the collaboration between the ALC, the SZBA, and Casa Árabe for the year ahead. During the meeting, which was attended by H.E. Irene Lozano Domingo, Director of Casa Árabe, the ALC launched the Arabic edition of the book ‘La Alquimia en Al Ándalus’ (Alchemy in Al Andalus) by Spanish author Angel Alcalá Malavé, translated to Arabic by Khadija Benyaya, under the umbrella of the Kalima Project for Translation. The book highlights an important period where Al Andalus became the lodestar in several disciplines of science and the arts, during which Islam held the torch after the Roman Empire.

 

The period is regarded as an essential historical source of Al Andalus’ history of alchemy and the contributions of Muslim intellectuals and other scholars from various civilisations, which made Córdoba a scientific hub. Moreover, the book examines the significant role Andalusian alchemists played in the scientific renaissance in Al Andalus, which culminated in the age of Abdul Rahman III, who created the Tree of Knowledge and established a culture of tolerance among the three Abrahamic religions. This is in addition to their contributions to spreading the Islamic civilisation to Europe through the translations of scientific works by Arabs in the Latin Middle Ages.

 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), recognises outstanding writers, intellectuals, and publishers, as well as young talent whose writing and translations objectively enrich Arab intellectual, cultural, literary, and social life.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Closes Highly Successful Nomination Stage for the Inaugural Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award 2023

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has closed the nomination stage for the inaugural edition of the Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award, which was launched to honour narrators of biographies, literature, and folk tales in the UAE and the region, and highlight their most notable contributions to the local and international cultural sectors.

 

The nomination phase was highly successful, exceeding all expectations, and reporting largescale participation from countries around the world and across all categories. The Award received more than 983 nominations from 22 countries, which underscores the important role it plays in generating a unique creative movement in the field of storytelling.

 

His Excellency Abdullah Majid Al Ali, Chairman of the Award’s Higher Committee and Director General of the National Library and Archives, said: “The nomination phase for the Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award has demonstrated the exceptional importance given to the art of storytelling in both Arab and international cultures. The Award has witnessed remarkable and diverse participation across all categories in its inaugural edition, which is a positive sign pointing to a new generation of talent in this ancient artform. This supports our efforts to craft Emirati and Arab narratives that reflect our past, present, and aspirations for the future, and this enthusiasm drives us to further develop the Award into a vital resource, enriching our libraries with valuable works of art and literature.”

 

The nominations report for the Award’s inaugural edition revealed that the Short Story Prize for Unpublished Stories category received the highest number of submissions, with 703 entries, accounting for 71% of total nominations. Meanwhile, the Illustrated Story category received 86 entries, representing 9% of total nominations, followed by the Short Story for Published Stories category with 84 entries, also constituting 9% of total nominations.

 

The Popular Narratives category, for its part, received 45 entries, representing 5% of total nominations, while the Narrators category received 44 entries, making up 4%, and rounding up the list is the Emirati Storytelling category with 21 entries, accounting for 2% of total nominations.

 

The report also highlighted that the majority of submissions came from Egypt (414 entries), followed by Syria (96 entries), Morocco (84 entries), Algeria (76 entries), Iraq (69 entries), and the UAE (43 entries).

 

In the upcoming period, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre will begin the evaluation and reading process in preparation for the judging phase. The Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award offers a total prize pool of AED2 million divided among all of its categories and aims to celebrate talented narrators who have retraced the UAE’s history, lifestyle, heritage, and development over the decades at the local, Arab, and international levels.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Concludes its Participation in HSE University’s International Partners’ Week in Moscow

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has concluded its participation in the International Partners’ Week, which was organised by HSE University in Moscow, Russia from 24 to 29 September 2023.

 

The International Partners’ Week provided a platform for participants to share the latest innovations and best practices in the field of international education, offering a packed agenda of events and sessions that discussed a range of key topics in the sector, including: mechanisms for establishing an integrated educational system and ways for universities and academic institutions to communicate; international cooperation and digitisation in education; internationalisation of higher education and relevant best practices; pre-university education; and universities and sustainable development goals, among other topics.

 

Through its participation, the Centre aimed to promote the Arabic language and Abu Dhabi’s status as a capital of culture to the widest possible audience. At the same time, the ALC sought to deepen relationships within the global academic community, exploring opportunities for collaboration and enhancing cultural exchange.

 

During the event, the ALC showcased the grants it offers across creative fields, such as the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s ‘Translation Grant’, which promotes Arabic literature worldwide by translating award-winning literary works, children’s literature, and shortlisted titles from the award into many languages.

 

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair’s ‘Spotlight on Rights’ programme offers grants to support translation efforts from Arabic into other languages and vice versa, as well as to drive the digitisation and audio recording of printed books by offering monetary grants to Arab and international publishers.

 

The Centre’s ‘Research Grants Programme’ enhances scientific research in Arabic by offering grants to researchers focusing on the Arabic language, under the supervision of the Arabic Language Education and Research Department.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Calls on Students to Join ‘Arabic Pals’ Competition

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced that the application period for the third edition of its ‘Arabic Pals’ competition has been extended to 28 October 2023, welcoming submissions from all Arabic-speaking and non-Arabic speaking school students.

 

The competition aims to promote the use of the Arabic language in all aspects of young people’s daily lives, as well as to discover, celebrate, and honour creative talents.

 

Students wishing to participate can submit short videos in Arabic under three categories: Reciting verses of Arabic poetry in proper Arabic for both native and non-native speakers; telling the UAE’s story or highlighting the achievements of its Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; and for non-Arabic students, highlighting a special experience while learning the language.

 

The competition is open to all students aged between 8 and 16 years old. The applicant’s guardian must fill in the application form in person and bears the responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. Incomplete applications will not be considered, and all materials submitted will become the property of ALC.

 

The ‘Arabic Pals’ competition will award three finalists a prize of AED 10,000 each.

 

The ALC is receiving requests for participation via its official website.   Applications can be submitted via email to arabicpals@dctabudhabi.ae along with the consent form of the parents, the student ID, and the entry videos. More details can be found on the official website of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to Take Part in Riyadh International Book Fair 2023

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) is set to participate in the Riyadh International Book Fair 2023, taking place from 28 September to 7 October at its new location at King Saud University in Riyadh. Organised by the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission, under the Saudi Ministry of Culture, this year’s event bears the theme ‘Inspirational Destination’.

 

The Centre’s participation is part of its efforts to reach a wider Arab audience, showcase its diverse publications, and enhance communication with leaders and stakeholders in the publishing industry and specialised book fairs. Additionally, it aims to highlight the ALC’s initiatives and projects related to book publishing, translation, and promotion of the Arabic language.

 

The ALC’s presence at the fair includes a pavilion designed to promote the Centre’s projects, market its books covering various fields, and promote sales of booths at the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF). It also aims to establish connections with participating publishers at the fair and encourage Saudi universities to take part in ADIBF and purchase books.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Our participation at the Riyadh International Book Fair 2023 underscores our commitment to establishing a presence at significant regional and global cultural events, to build and strengthen valuable partnerships with diverse stakeholders from the publishing and book industries. The fair serves as a key meeting point for companies, institutions, and individuals working in the literature, publishing, and translation sectors, and our time there will be crucial for identifying new opportunities for collaboration and growth.”

 

The ALC pavilion will showcase more than 600 titles with a total of over 6,000 copies, present updates on its publishing projects, and host coordination meetings with various cultural and media entities in Saudi Arabia.

 

This year’s edition of the Riyadh International Book Fair is expected to attract hundreds of publishing houses and feature thousands of books, along with numerous authors and artists participating in its rich programme of interactive seminars and workshops. It provides an opportunity for Saudi, Arab, and international talents to showcase their literary skills to readers and publishers.

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Kanz Al Jeel Award Higher Committee Meets to Review Judging Panel Recommendations for the 2nd Edition 2023

The Kanz Al Jeel Award Higher Committee at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), has concluded its meeting to review the judging panel recommendations The Kanz Al Jeel Award was launched by the (ALC), in 2022 to honour works related to the Nabati poetry, its translation, and creative industries.

 

The Higher Committee meeting was attended by Dr Ali Saeed Al Kaabi, Chairman, and members HE Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC; Prof Dr Aisha Al Shamsi, Emirati academic, critic, poet; Hassan Zaki, Egyptian composer, artist, and researcher; Saudi academic and researcher in Nabati women’s poetry, Dr Munira Al Ghadeer; and Committee Rapporteur Abdulrahman Mohamed Al-Naqbi, Director of the ALC’s Literary Awards Department.

 

Dr Al Kaabi said: "In view of the increasing number of submissions and growing local and global turnout, the task has not been easy for the Committee, as we were keen to select the best and most illuminating works representing the heritage and values of Nabati poetry. The Higher Committee of the Award included a prominent group of experts and specialists to conduct consultations and evaluations in accordance with the criteria, conditions and transparent judgments of the Award. I am confident that the 2023 winners embody our mission to revive Nabati poetry as a key element of Emirati and Arab cultural identity and promote this art form’s progress."

 

For the 2023 edition, 264 submissions were received across the Award’s six categories, representing 27 countries, including 17 Arab nations and 10 other countries, – a growth rate of 13% compared to the first edition, which received 234 submissions. This year has seen the participation of new countries from around the world including China, Comoros, Dominica, Libya, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

 

The Award also received translation works in various languages this year, including English, German, Russian, and Turkish. This expansion beyond English, the sole language in the first cycle, showcases Kanz Al Jeel’s growing global impact.

 

The shortlists is set to be announced within the next few weeks for the award’s six categories. The Kanz Al Jeel Award is awarded to researchers and creators who have produced works related to the heritage of Nabati poetry, aiming to promote this distinctive branch of poetry and highlight prominent poets. It also seeks to enhance the sense of national identity between generations by bridging poetry, culture and arts related to Nabati poetry.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre publishes ‘La guerre insaisissable’, a Novel by French Author Jean-Marc Moura

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has published the Arabic translation of the novel ‘La guerre insaisissable’ by French author Jean-Marc Moura under the ALC’s Kalima Project for Translation. The original translation by Marie Touq was reviewed and revised by Iraqi poet and academic Kazim Jihad.

 

‘La guerre insaisissable’ was released in 2018, less than two years before the COVID-19 pandemic, and was a finalist at the Prix Théophraste Renaudot.

 

Set in early 20th century, the story is about a girl named Lily, who grew up without parents. Lily is short for Lilith, which has historical significance, in addition to being drawn from the name of the flower. Lily is conscious about the struggles and conflicts she is facing, and Moura goes through the disturbing details of the wars within her and that are ongoing in the world.

 

After bitter experiments at a church-run institution, where some of the priests and nuns practise demonic rituals, Lily puts her scientific abilities and intuition into the service of a Flemish scientist, revealing to him the source of a virus that caused the Spanish flu. Then she regrets it when she discovers the terrible contradiction of their two goals in research: She seeks to diagnose the virus and find a vaccine to save humanity, and he seeks to use it in favor of France in bacterial or bacteriological attacks against the Germans, who were also seeking to achieve the same goal.

 

Lily seeks to stop it, and the pandemic disappears just as it emerged, after affecting hundreds of thousands of victims. The First World War also concludes, and Lily ends up alone with her thoughts on her bed at Sainte-Anne Hospital Centre in Paris.

 

As the reviewer writes, ‘La guerre insaisissable’ talks about two worlds: a world of innocence, talent, and belief in true science, and the world of sorcery, religious and scientific quackery, and the exploitation of talents and abilities for criminal purposes. The pandemic adds to the war of human beings, as another vicious war, not only through its mysterious aspects, but also its pervasiveness, reflecting the sinister greed of some human beings.

 

Moura was born in Montroy Du Bois, France, in 1956. A novelist known for literary research and his prolific writing, Moura focused on humanity in French and European literature. He wrote about the third world in French literature and published several individual and collective compositions. He contributed to the post-colonial interpretation of literature, studies in francophone literature, and in humour and its creative interpretation, as well as the analysis of comparative literature.

 

Marie Touq is a Lebanese translator with a degree in French literature. Touq has published poems and articles and participated in several translation workshops in France and the Arab world. Her work includes translations of research, novels, and poetry from Arab and international literature by a number of prominent authors including: Yasunari Kawabata, Peter Handke, Simone de Beauvoir, Milan Kundera, Joseph Roth, Gérard de Nerval, Samir Kassir, Farouk Mardam-Bey, Elias Sanbar, Frantz Fanon, and many others. Several of these translations were published under the ALC’s Kalima Project for Translation.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre revitalises ‘Fifty Thousand Readers’ Digital Initiative following its Remarkable Success

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has announced it will be revitalising its successful ‘Fifty Thousand Readers’ digital initiative, in collaboration with global e-book and audiobook subscription platform Storytel, following the remarkable success the initiative has had since it was first launched, where it resonates with the Centre’s efforts to promote reading and expand its contributions to social responsibility.

 

The initiative aims to promote a culture of reading across the Arab world through a competition offering 50,000 free three-month subscriptions to the Storytel platform.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre invited readers to follow its social media channels for a chance to listen to their favourite audiobooks free of charge, by taking part in the competition and answering the questions posted on the Kalima Project for Translation’s accounts, which will also be sharing details about the competition and how to participate in it.

 

His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, said: “We are delighted to be revitalising our popular ‘Fifty Thousand Readers’ initiative following the remarkable success it has had in reaching Arab readers everywhere. This underlines our commitment at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to fulfilling our social responsibilities; it also highlights our commitment to diversifying the tools we use to promote a culture of reading among all members of the community.”

 

“The initiative offers diverse and engaging content that caters to readers of all cultures on the advanced Storytel platform, which offers access to the largest collection of popular and best-selling audiobooks,” H.E. Al Tunaiji added.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Scientific Committee Holds Third Meeting of 2023

The Scientific Committee of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) held its third meeting of 2023.

 

Chaired by H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, the meeting was attended by ALC Scientific Committee members Prof. Dr. Bilal Orfali, Prof. Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh, Prof. Dr. Abdullah al Ghathami, Prof. Dr. Ali Al Kaabi, Prof. Dr. Vitaly Naumkin, Prof. Dr. Muhsin al Musawi, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Abu al Fadl Badran, Prof. Dr. Hanada Taha-Thomure, and Prof. Dr. Wen-Chin Ouyang. H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, also attended.

 

The meeting discussed the latest developments regarding the Centre’s projects and initiatives, highlighting efforts in artificial intelligence (AI) and the role technology can play in serving the Arabic language. Attendees stressed the importance of continuing to study Arabic language courses in school and having university curricula for both native and non-native speakers. New scientific projects were proposed during the meeting, which will be included in the ALC’s 2024 strategic plan. The meeting concluded by discussing the Committee’s tasks and responsibilities, and the ALC’s implementation plan for its upcoming projects.

 

H.E. bin Tamim affirmed that the third Scientific Committee meeting offered a valuable platform for a creative brainstorm by esteemed literary and academic figures, striving to advance the status of the Arabic language and its local and international presence. He applauded the Committee's role in improving the Centre's work processes and noted that its activities pave the way for high-quality projects and programmes that support the achievement of future goals and strategies. He urged the members to continue their efforts to foster and elevate the status of the Arabic language and strengthen its presence at the local and global levels.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Organises Children's Literature Workshop

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre will organise the Children’s Literature Workshop at the Cultural Foundation from 5 September to 7 November, as part of its Qalam Creative Writing Programme, which aims to nurture Emirati talent and encourage authors to share their creative projects.

 

Taking place over 10 sessions, the workshop will be supervised by Dr. Fatima Al Mazrouei, a writer and publisher with a PhD in Literature and Criticism. Beginning with an introduction to children’s literature, the course will then cover the principles, elements, and techniques of writing, and include the reading of various literary texts. The workshop also introduces illustration techniques and discusses how to collaborate with illustrators, as well as offers participants practical applications on writing, proofreading, story editing, and preparing for printing.

 

Registration for the Children’s Writing Workshop is open until the end of August to Emirati writers aged 18 and above.  To apply, applicants should contact qalam@dctabudhabi.ae with information including background, literary history, preceding works, and intent. Applicants must also submit poetry samples or a draft of a children’s story, as well as a copy of their Emirates ID card and a passport photo. Workshop participants will be assessed and chosen based on their proficiency.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre will publish the final works resulting from the programme under a contract that protects the rights of all parties.

 

The Qalam Creative Writing Programme launched with the Novel Writing workshop, which will conclude on 2 September with works produced by five creative writers. Supervised by Dr. Youssef Htini, Professor in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), the workshop has covered various topics related to novels and their components, including crafting the story, character development, narrative time and space, as well as the social dimension of language and the use of symbolism, narrative rhythm  and narrative style.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to Collaborate with Institute of Oriental Studies to Foster Russian-Arab Cultural Cooperation

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has signed a letter of intent with the Moscow-based Institute of Oriental Studies (IOS) of the Russian Academy of Sciences to promote cultural cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Arab world, as well as enhance Arabic language studies.

 

The letter was signed by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, and Vitaly Naumkin, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and IOS President.

 

“The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre remains committed to its mission of promoting the Arabic language and driving its advancement, and close collaboration with our partners is essential to this,” said H.E. bin Tamim. “The letter of intent we have signed today with the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies will further strengthen cultural and academic ties between Russia and the Arab world, a significant milestone for cultural diplomacy and scholarly exchange. Working side by side to foster deeper understanding and appreciation of each other’s culture and language, we will explore innovative ways to bring together the rich heritage of the Arab world and the diverse traditions of Russia.”

 

Mr. Naumkin said, “Polls show that the number of young Russians who want to study Arabic and know more about the Arab culture is constantly growing. As a result, many universities in Russia are launching Arabic programmes that are becoming popular. Cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), which is internationally promoting Arabic studies and translation of Arab literature into foreign languages, plays a significant role in supporting this process.”

 

The partnership will unite efforts to promote Russian-Arab cultural cooperation, foster Arabic language studies, and engage in academic conferences, awards submissions, and seminars. The parties will work together to explore avenues of collaboration and enrich cultural exchange between the two nations.

 

The scope of the cooperation covers multiple areas of interest. The two entities will encourage submissions and nominations to literary prizes organised by the ALC, while also supporting the translation of Russian research on Arab studies into Arabic. Additionally, ALC will participate in literary and other cultural seminars and events organised by the IOS.

 

The partnership will also focus on academic research and knowledge-sharing. The partners pledge to encourage participation in studies and research papers published in the ALC’s Al Markaz Journal and the academic publications issued by IOS, in addition to scheduling field visits to enhance capacity and share knowledge related to the publishing and book fairs industry.

 

Established in 1818, the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences has played a pioneering role in developing oriental studies in Russia. With around 500 research fellows dedicated to studying historical, cultural, political, and economic issues of Asian and North African regions, the Institute is the largest establishment focused on social studies within the Russian Academy, organising a series of annual conferences and contributing to the publication of approximately 100 books and 700 articles in leading academic journals worldwide.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Relaunches ‘Khazanat Al Kutub’ Initiative

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), is continuing in its mission to strengthen the Arabic language and encourage a culture of reading by launching a new edition of its ‘Khazanat Al Kutub’ initiative across four shopping malls across the UAE.

 

The initiative engages directly with the public and encourages reading by making a range of ALC publications readily available to mall visitors. 'Khazanat Al Kutub' will take place at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi from 22 August to 4 September and at City Centre Fujairah from 25 August to 7 September. The September dates of its appearances in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah will be announced soon.

 

His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, said: “Our ‘Khazanat Al Kutub’ initiative is highly effective way of directly engaging with the public and ensuring they have easy access to books and publications. Promoting Arabic language content and encouraging reading as a daily habit are top priorities for us, and we expect to once again see excellent results from this programme.”

 

‘Khazanat Al Kutub’ events saw huge success during the first and second quarters of this year, displaying nearly 11,000 books and story collections and selling more than 6,500 books at low prices.

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The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Publishes Arabic Translation of "La Alquimia en Al Ándalus" by Spanish Arabist Angel Alcalá Malavé

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has published the Arabic translation of the book "La Alquimia en Al Ándalus" by Spanish author Angel Alcalá Malavé. The book was translated by Khadija Benyaya, as part of the "Kalima" translation project.

 

The book highlights an important period in which Andalusia became the lodestar in several disciplines of science and the arts, during which Islam held the torch after the Roman Empire. The period is regarded as an essential historical source of Andalusia's history of alchemy as well as the contributions of Muslim intellectuals and other scholars from various civilizations, making Córdoba a scientific hub.

 

“La Alquimia en Al Ándalus" is recognised  for its scientific and historical approach to the subject, as well as its accurate information on the contributions of Muslim experts in this field. It is also notable for shedding light on the artistic and literary aspects of Islamic Alchemy.

 

The book covers the role of Andalusian Alchemists in Andalusia's scientific and radiant renaissance, which culminated in the age of Abdul Rahman III, who created the Tree of Knowledge and established a culture of harmony among the three heavenly religions. This is in addition to their contributions to spreading the Islamic civilization to Europe through the translations of scientific works by Arabs in the Latin Middle Ages.

 

The book offers an in-depth exploration of the impact of Andalusia and Islam on Alchemy through the views of some hundred intellectuals and herbalists, including: Ibn Rushd, Ibn Masarra, Ibn al-Khatib, and Al-Zahrawi. Furthermore, it takes a journey through its mythological roots, beginning with the personality of Hermes and continuing through the schools of Alexandria, Andalusia, and Christian Europe.

 

The chapters of the book cover various historical periods and includes analysis on scholars who worked Alchemy in Andalusia but did not receive adequate care and attention, casting a shadow on the quantity and quality of specialised studies on the subject.

 

The author observes that these creators were unfairly treated and deserved a greater chance to reflect on their accomplishments. To address this, he introduced their works, including those by Maslama al-Majriti, Abu al-Samh al-Gharnati, Ibn al-Saffar, al-Kirmani, al-Zahrawi, and others. The author also researched alchemists known in Andalusia from the era of Abd al-Rahman al-Dakhil in 756 to the fall of the Caliphate in 1030.

 

Angel Alcala Malave was born in Malaga, Spain, in 1968. He is a journalist and homoeopath who specialises in philosophy, medicine, and mysticism. He was a Professor of Communication Philosophy and Public Opinion at the University of Piura in Peru, and he is the author of several books and publications, including: “España, o, La conciencia maltratada (Colección Nueva crónica)” (1997) and "Origen alquímico de la homeopatía y terapia floral: de Egipto a Platón, de al-Ándalus a Edward Bach" (2011).

 

Khadija Benyaya, a translator, was born in Belyounech, Tetouan, in northern Morocco. She graduated with a BA in Spanish Literature in (1995) and a Diploma in Advanced Studies in (1997). She also has a PhD in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Granada in Spain for her thesis, "A Study of Christian and Islamic Mysticism Through the Works of Ibn Arabi Al-Mursi and Saint John of the Cross". She works in secondary education at Morocco's Ministry of National Education and has been a teacher of Spanish since 1996.

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‘Classical Literature: A Very Short Introduction’ by William Allan added to the list of publications of the Kalima Project for Translation

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has expanded the list of classic international works it has published in Arabic, releasing the Arabic edition of ‘Classical Literature: A Short Introduction’ by William Allan.

 

The book presents an interesting brief discussion where the author gracefully navigates through the worlds of classical literature, taking readers on an enjoyable journey through time, all the way back to the beginning of concepts about art and theatre. The Arabic edition of the book was released under the Kalima Project for Translation.

 

Translated into Arabic by Dr. Ahmed El-Adawi, the book sheds light on the history of literature from 750 BC to 500 AD, and despite the challenges that come with covering such a broad and complex subject as classical literature in a brief study, the author skilfully addresses the topic in just 125 pages. He comprehensively explores each literary genre and provides a deep analysis of its characteristics, focusing particularly on the origins of Greek tragedy, and citing examples that clearly illustrate each literary genre the book analyses.

 

The book comprises nine chapters, delving into various aspects of classical literature, starting with an overview of its history, the concept of literary genres among ancient authors, and how their writings were passed down to us. It then presents each literary genre, beginning with the epic, followed by lyric and personal poetry, drama in its two aspects: tragedy and comedy, then history, oratory, pastoral poetry, satire, and finally, the novel.

 

William Allan approached classical literature from a historical perspective, beginning with a discussion of its Greek origins, then its evolution throughout various eras: ancient, classical, Hellenistic, and imperial in Greek literature. The author goes on to explain how Roman writers and authors “Romanised” this literary genre, tailoring it to the circumstances of their time and to their purposes, both in the Republican and Imperial eras. He also sheds light on the new features the genre acquired in its Latin form.

 

Throughout his book, Allan sought to demonstrate that classical literature remains closely connected to Western literature today, continuously shaping Western concepts of art to this day. He also aimed to demonstrate that classical literature is far from being monotonous and has always been provocative and entertaining.

 

The book takes readers on a journey through time, to the era of great epics authors, poets, orators, historians, novelists, and playwrights, unveiling how our perceptions of art and theatre were formed much earlier than we may think. It reveals how rhetoric and the art of persuasion have always been integral to political practices, both in ancient and modern times, and highlights how literature has consistently been intertwined with social, political, and economic contexts. Moreover, the book underlines and how competing with ancestors and engaging in dialogue with their great works have always been driving forces for change, not to mention the rebellion against inherited literary traditions.

 

‘Classical Literature: A Very Short Introduction’ was selected as part of the Kalima Project for Translation, an Emirati and Arab project that aims to revive the Arabic translation movement and support the translation of international literature into Arabic. Every year, the Project selects 200 classic and modern international works from various languages, in order to present them to Arab readers in their own language. It is an independent initiative and a non-profit project of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi.

 

The book was written by William Allan, who was raised in the Scottish village of Bowhill, and has authored several books, including ‘Euripides: Medea’, ‘Homer: The Iliad’, and ‘Strategies of Preaching in Early Greek Poetry’.

 

Ahmed El-Adawi translated the book into Arabic. El-Adawi is a historian and translator who has published numerous books, studies, research papers, and investigations in the fields of Islamic history and Arab heritage.

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ARABIC LANGUAGE YOUTH COUNCIL launched with the participation of 23 members from 10 countries

The Arab Youth Centre and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre today announced the establishment of the Arabic Language Youth Council in collaboration with the Zai Centre for Arabic Language Research at Zayed University and the ‘Bil Arabi’ initiative of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF).

 

The goal of the Council is to encourage and engage youngsters to enhance their connection with the language and its importance to the Arab identity, and to promote the use of Arabic among new generations in various spheres of life, work and knowledge. The Council also aims to broaden their understanding of the language's various aspects and enable them to participate in its development for the future.

 

The Arabic Language Youth Council has 23 members representing ten nations, including India and Japan.

 

Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development, and Vice Chairman of the Arab Youth Centre, stated in a video message: "We work in accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Arab Youth Centre, to ensure that the Arabic language is a top priority for our initiatives and programmes aimed at strengthening youth connections with the Arab identity and culture at the national and international levels. We will continue to harness the energy and spirit of innovation of youth and expand the efforts of individuals and institutions to ensure that Arabic language remains at the centre of their attention. We also aim to drive the economic, cultural, and professional potential that the Arabic language offers young people.”

 

Her Excellency added: "We collaborated with a group of experts and professionals to attract an elite group of prominent young people in 18 fields and specialisations related to Arabic language and arts. Through them, we intend to reach out to as many creative young people as possible and leverage their ideas for encouraging non-speakers to learn Arabic. We aim to bring Arabs and non-Arabs closer as well as the dialects closer to the basic Semitic linguistics by infusing modern and fresh ideas and increasing the use of Arabic in today’s media through the use of technology.”

 

Her Excellency commended the efforts of the voluntary evaluation committees, which resulted in the inauguration of the activities of the Arabic Language Youth Council. They gained widespread interest and a large turnout of members from all over the world. This is part of the UAE's commitment to promoting the Arabic language and inspiring future generations to learn and participate in promoting the status of ض)) (Dhad) as a language.

 

H.E. DrAli bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), and Secretary General of the Arabic Language Youth Council, said: "The inauguration of the Arabic Language Youth Council adds to the unification of efforts at the local and global levels, highlighting the role of Arab youth and giving them full room to be active partners in serving the Arabic language and nurturing it for the future.”

 

H.E. DrAli bin Tamim added: "The founding of the Arabic Language Youth Council contributes to enhancing the Emirati initiative with modern applications. We also aim identify the responsibilities of various sectors within the Council as the Arabic language drives inclusivity across various human cultures and civilisations".

 

He stated that the Arabic Language Youth Council aims to preserve the Arabic language (Dhad language) by encouraging youth participation through their ideas as well as drawing on the contributions of experts. Since the Arabic language faces many difficulties in the transmission and production of knowledge, it is essential to preserve its gains by enhancing the participation of youth.

 

He explained that the Arabic Language Youth Council addresses essential and critical issues in linguistic affairs through the Arab Youth Centre’s support and strategic relationships with institutions specialising in the Arabic language, such as the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre. The goal is to promote the Arabic language's standing, strengthen its presence, and highlight the role of the United Arab Emirates in this regard.

 

He stated that the Arabic Language Youth Council seeks to attract the ideas, projects, and programmes by youth that contribute to enhancing the language. He said the Council will foster specialised expertise in this field, as well as leverage the skills and abilities of youth and youth institutions.

 

H.E. bin Tamim urged Arab youth and youth organisations to participate in the endeavours of the Arabic Language Youth Council to provide scientific and practical suggestions that accomplish the goals and objectives of the Council and highlight the Arabic language at all Arab and international forums.

 

The Arabic Language Youth Council is made up of 23 individuals from ten nations, including the UAE, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Its activities are divided into 18 categories: education (Arabic for non-native speakers), linguistic research, debates, elocution, calligraphy, dialects and classical Arabic, translation and Arabisation, dictionaries, Braille, cyber language, artificial intelligence, sustainable development, theatre and cinema, and clubs, Arabic comics, handicrafts, journalism and media, and content creation.

 

The Council promotes the Arabic language among young people and develops methods for its scientific, educational, cultural, and artistic growth. It also explores the challenges that Arab youth face when learning Arabic and organises projects and activities to promote the learning of Arabic among young people. The Council also aims to bring dialects closer to standard Arabic, instil pride in young people in the Arabic language, incorporate new linguistic vocabulary into the lexicon, and work on contemporary ideas from the youth.

 

The Arabic Language Youth Council is dedicated to accomplishing several outcomes, such as enhancing capacity, providing training programmes for Arab youth to improve their Arabic language skills, identifying youth talents to prepare a new generation of creative leaders, educating native and non-native speakers about the future of the Arabic language, and launching a glossary that introduces words in various Arabic dialects, in addition to establishing a connection among Arab youth to encourage and support the Arabic language, among other objectives.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre issues Arabic edition of ‘The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech, and the New Economy’ by Sharon Zukin

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has issued the Arabic edition of ‘The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech, and the New Economy’ by Sharon Zukin – translated to Arabic by Dr. Muhammad Ziyad Kubba – under the Centre’s Kalima Project for Translation.

 

The book sheds light on the world of programming and developing systems and applications, discussing sociologists and business experts who study innovation focus on the informal social networks among organisations that ultimately lead to designing marketable products and ideas, emphasising the critical role of “tech talent”, who want to live and work in cities.

 

Each chapter of the book focuses on a production space where economic norms and cultural principles are enacted, applied, and put in the right place. Over the course of these processes, the entire innovation complex – including buildings, districts, and the entire city – evolves in size, shape, and meaning.

 

While readers may not be familiar with the places the book visits, it is crucial that they learn about them as they create a spatial, imaginative, and social narrative that shapes the way the builders of the Innovation Complex see the world.

 

The book begins by exploring the subculture of hackathons, where programmers collaborate to develop software in unconventional ways over a short period of time. It describes the career paths of New York startup founders and venture capitalists, and traces the transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront from abandoned industrial land to an “innovation coastline”.

 

Moreover, the book covers the relationship between hackathons and establishing startups and accelerators, shedding light on how large companies in New York contribute to the establishment and financing of startups, and then to the employment of young programmers.

 

In her book, urban planning expert Sharon Zukin demonstrates how the new urban economy is shaped with a rich and insightful account of the rise of technology in New York City. She draws on personal interviews with venture capitalists, technophiles, and economic development officials, and outlines how the holistic system is formed and the city is reshaped.

 

Born in 1946, Sharon Zukin is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Centre at City University of New York. Her works explore the conditions and development of cities and the reasons behind this development, focusing on culture and the real estate market, especially in New York City. Zukin supervises doctoral dissertations and occasionally teaches courses at the university. Her most notable works in that regard include ‘Resilient Detroit’, ‘Global Cities, Local Streets’, ‘Point of Purchase’, ‘The Cultures of Cities’, ‘Loft Living’, and ‘Beyond Marx and Tito’.

 

The book’s translator Dr. Muhammad Ziyad Kubba was born in 1951 and earned a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London in 1979. He has issued many translated books in general and neurolinguistics, and won a number of prestigious awards, such as: The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (Translation category) in the 2010-2011 edition and the Best Book Translated into Arabic category at the Kuwait International Fair in 2002. Dr. Kubba also held the position of professor in the English language department at King Saud University and the Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he supervised several master’s and doctoral dissertations, publishing a range of peer-reviewed scientific research papers.

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Kanz Al Jeel Award Reading Panel Committee Concludes Review of 2023 Submissions

The Kanz Al Jeel Award, which  honours works of Nabati poetry, folk studies, and research, has closed the nominations period for its second edition, which has received a notable increase in submissions as well as significant growth in specific categories. The Award is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

 

This year, Kanz Al Jeel received a total of 264 entries across its six categories, from 27 countries including 17 Arab nations and 10 from around the world, marking 13% growth compared to the first cycle’s 234 entries.

 

Notably, this edition has seen countries from the Arab region and around the world participating for the first time, including China, Comoros, Dominica, Libya, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The UAE topped the list of Arab countries by number of participants, followed by Egypt, then Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, and Syria. Meanwhile, the highest number of participations for other languages came from Turkey, followed by India, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Russia, and China.

 

The Kanz Al Jeel Reading Panel Committee held a meeting chaired by Dr. Ali Saeed Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Award’s Higher Committee, to evaluate the submissions, assessing them against the Award’s criteria and its terms and conditions.

 

Reading Panel Committee members include His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC and member of the Kanz Al Jeel Higher Committee; Prof. Dr. Aisha Al Shamsi, Emirati academic, critic, poet, and member of the Kanz Al Jeel Higher Committee; Issa Saif Al Mazrouei, Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural and Heritage Programmes and Festivals Management Committee; and Abdulrahman Mohamed Al-Naqbi, Director of the Literary Awards Department at the ALC, and Rapporteur of the Kanz Al Jeel Higher Committee.

 

Dr. Al Kaabi said: “By showcasing the honoured tradition of Nabati poetry, the Kanz Al Jeel Award embodies the UAE’s commitment to preserving, reviving, and celebrating the rich Emirati and Arab cultural heritage. The Award aims to immortalise the poetic works of our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and promote them around the globe, nurturing interest in Nabati poetry worldwide and ensure its continued popularity and relevance to the younger generations. We are certainly making progress towards this objective, as in this second cycle the Award has reached even greater numbers of participants from around the world.”

 

The Poetry Matching category received the highest number of entries with 133 submissions, accounting for 51% of the total. The Arts category came in second with 80 entries, accounting for 30% of the total, followed by Studies and Research, Poetic Publications, Translation, and Creative Personality.

 

The Award received translation works in various languages this year, including English, German, Russian, and Turkish. This expansion beyond English, which was the sole language in the first cycle, showcases Kanz Al Jeel’s growing global impact.

 

The judging panels across all six categories of the award will begin their comprehensive evaluation process for all entries that were reviewed by the Reading Panel Committee.

 

The Kanz Al Jeel Award is given to researchers and creatives who have created works related to Nabati poetic heritage. It aims to promote distinguished poetic works and introduce the creative minds behind them, strengthening a sense of identity among younger generations by connecting them with their culture, heritage, and arts related to Nabati poetry.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Participates in Teacher Capacity Building Workshop

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), participated in the workshop ‘Professional Development and Training – Teachers’, to enhance teachers’ capacities in various fields of Arabic language teaching, determining potential challenges, developing effective solutions to address them, and exploring the obstacles associated with teaching Arabic grammar in schools.

 

The session also included an introduction to the works of calligrapher and artist Mohammed Mandi, who led a practical workshop in Arabic calligraphy for participants.

 

After the workshop, the Centre honoured last cycle’s winners of its annual Arabic Pals competition, which encourages young people to take an interest in and strive to master the Arabic language, while shedding light on the aesthetics of the language and inspiring non-Arabic speakers to learn and use it in their daily lives. The competition targets Arab and non-Arab students aged 8 to 16 and invites contestants to film short video clips on topics that reflect their experiences with the Arabic language.

 

His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, said: “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has an overarching mission of elevating the status of Arabic as a language of science, culture, and knowledge; one that is flexible and comprehensive, capable of meeting and expressing every need people have for language in their daily lives. We have a strong strategic focus on engaging youth, who are our future leaders and the ones who will keep the Arabic language relevant. To achieve this goal, we are designing and implementing innovative initiatives that target this group and reinforce the standing of the Arabic language among both native speakers and non-speakers.”

 

H.E. Al Tunaiji urged parents and teachers to encourage students to participate in the competition and submit innovative videos that showcase their relationship with the Arabic language and offer inspiring examples.

 

The ALC will begin receiving applications for participation in the next Arabic Pals cycle on 28 August, with the submission deadline set for 28 October. Videos submitted to the competition can cover a range of themes, falling under three categories: recitation of verses of Arabic poetry by native and non-native speakers; providing an overview of the history of the UAE or the achievements of its Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; or showcasing a participant’s personal experience in learning Arabic as a non-native speaker.

 

The terms and conditions of the competition include a number of criteria. The video must have clear audio and image showing the contestant; the content must adhere to the topic of the competition; the video must be free of any religious, social, or humanitarian abuse; and videos should be sent in MP4 format. The competition’s committee will present AED 10,000 prizes to the top three winners.

 

The process of evaluating submissions to the Arabic Pals competition and announcing the shortlist will take place in November, and the winners of the competition will be announced in mid-December. ALC will receive participation requests through its website, where the parental consent form, the ID of the student and their guardian, and the participating videos can be sent to arabicpals@dctabudhabi.ae or submitted on the website.

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Kalima Translation Project Releases Arabic Edition of United Arab Emirates: Architectural Guide

The Kalima Translation Project, an initiative by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, has published the Arabic edition of the book United Arab Emirates: Architectural Guide by Hendrik Bohle and Jan Dimog, translated by Dr. Musa Al-Haloul and reviewed by Omar Al-Ayoubi.

 

The book provides readers with extensive information about the most prominent contemporary architectural landmarks and buildings in the UAE. The authors highlight noteworthy and distinctive architectural projects around the country and the architects or companies behind their designs.

 

Originally published in German, the book was later released in English in 2016. It consists of an introduction and seven chapters, each dedicated to one of the seven emirates. The book includes comprehensive maps, a glossary of local terms mentioned in the book, and a list of urban projects and engineering companies that contributed to the urban development of the UAE.

 

The book explores the vast diversity of design that characterises architecture in the UAE, from iconic, record-breaking buildings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and new heritage-inspired structures in Sharjah, to luxurious facilities and cutting edge projects in other emirates. Also featured are a range of examples of the new generation of Emirati architecture, which focus on sustainability and preserving diverse building traditions.

 

The architectural guide covers more than 200 buildings and projects spanning a country which rapidly transitioned from a Bedouin society to the era of the Burj Khalifa in just three generations. The comprehensive project information is complemented by interviews with international and local architects and articles about culture and history.

 

Hendrik Bohle is an architectural project engineer, urban researcher, and author of a wide range of specialised publications, while Jan Dimog is a journalist, copywriter, and scriptwriter for national and international publishing companies, institutions, and projects in Germany, Afghanistan, and the Philippines.

 

The two authors previously collaborated on the book Architectural Guide to Istanbul (DOM Publishers) and jointly manage TheLink.berlin, an online magazine specialising in international tourism and architectural topics.

 

The book’s translator, Dr. Musa Al-Haloul, is a Syrian academic and translator who studied English literature at the University of Aleppo and earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in comparative literature from Pennsylvania State University in the United States. He currently works as Professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of Foreign Languages at Taif University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Al-Haloul has translated numerous works from English to Arabic, including Maori Myths & Legendary Tales (Abu Dhabi), Snorra Edda: An Icelandic Saga (Abu Dhabi), and A Book Amidst the Ruins: The Epic of Gilgamesh, How It Was Lost and How It Was Found (Cairo), among others.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Opens Nominations for Inaugural Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is now welcoming nominations for the first edition of its Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award, which honours notable works of Arab prose by local and international creative minds.

 

The Award aims to shed light on Emirati folk tales and narratives, highlighting inspiring works in this field and celebrating the talented narrators who, through this art form, have helped to preserve the UAE’s history, lifestyle, and popular heritage over the decades. It derives its name from a poem by the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and seeks to drive an artistic movement that builds on Zayed’s legacy of creativity.

 

The Award is accepting submissions across six categories. The Short Story Prize for Unpublished Stories honours and publishes unpublished works by talented authors; the Short Story Collection Prize for Published Stories recognises published stories that draw inspiration from the nation’s heritage; the Popular Narratives Prize honours collections of popular folktales that build collective memory and contribute to cultural identity, or notable studies that analyse these tales; while the Narrators Prize celebrates narrators of popular literature and biographies from the UAE and the wider Arab world, who recite these works orally.

 

The categories also include the Illustrated Story Prize, which honours narratives that rely on images in its structure, blending narration and graphic arts, and the Emirati Storytelling Prize, recognising literary works in Arabic and other languages that explore Emirati identity and are inspired by the UAE’s history, geography, and other values.

 

His Excellency Abdulla Majed Al Ali, Chairman of the Golden Narrative Award’s Higher Committee and Director General of the National Library and Archives, said: “The launch of the Golden Narrative Award represents a new milestone in Abu Dhabi’s journey to honour creative thinkers across different fields, including storytelling, narration, and folk tales, which are deeply rooted in Emirati and Arab culture. Inspired by the creative journey of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his efforts to nurture cultural consciousness and artistic expression in the UAE community, the Award aims to showcase these works of collective memory and strengthen our national identity.”

 

Individuals, literary unions, cultural institutions and universities can submit a work to one of the six categories. Nominations for the Emirati Narratives category must come from academic, research, and cultural institutions, as well as from the Higher Committee of the Award.

 

The criteria for nominations include the candidate’s contribution to building Emirati narratives through creative or research work that explores various aspects of the history and present of the UAE.

 

Nominees can apply to a category with one work only, as long as said work has not been nominated for another award in the same year. Nominated works must be written in Arabic, except for the Emirati Narratives category, where entries in other languages are accepted. The narrative and research works may be published no more than five years ago, or unpublished.

 

The Award is not open to works that have previously won a major Arab or international award. It is possible to re-nominate a work after fulfilling the criteria relating to the set timeframe.

 

Applicants must choose the category that best suits their work, and fill the Nomination Form that can be obtained through the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s website (www.alc.ae) or by writing to sardalthahab@dctabudhabi.ae. The completed form should be attached with five copies of the proposed work, the resume and biography of the nominee, in addition to a copy of his/her passport and a personal photo.

 

The total prize pool for the six Gold Narrative Award categories amounts to AED 2 million.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Participation in 29th Beijing International Book Fair

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced its participation at the 29th Beijing International Book Fair, set to be held by China National Publications Import and Export (Group) Corporation from 15 to 18 June 2023 at the capital’s National Convention Center.

 

The Centre’s activities will introduce Chinese audiences to its publishing and translation initiatives, and ALC representatives will seek out new partnerships that will help achieve its goals of advancing the Arabic language in all fields and facilitating local and global production of Arabic content.

 

“The Beijing International Book Fair is one of the world’s most significant cultural events, bringing together publishing industry professionals and creators from around the globe,” said H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC. “The longstanding cultural relations between China and the UAE have led to a significant presence of the Arabic language in China, and the fair is an important platform for the ALC to explore opportunities for projects and initiatives in the country and to further our goal of advancing Arabic’s status globally.”

 

During the exhibition, the ALC will take part in a full schedule of events and activities, including meetings with prominent officials from the Chinese publishing industry and influential leaders from the cultural sector. The Centre’s delegation will also attend seminars, take part in the Beijing International Publishing Conference, and tour Arab pavilions and the Silk Road Publishers Pavilion.

 

Every year, more than 2,600 exhibitors from over 100 countries attend the Beijing International Book Fair, where delegates discuss copyright trading for foreign books, multimedia digital content, and ways to promote reading. The event’s activities cover various sectors, including books, digitisation, animation, and other intellectual and cultural industries.

 

China’s presence at the 2022 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair included the participation of 50 Chinese government-affiliated publishing houses, including academic, literary, and educational publishers, and others specialising in children’s books. A high-ranking delegation of 40 participants, including officials, publishers, authors, and intellectuals, remarkable contributions to the exhibition’s various programmes.

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Unlocking the Power of Arabic Content: International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries Reveals Innovative Recommendations for the Industry

Following the second edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries (Congress PCI), organiser the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has revealed its recommendations for developing and promoting Arabic content to audiences globally.

 

Key areas covered by the recommendations include adapting storytelling techniques and identifying opportunities and challenges - such as the development of artificial intelligence (AI), audiobooks, and edutainment - and content strategies to target diverse audiences.

 

The Congress PCI was held on 21 and 22 May and brought together the brightest minds in storytelling to participate in keynote presentations, panel discussions and networking events. The event saw impressive attendance this year, with a 58 per cent increase in visitors compared to 2022’s inaugural Congress. A survey revealed 65 per cent of attendees reported that the event allowed them to establish new professional connections and explore promising opportunities with the potential to expand their business. In addition, 30 per cent of participants said they secured a new business agreement or entered into a new partnership at the Congress.

 

This year’s Congress sessions sparked interesting discussions between writers, creators and professionals in the publishing sector and creative content industry. Important recommendations from the event include the need for the publishing industry to join the AI revolution, utilising the tools available to developing operations such as distribution and increase content production rates. The need for the industry to focus on providing high-quality content and products in Arabic was also emphasised, as was the importance of preserving writers’ unique voices.

 

Regarding e-commerce, the recommendations emphasised the importance of utilising a data-driven recommendation system powered by algorithms. They highlighted the significance of data in achieving successful content outcomes, stressing that the industry must put in extra effort to acquire, analyse and leverage data effectively.

 

The Congress further highlighted that education can be enjoyable when delivered in an engaging and creative way, as seen in the growing ‘edutainment’ field. The publishing industry should take social media usage into account, in addition to technology used by children and students, and incorporate these as supplementary tools, rather than replacements, in the context of educational platforms. The Congress noted that reading will always hold its value and will never be substituted entirely by new educational technologies.

 

The Congress also stressed the importance of not focusing solely on localising foreign content for Arab audiences. The demand for Arabic content is growing, and distribution and sales channels are expanding. However, there is a scarcity of high-quality Arabic content to meet this increasing demand.

 

The recommendations called on leaders within the publishing industry to pay attention to the variations between different Arab regions, especially regarding language. Creative industries should also seek further development of dialogue and cooperation between creatives and publishers to provide outstanding content. There is also a need to develop a strategy for audiobooks, as they represent a real direction for the future considering the steady popularity they have achieved in the Arab world.

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‎Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Participates in 32nd Doha International Book Fair

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is participating in the 32nd Doha International Book Fair, taking place until 21 June at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.

 

The ALC’s participation in the event is in line with its objectives to promote and advance the Arabic language, introduce its publications and projects to the new audiences, and explore collaborations with stakeholders involved in the regional publishing, translation, and creative content sectors.

 

The Centre is set to showcase its most prominent book publishing projects, such the Kalima Project for Translation, which aims to revive the translation movement in the Arab world and provide wider options to readers by translating books and literary works into Arabic. The ALC pavilion allows visitors to browse a large collection of its publications, consisting of more than 400 titles in various fields.

 

The Doha International Book Fair is one of the oldest and largest book fairs in the region, with this year’s event featuring the participation of 500 publishers representing 35 countries. Now in its 32nd edition, the event is being held under the slogan ‘With Reading We Rise’ and is showcasing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as guest of honour.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to Participate in Morocco’s Salon International de l’Édition et du Livre

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is participating in the 28th Salon International de l’Édition et du Livre, organised by the Moroccan Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication and taking place until 11 June in Rabat, Morocco.

 

Through its participation, the ALC aims to enrich the regional cultural scene and strengthen its relationships with stakeholders and experts in the publishing industry. The Centre’s activities will showcase its many publishing and translation initiatives and promote its publications to new audiences.

 

The ALC stand is set to feature more than 500 titles from the Esdarat project and the Kalima Translation Project, the latter of which aims to revive the translation movement in the Arab world and build bridges of cross-cultural communication, promoting openness and tolerance. Kalima supports translation into Arabic from various languages, with the aim of providing wider options for Arab readers and filling resource gaps in Arab libraries.

 

His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, said: “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s participation in the Salon International de l’Édition et du Livre in Morocco follows the remarkable success we achieved at the Tunis International Book Fair in April, which generated great demand for the publications of our Kalima Translation Project across the Arab Maghreb region. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce the Centre’s projects and initiatives, build partnerships with publishers in Morocco and around the world, and pave the way for them to participate in the next edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.”

 

The 28th Salon International de l’Édition et du Livre brings together 737 publishers from 51 countries. This year’s edition celebrates the province of Quebec in Canada as a special guest of the event, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Moroccan-Canadian diplomatic relations. A total of 661 writers, intellectuals, and poets from Morocco and around the world will attend the fair, with 221 activities on the agenda including scientific and artistic workshops and activities for children.

 

The ALC’s recent participation in the Tunis International Book Fair witnessed an unparalleled turnout from the public, and all the publications displayed at the Centre’s pavilion – more than 4,500 books and upwards of 800 academic titles in various fields – were sold within a few days of the fair’s launch.

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Initial Registration for Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2024 Shows Growing Interest

Following the conclusion of the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, registration has been opened for participation in the 33rd edition, which will be held in May of next year.

 

There has been an increasing demand to secure available stands of different sizes to ensure presence at the next fair, reflecting the fair’s position as a major cultural moment which has become an important annual platform and meeting hub for publishers in the region and around the world.

 

Current registration numbers show that 322 stands (excluding government stands) have already been reserved – translating to approximately 64% of the available booths. There has also been a noticeable increase in interest from local exhibitors and publishers, with UAE-based participants accounting for the majority of registrations for the 2024 fair, at 44%.

 

Entities from various countries have also expressed their interest by reserving available stands: 10% from Egypt, 7% each from the Republic of Türkiye and Lebanon, 6% from Syria, and 5% from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

The highest demand was recorded for medium-sized stands ranging between 16 and 36 square metres, accounting for 50% of the total stands that received booking requests. Stands with sizes ranging between 9 and 15 square metres witnessed a demand of 38%, while 12% showed interest in larger stands exceeding 36 square metres.

 

In addition to the continued success achieved by the fair, the recent exemption from rental and participation fees for the third consecutive year makes participation attractive prospect. This initiative aims at supporting local, Arab, and international publishers and aligns with the ALC’s strategy to support and promote the development of the publishing sector and advance Arabic as a language of culture, knowledge, and creativity.

 

Anticipation for the next event follows on from the success of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023, which took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 22-28 May and was the largest yet in terms of space, number of participants, and number of venues. It witnessed the participation of more than 800 guests and speakers and over 1,300 exhibitors and publishers from 85+ countries worldwide, showcasing more than 500,000 titles in various languages.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre launches 2nd phase of Scan and Learn Arabic initiative

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, the Department of Municipalities and Transport, and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi) regarding the implementation of the second phase of the Scan and Learn Arabic initiative, which is an application that allows smartphone and tablet users to scan objects around the city, the names of which are then translated into Arabic.

 

This three-year agreement serves as documentation of the efforts made by all parties in the initial MoU signed in November 2021, regarding the pilot period of the Scan and Learn Arabic mobile application as well as discussion and collaborative research into methods of promoting a more cohesive and tolerant society.

 

The new memorandum aims to increase the prevalence of the Arabic language in daily life in Abu Dhabi, both for speakers and non-speakers, by promoting the use of the smartphone application and its scanning technology. Objectives include preserving the Arabic language and helping to solidify national identity; increasing Arabic language usage on social media platforms and in workplaces; and increasing the learning of commonly used Arabic vocabulary among citizens, residents, and visitors in the hope that more widespread learning of the language will lead to greater social cohesion between the diverse nationalities living in the UAE.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said: “The success achieved in the initial stages of the ‘Scan and Learn Arabic’ initiative, aimed at enhancing the use of Arabic language in daily life throughout our society, has prompted the execution of its second phase.

 

“In an increasingly digitally focused world, we at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre are continuously working to ensure that our programmes are innovative and keep pace with changing times. Providing mobile applications that showcase the Arabic language has become a necessity to reach wider audiences, especially young people. We are promoting the Arabic language through technology and, at the same time, promoting the use of technology in Arabic. This initiative will have a positive impact on how these generations are engaging with both digital content and the Arabic language, driving its increased future use.”

 

For her part, Her Excellency Eng. Sheikha Al Hosani, Executive Director of the Monitoring and Social Innovation Sector at the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, stressed the importance of launching initiatives that help promote the use of Arabic vocabulary among the various segments of society, and create an opportunity for effective communication between individuals and visitors from around the world, which will have a positive impact on all Arabic speakers in the future.

 

Her Excellency said: “The Scan and Learn Arabic initiative plays a key role in enhancing social cohesion in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and strengthening bonds, communication, and interdependence between the various communities that live here.

 

“It creates new opportunities for non-Arabic speakers to deepen their knowledge of the local culture and better integrate into society, by introducing them to Arabic vocabulary and the roots of local Emirati colloquialisms.”

 

“In collaboration with our partners, the Department of Community Development is committed to harnessing the power of technology and innovation to advance the Arabic language, which is a key component of our national identity."

 

Her Excellency thanked the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Department of Municipalities and Transport for the efforts to promote the Arabic language in the community and in people’s everyday lives as an affirmation of its status and value in society.

 

Rashid Al Kaabi, Acting Executive Director of the Operations Support Sector at the Department of Municipalities and Transport, noted the importance of cooperation between the concerned authorities to contribute to providing tools to enhance the use of the Arabic language in various areas of daily life within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and contribute to the dissemination of a language which boasts a rich vocabulary.

 

Al Kaabi said: “Our mother tongue has established bridges of communication through which we can achieve harmony in our societies. Through this joint tripartite cooperation, the Department of Municipalities and Transport will work on suitable sites for this initiative to activate the role of the Arabic language in our operations and in these sites, in a way that guarantees community service and promotes the values of cohesion and tolerance.”

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Signs MoU with Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation to strengthen collaboration in scientific and intellectual fields by exchanging knowledge and developing solutions to the challenges and issues in contemporary Arab research and academia.

 

The MoU was signed by H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, and H.E. Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Executive Director of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation. The agreement facilitates cooperation between the two entities in the implementation of strategic joint projects and the organisation of events which enrich and address issues in intellectual, scientific, and cultural fields.

 

H.E. Al Tunaiji said, “The ALC’s is committed to developing new programmes and initiatives and building a network of strategic partnerships, in order to strengthen cooperation and rally efforts to address the challenges facing the Arabic language. We are constantly working to devise the best solutions to enable the Arabic language to take the lead in cultural, intellectual, and creative fields, and our partnership with the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation provides new directions through which we can support Arab knowledge and intellectual production, laying the foundations to motivate Arab creators and thinkers across all fields.”

 

H.E. Al Hashemi noted, “We are proud of the role that national cultural institutions play in asserting the UAE’s cultural presence both domestically and abroad, reflecting a positive image of a cultural life that is open to a diverse, tolerant, and civilised world. It is our mission to deepen thought and advance the vocabulary, aesthetics, and originality of culture. We have made a commitment at the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation to align ourselves with cultural institutions that share our interests, so that we can unite our vision and share directives. This is a great incentive for us to collaborate with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to promote cultural values through joint activities and mutual events, which will reflect positively on the cultural outputs and all related knowledge matters.”

 

Under the terms of the agreement, the ALC and Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation will coordinate efforts, host a range of events and activities focusing on Arab culture and other relevant topics, and exchange their respective databases of Arab and international cultural figures. In addition, the two entities will set a joint action plan that includes developing a dedicated programme of workshops, seminars, advisory services, joint research studies, and reports on topics of common interest. The MoU also provides for the creation of a joint committee to follow up on and implement these programmes.

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Sheikh Zayed Book Award Opens Submissions for 18th Edition

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is welcoming submissions to its 18th edition and will be receiving submissions from June to 1 October 2023.

 

This year, the Award will be receiving submissions across 10 categories, now including Editing of Arabic Manuscripts, dedicated to editing of Arabic manuscripts in any field of knowledge in the Arabic tradition, including specialised and general lexicons. The new category joins the original nine categories of Literature, Translation, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Children’s Literature, Literary and Art Criticism, Young Author, Cultural Personality of the Year, and Publishing and Technology.

 

Nominees for the Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category must have made a clear contribution to the fields of editing of manuscripts or lexicons, and the submitted works should constitute a significant addition to Arab culture and human knowledge. The submitted works must have a high level of originality and accuracy and demonstrate familiarity with scientific methods applied to the editing of manuscripts or lexicons, while the nominee must have a background in the field of knowledge in which the work is submitted. The Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category accepts works written in any language.

 

“We are proud of what the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has achieved over the past 17 years, growing year on year and cementing its position as a beacon of literature and culture. It continues to nurture the cultural movement in the UAE, the region, and the world, highlighting the very best literary works and intellectual contributions and fostering wider cross-cultural exchange between the UAE and nations around the globe,” said His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC and Secretary-General of the SZBA. “To ensure our continued success, we must adapt and evolve, and for the Award’s 18th edition we are pleased to offer the new Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category, which will allow us to showcase the important work of professionals in the field of Arabic heritage texts and highlight the beauty and richness of our heritage.”

 

Nominated works must meet a set of criteria to be submitted for consideration for the SZBA. Each nominee may only submit one work to one of the Award’s categories. The Award receives self-nominations from authors, as well as submissions from publishing houses, which can nominate books they have published with written consent from the authors.

 

All submitted works must have been published within the past two years. Submitted works must not have been nominated for another prize at the time of submission, whether by the author or on the author’s behalf, and must not have been previously awarded a prominent international or Arab prize. Re-submissions are accepted if they still fall within the two-year timespan, and new copies of the work should be shared. Submitted books must have an ISBN number to allow for the verification of property rights.

 

Original submitted works should be written in Arabic, with the exception of those submitted under the Translation category (whether translated into or from Arabic) and submissions to the Arab Culture in Other Languages category, where works published in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian are accepted.

 

For the Cultural Personality of the Year award, nominees must be nominated by academic, research, or cultural institutions; literary bodies and universities; or by three prominent intellectual and/or cultural figures. Nominees for all other categories must personally fill out the nomination forms on the SZBA website.

 

The 2023-24 cycle follows the notable success of the SZBA’s 17th edition, which saw the largest number of nominations across its nine categories since the Award’s inception – with a total of 3,151 submissions from 60 countries, including all 22 Arab nations and 38 other countries from around the world.

 

To submit a nomination to the 18th Sheikh Zayed Book Award, or for more information about the submissions process, visit the official SZBA website www.zayedaward.ae or email info@zayedaward.ae.

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ADIBF Welcomes Arab and International Officials and Diplomats

The 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), a part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), drew a remarkable array of officials and international diplomats. These esteemed guests distinguish ADIBF as a global nexus of knowledge, fostering cultural harmony, and serving as an intellectually vibrant hub that enhances knowledge for humanity's betterment and contributes to sustainability and peaceful coexistence.

 

In a noteworthy visit, Hayat Katat Al Garmazi, the Tunisian Minister of Cultural Affairs, along with Moez Benmime, the Tunisian Ambassador to the UAE, toured the Fair and paused at the pavilion dedicated to Ibn Khaldun, a unique historical figure born in Tunisia and honoured as the Focus Personality in this year’s edition. As a keynote speaker in two important sessions on Ibn Khaldun, Al Garmazi represented the Tunisian Republic at ADIBF’s 32nd edition. Her visit coincides with the Emirati-Tunisian project of renovating Ibn Khaldun's house in Tunis's old city, where he was born and raised, as well as the Quba Mosque where he received his initial education. This project underscores efforts aimed at highlighting the Arab and Islamic heritage and illustrates the UAE’s pioneering global approach to preserving the world's tangible and intangible heritage.

 

H.E. Dr. Ahmed bin Hilal bin Saud Al Busaidi, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the UAE, visited ADIBF as well. The Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, took part in the Fair, showcasing a plethora of publications from various government and private institutions and civil society organisations, signifying the deep and enduring cultural ties between the two fraternal countries. The Turkish ambassador, Tugay Tuncer, also paid a visit to ADIBF, where The Republic of Türkiye was recognised as the Guest of Honour in this year’s edition. The visit demonstrated the strength of the cultural relations between the two nations and unveiled a multitude of opportunities for robust partnerships between publishers, distributors, and cultural and artistic sectors in both countries.

 

Other ambassadors in the UAE, including Pakistani Ambassador Faisal Tirmizi, Romanian Ambassador Bogdan Octavian Badica, Shri Amarnath Ashokan, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Republic of India, and Mohammad Lari – Officer of Cultural Diplomacy at the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, also visited the Fair and toured its corners and activities.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Pays a Visit to Homes and Schools

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair announced the winning schools of the competition organised in its 32nd edition. The Fair places great attention on organising a myriad of events and activities for both children and adults, reflecting the organisers' commitment to advancing the cultural revolution embraced by the UAE and transforming it into reality. This is achieved through a focus on nurturing a generation armed with knowledge, enriching the experiences of children while unleashing their undiscovered potential.

 

This year, the Fair hosted a competition for schools with an aim to deepen the involvement of students, parents, and teachers, expanding its activities beyond hosting authors and exhibiting books, and activating the participation of local communities and institutes. Students received a golden opportunity to innovate and have fun at the same time, as the Fair paid them a visit to their homes and schools.

 

Childhood and Excellence

Participating students presented their own understanding of the Fair’s three main themes. Their contributions revolved around "Ibn Khaldoun" as the Focus Personality of ADIBF’s 32nd edition, the Republic of Türkiye as the Fair’s Guest of Honour, and the notion of sustainability. Their works varied between presentations, videos, and drawings, as well as theatrical performances and research projects.

 

A Well-Deserved Recognition

Submission for the competition resumed until the launch of the Fair on Monday, May 22, 2023. 33 schools from both the private and government sectors distributed across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra registered their participation.

 

The judging committee relied on several criteria in its evaluation and selection process, including the number of participating students, the number of benefiting students, as well as the innovation behind each idea. A number of schools in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Al Gharbia region were awarded the competition prize.

 

In Abu Dhabi, the winners included Virginia International Private School, Al Nahda International Private School for Girls, Royal American Private School, Summit International Private School, Al Shorouq Private English School, Al Maha Government School for Girls, Al Dhabiania Private School, Family Development Foundation, and Al Rayan International Private School.

 

From Al Ain, Al Bayraq School for Educational Partnerships was announced as a winner, while from the Gharbia region, Baya Primary School claimed the win.

 

This event serves as the starting point for several other activities planned by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, which will be gradually held throughout the year in local exhibitions and the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. It is part of the Fair's efforts to expand the scope of its activities and enhance communication and engagement with local community institutions. The 32nd edition of the Fair is the largest in its history in terms of exhibition space, number of participants, and a packed schedule of cultural, literary, educational, and artistic events, surpassing a total of two thousand activities.

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Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed visits 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has visited the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

 

Organised by Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the event is taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) until 28 May, bringing together authors, thought leaders and publishers from around the world to showcase the region’s literary and cultural heritage, while strengthening ties between Arab and international publishing communities.

 

During the visit, His Highness toured several exhibitor stands, and also met with publishers who are promoting the Arabic language around the world through various cultural initiatives.

 

HH was accompanied by His Excellency Dr Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office; His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi; His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; His Excellency Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi; His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC; and His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of ALC.

 

The 2023 edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is hosting events across five cultural sites in addition to ADNEC: at the Cultural Foundation, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, New York University Abu Dhabi, and the Logos Hope, the world's largest floating book fair, currently anchored in Mina Zayed in conjunction with the fair's activities.

 

In line with the UAE's declaration of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, the event is focusing on the theme of sustainability. Visitors will be able to attend a range of events and talks that will highlight the best global sustainability practices within the publishing industry, as well as discussions around the broader topics of climate change and food security.

 

The 32nd edition of the Fair is set to be the largest in ADIBF’s history, featuring more than 2,000 cultural, literary, educational, and artistic events. It will also host more than 1,300 participants from more than 85 countries, providing visitors access to more than 500,000 book titles.

 

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is one of the leading literary events in the Arab world, offering a platform for global dialogue and featuring talks by distinguished Arab and international speakers, including renowned authors, artists, academics and digital content creators. The fair is catering to a diverse audience, ranging from professionals to consumers and families, with five primary programme types: cultural, creative arts, children and youth, and specialised professional and partner programmes.

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Under the directives of the UAE President, UAE school libraries gifted AED10m worth of books from ‎‎32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and to support school libraries and nurture the culture of reading among students, AED10 million has been allocated for the purchase of books from the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), to be gifted to UAE school libraries.

 

The initiative aims to nurture a reading culture and enrich educational and cultural resources by providing a diverse collection of books and reference materials across UAE schools.

 

This notable increase in funding, up from last year’s grant of AED6 million, highlights the UAE’s commitment to culture and its strategic vision of fostering an enlightened and knowledge-driven society, where reading and learning are of paramount importance.

 

This initiative has embodied the importance of investing in nurturing the development of tomorrow’s generation. It reflects the longstanding support of the UAE’s leadership for the publishing industry and the broader cultural sector, which was pioneered by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Founding Father, during the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in 1981.

 

The steadfast backing provided serves as a catalyst for the fair to fulfil its pivotal role as a symbol of culture and knowledge. Year after year, the event stands as a central hub for the publishing sector and creative industries, attracting esteemed writers, publishers, intellectuals, and content creators from both the region and beyond. The book fair plays a pivotal role in fostering global cross-cultural exchange and enriching intellectual discourse on a global scale.

 

The fair, which is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and will conclude on 28 May 2023.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Conducts an Arabic Language Survey in the UAE

In collaboration with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre and local statistical centres, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre conducts the "Arabic Language" survey in order to gain a clear understanding of the Arabic language in UAE society and to study the general impression of the Arabic language as a language of knowledge, culture, and creativity.

 

The survey targets Arab nationals or foreigners who speak Arabic, as well as males and females in Emirati culture, in 3 age groups: individuals aged 18 and up, university students aged 18 and up, and school students aged 10 to 18.

 

The "Arabic Language" survey aims to measure the percentage of the population who speak Arabic and use it in their social interactions, assess the extent to which community members are proficient in the Arabic language, whether native or non-native and understand perceptions about the Arabic language in society, in addition to enhancing the status of identifying the tendencies of using the Arabic language in society.

 

The "Arabic Language" survey aligns with the goals of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to pioneer the Arabic language in cultural, creative, and educational fields, contribute to its advancement, increase interest in learning it among native speakers and non-native speakers, setting general policies for its scientific, educational, cultural, and creative development, as well as supporting research and studies and promoting the use of the Arabic language in scientific, cultural, and artistic circles.

 

The "Arabic Language" survey provides a demographic and social database for decision-makers in order to evaluate and develop programs related to the Arabic language in the UAE through a custom-made questionnaire for each group.

 

The questionnaire for school students focused on assessing the general and detailed use of the Arabic language, to determine the most commonly used languages during social interactions, whereas the questionnaire for university students and community members focussed on the general use of different languages and the impression of the standard Arabic language.

 

It is worth noting that the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is concerned with encouraging the advancement of the Arabic language in all aspects of academic, cultural, and public life, leading research and language development efforts, and the active support for research, knowledge transfer, creativity, authorship, translation, and publishing.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre partners with Arab Youth Center to launch Arabic Language Youth Council

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), and the Arab Youth Center (AYC) have launched the Arabic Language Youth Council, designed to promote the Arabic language in line with the needs of younger generations, who stand to revitalise the language and empower it to evolve and adapt in the future.

 

The initiative is a result of the partnership between the ALC and the AYC and is launched in collaboration with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and the Zai Centre for Arabic language research at Zayed University. The Arabic Language Youth Council is a notable addition to the efforts made by these four institutions to implement innovative new methods to promote the use of Arabic and empower young people to actively shape the future of their language.

 

The ALC, the AYC, and other partners will serve as the General Secretariat of the initiative. The AYC will assume operations management duties for the project, while the ALC will oversee intellectual and linguistic content, in addition to playing an advisory role and coordinating with all entities that share common goals with the Arabic Language Youth Council.

 

The Council’s mandate will include holding specialised workshops and seminars to bring young people together with representatives of regional Arabic language academies and research centres. These sessions will host lecturers and researchers with extensive expertise in developing and updating dictionaries, in an effort to inspire young participants with global success stories which will inform their efforts to reinvigorate the Arabic language in the UAE.

 

The Council will also be active in conducting field research, collecting statistics, and organising surveys, with a particular focus on the new vocabulary used by Arab youth, and the extent to which it can be adapted and integrated into the Arabic language.

 

Membership in the Arabic Language Youth Council is open to all nationalities. The initiative targets Arabic speakers aged 18 to 35, across all academic disciplines and employment sectors, as well as non-Arabic-speaking youth who are studying or interested in the language. To be nominated for membership in the Council, candidates must have excelled in fields related to the Arabic language, including reading, writing, and conversation. Furthermore, they must possess outstanding personal skills and have made impactful contributions to the community at large.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Arabic language faces a range of challenges which require innovative solutions, projects, and initiatives. In alignment with the National Strategy for the Cultural and Creative Industries and the Abu Dhabi Strategy for Culture and Identity,  the Arabic Language Youth Council represents a systematic approach to enabling the Arabic language to thrive and regain its prominent role in personal, professional and educational settings – while taking into consideration the changing needs of contemporary Arab society. We are proud to collaborate with the Arab Youth Center and all our partners towards our shared goal of increasing the use of the Arabic language within Emirati and wider Arab society.”

 

His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, said: “The Arabic language is the subject of special attention at the highest levels in the UAE. In recent years, it has become a major part of the country’s comprehensive development strategies, which can be seen clearly in numerous government projects and initiatives.”

 

“The Arabic language itself is not in danger, but the relationship Arabic speakers have with their language is not optimal. With that in mind, initiatives that focus on the Arabic language, particularly those directed to young people, such as the Arabic Language Youth Council, become all the more important; these initiatives create promising opportunities for us to achieve our goals, connect youth with their native tongue, and bring the Arabic language into the modern era.”

 

Dr. Hanada Taha, Endowed Chair Professor of Arabic Language and Director of the Zai Centre at Zayed University, said: “Getting close to young people allows academic and research institutions to understand their vision and needs, and to encourage their attachment to their language and identity. Youth are the group most capable of designing and developing projects and initiatives that meet and cater to these needs, adapting to increasingly rapid developments.”

 

“We are delighted to be working with all of our partners, providing them with research and information to support and preserve the Arabic language. More importantly, we look forward to exploring opportunities across various sectors still untapped by the Arabic language, in line with its rapid development, especially in the technology and entrepreneurship sectors.”

 

Sadeq Jarrar, Executive Director at AYC, said: “The Arab Youth Center is committed to supporting all efforts to strengthen young people’s connection with their language and identity, offering them myriad programmes and projects to build their skills and engage them in various development plans. The Centre will collaborate with its partners in the Arabic Language Youth Council to support the youth’s efforts to strengthen the Arabic language, all the while creating personal, professional, and national opportunities related to our identity and our language, and aligning them with the needs of young generations. The youth are the most capable of bringing new life to the Arabic language, and exploring its capacity to adapt to the developments of the times.”

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Clavreuil Showcases Its Rarest Artefacts at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

As part of its participation in the 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT), Clavreuil, the renowned French library, presents an array of its rarest artefacts. Among its unique collection stands the book of Pierre Gourdelle, one of the most valuable ornithology books globally and the first French book documenting the world of birds at an estimated value of AED 11 million.

 

Gourdelle's book is a historical heritage composition and a scientific and artistic wonder. As a mid-sixteenth-century album of watercolours, it consists of 50 sheets carrying 60 drawings of various bird species prevalent in Europe and beyond during that era. The book transports visitors back to the French Renaissance with its natural vintage French calf leather covers adorned with glittering golden embellishments arranged in harmonious patterns of luxury, all preserved in a modern clam-shell box of green Morocco leather.

 

Clavreuil's participation in this year's ADIBF witnesses more than 20 pieces aiming at enriching visitors' knowledge of French culture and history through a wide array of rare exhibits. This participation contributes to building bridges of communication between cultures and fostering knowledge exchange between the Western and Middle Eastern worlds.

 

In its commitment to unfolding the pages of global arts and cultures, ADIBF offers a leading platform for the world's greatest publishing houses and libraries to display their rare and valuable collections. This opportunity allows visitors to engage with a myriad of global cultures and interact with their artistic and literary displays to enhance their knowledge of other civilisations throughout different eras. Though these times have passed, their legacy continues to live, shaping the narrative of today and the future.

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Unveiling the World’s Cuisines at ADIBF 2023

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT), the 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair hosts a group of favoured local and international chefs to flaunt their skills, secrets, and tasty recipes to visitors. The Fair showcases culture in its various formats, including high-end content that elevates the recipients' taste and knowledge and strengthens the concept of sustainability in our surroundings and daily life practices.

 

World’s Cuisines

A delicious corner dedicated to cooking shows in ADIBF’s 2023 edition. A platform for aspiring local and international chefs and culinary enthusiasts who will leave the audience with a new vision that will make a positive difference in the world of cooking. Chefs will showcase their skills, techniques, and excellence in the world's most famous cuisines.

 

Numerous Chefs and Influencers

“World’s Cuisines” presents chefs from various cultures, many of whom are social media influencers such as the youngest Emirati chef twins - Maitha and Abdulrahman Al Hashmi - who obtained a professional culinary diploma from the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) accredited in the Middle East at the age of 13, chef Musabbeh Alkaabi from the UAE, famous chef Ahmad Al Zamil from Kuwait who has a fan base of a whopping 4.2 million, Abir El Saghir - the Lebanese chef who captured the hearts of millions on social media, celebrity chef Leyla Fathallah, and the Egyptian culinary expert Salma Soliman.

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Mohammed Bin Zayed University for Humanities at ADIBF 2023

Mohammed Bin Zayed University for Humanities participates in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023 with a packed programme that extends throughout the days of the Fair. The programme includes seminars and lectures covering intellectual, literary, social, and humanitarian topics, presented by a large group of professors and experts from the University. The programme also introduces new books in these fields and concludes with a poetry evening featuring a selection of renowned Arab poets.

 

This week witnessed the launch of the magazine "Qira'at" in a session featuring Dr. Radwan El-Sayed, moderated by Dr. Nizar Qabilat. Asma Al-Maamari also delivered a lecture on Emirati craftsmanship. In the “Salon of Wisdom”, Dr. Ibrahim Zainhum discussed the philosophy of language and the domains of applied linguistics.

 

The University also hosted a seminar titled "The Future of Humanities Studies," with the participation of Professor Dr. Mohamed Osman Al-Khasht, Dr. Ismail Ketabkhana, and Dr. Eric Jouvra. Dr. Wadema Al-Dhaheri delivered a lecture on sustainability in the United Arab Emirates, while Dr. Sterling Jensen presented a lecture on scientific approaches to studying religions. The events also included a book signing ceremony for Ibn Tufail's book by Prof. Ebrahim Bourshashen.

 

The University's activities at the Fair continued with a session on Ibn Khaldun, the philosopher and historian who is the Focus Personality of this year's edition. The session featured Dr. Ridwan Al-Sayyid, Dr. Nabil bin Abdullatif, and was moderated by Asma Al-Maamari. Additionally, Dr. Wadema Al-Dhaheri presented a lecture titled "Social Tolerance and Its Impact on Society." Dr. Maryam Al-Zaidi discussed a doctoral thesis on ethical values and their applications in financial transactions, and in the Salon of Wisdom, Dr. Saeed Obeid spoke about the philosophy of values according to George Santayana.

 

The Fair continues with elite contributions that enrich the University's participation. On the fourth day of the Fair, a seminar on Emirati literature and its extensions took place, featuring Dr. Nizar Qubailat, Dr. Abduldaim Salami, and Dr. Iyad Abdulhameed. Dr. Ridwan Al-Sayyid delivered a lecture on renewing religious discourse, while Dr. Haithm Zinhom Morsy presented a lecture on the impact of modern technologies on the purity of the classical Arabic language. Asma Al-Majid spoke in the “Salon of Wisdom” about philosophy and music.

 

On the fifth day, Dr. Ridwan Al-Sayyid spoke in the Salon of Wisdom about the importance of books in Arab-Islamic heritage. The university organised a session on the United Arab Emirates and heritage, with the participation of Dr. Wadema Al-Dhaheri, Dr. Maryam Al-Kalbani, and Asma Al-Maamari, moderated by Dr. Najia Al-Kitbi. Additionally, there was a lecture for a doctoral thesis on tolerance in the United Arab Emirates by Dr. Omar Alduray.

 

On the sixth day, Dr. Ibrahim Borsashan and Dr. Abdul Daim Salami will discuss the philosophy of poetry in the Salon of Wisdom. Dr. Maria Al-Hattali also gave a talk on the common links between religions. Dr. Ibrahim Shibuh will deliver a lecture titled "My Journey with Ibn Khaldun." The same day also features a book signing ceremony for Dr. Haithm Zinhom Morsy's book titled "Automated Language and Humanities Processing."

 

The last days of the Fair will also witness a poetry evening in the realm of classical Arabic poetry featuring Dr. Mohammed Adnani, Dr. Laabidi Bouabdallah, Prof. Ebrahim Bourshashen, Dr. Iyad Abdulhameed, and Dr. Abduldaim Salami. Dr. Saeed Obeid presents a lecture in the Salon of Wisdom on the philosophy of ethics according to Bertrand Russell. Dr. Fatima Al-Dhahmani delivers a lecture on the history of tolerance and coexistence in the United Arab Emirates. The University concludes its events with a book signing ceremony for Dr. Karima Al-Mazroui's book titled "When the Classroom Door Closes."

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023 Hosts the International Artist Felix Semper

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, running at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) until May 28, celebrates the concept of "Sustainability" as a Focus Idea in line with the UAE's declaration of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability prior to hosting the Conference of the Parties "COP28" next November, by organising a number of events that highlight Sustainability and the best international practices in this field.

 

Among the events, sessions, and panel discussions dedicated to highlighting sustainability’s concept in general and how to activate it in various fields such as climate and food security; the Fair hosts a line-up of the most prominent activists in this field worldwide. On top of the list is the artist "Felix Semper", a Cuban American artist known for his creative use of paper and eco-friendly materials in his works, and is best known for his mind-bending stretchable paper sculptures and his constant search for new techniques to incorporate everyday materials into his work.

 

Through his years of experience, he was also able to redefine the concept of traditional sculpture; where he succeeded in replacing elements, that are difficult to decompose, non-eco-friendly and are widely available in our daily lives such as papers, books, wood, and vinyl records, with the traditional materials used by sculptors around the world.

 

Although his pop culture stretch paper works and sculptures appear to be made of stone or solid materials at first glance, they are actually made entirely of glued layers of paper, wood, books, and recycled materials, so their flexible movement gives them a playful character that adds to its beautiful aesthetics that are not available in traditional sculptures, and this uniqueness does not extend only to his sculptures; it also extends to his paintings, which bear a character close to street drawings and graffiti.

 

Visitors to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair can view a collection of Felix Semper's works, which he created specifically for his participation in the 32nd edition of the exhibition and were inspired by Abu Dhabi's heritage, history, most prominent tourist attractions, and iconic buildings. They can also attend live performances and workshops that Semper provides throughout the exhibition's days.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023 Hosts Abdullah Annan, the Famous Science Content Creator

As part of its 32nd edition, which runs until May 28, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair hosts Eng. Abdullah Annan, one of the most recognised scientific content creators on social media platforms as part of its framework in bringing together prominent cultural writers, artists, and content creators, to provide an important platform for dialogue and interaction, with the opportunity to hear about the fascinating stories of innovators from all over the world.

 

On Saturday, May 27, Abdullah Annan will present a science show for the public, which will include scientific experiments to benefit and entertain adults and children. Annan is well-known for his distinction in interacting more with society and attracting the attention of young people through content that is both informative and entertaining.

 

On the following day, the famous TV and social media star will engage in an interactive dialogue with educational decision-makers, in which school leaders and owners will be introduced to the secrets of generational education and how to reveal them. Annan will give them accurate advice and tricks on how to unleash the facilitation of the educational system and simplify its curricula, as well as how to integrate social media and video into teaching to make it more interactive.

 

The Fair’s goal is not only to host content creators and the most prominent innovators, nor to highlight the most prominent talents; rather, it is to provide a platform for visitors, particularly young people, to interact more with guests who share their successful journey, achievements, sources of inspiration, and career goals, and provide advice that benefits youth in the content creation industry, and to highlight the most significant challenges. The show also honours the artists who continue to inspire creativity and joy.

 

Annan is a well-known provider of scientific content on "Tik Tok" with the title of Best Educational Content Creator on "Tik Tok" in the Middle East for 2020, as he presents scientific content to students in a simplified manner on the digital "Science Street" platform. Throughout several episodes of the "Science Street" show, he delivered a simplified explanation of experiments and scientific laws and terminology, attempting to transform complex scientific material in chemistry and physics into simpler words, experiences, and meanings for students.

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Unveiling its 32nd edition, Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Hosts Rare Arabic and Global Manuscripts

The 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, running until May 28th, is showcasing a remarkable array of rare historical manuscripts and significant maps. These pieces span various eras, from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries, and are presented by top international publishers. Visitors have a unique opportunity to delve into the histories of both Arabic and global literature, science, and arts. This collection of scientific, artistic, and literary works provides the audience with a broader understanding of the cultural and historical essence of not only the Arab nation but also various civilisations in the past.

Notably, one such rare artefact that visitors can peruse is the "Saint Petersburg Manuscript" of the Holy Quran. This version draws its name from its place of origin, the Academy of Sciences Press in Saint Petersburg. In an act of religious tolerance, it was printed under the orders of Russian Empress Catherine the Second in 1787, and freely distributed among the "Kyrghyz" community.

 

Among other precious exhibits is "A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land", penned by Bernhard von Breydenbach in 1486 and artistically enriched with illustrations by the Dutch artist Erhard Reuwich. The book is recognized as the world's first travel guide and is also the first printed book to incorporate Arabic script. It features a fascinating journey of Beirut, Jerusalem, Cairo, and several other ports and cities that the authors visited en route from Venice to the Holy Land.

 

In addition to the original "Hunter's Map", the most ancient map of the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region, ADIBF features the 13th-century book "History of Al-Mustabsir" by Arab historian Ibn Al-Mujawir. This historical record offers insights into the Arabian Peninsula's social, economic, and cultural norms during that era through various maps, charts, and illustrations.

 

Also on display is Al-Majusi's 1582 work, "Complete Art of Medicine", a unique medical guide from the golden age of Islamic science providing detailed surgical instructions. Visitors can also explore the beautiful "Celestial Atlas", a gem from the golden age of cartography, the first Arabic edition of "One Thousand and One Nights", and a 13th-century parchment-printed gospel.

 

ADIBF’s dedication to showcasing these rare manuscripts underscores its commitment to allowing its visitors an easy and intimate encounter with the world's ancient knowledge, literature, and heritage. This also serves to deepen visitors' appreciation for the rich history and cultural distinctiveness of the region in bygone eras.

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A session by the British Author "Matt Ridley"

The 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre - part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT), hosted the British scientist and journalist “Matt Ridley” who gave an interesting session on his latest book "How Innovation Works"

 

In the session, Ridley, discussed the importance of innovation in changing the world and shaping our future, presenting a fascinating and in-depth look into the process of innovation and how to achieve it, and then delving into further detail on the concept of innovation, its nature, and how it occurs, as well as its importance and impact on the continuous transformation of the world.

 

According to Ridley, our world is evolving and changing as a result of invention, which necessitates adequate freedom to experiment and invest. By definition, innovation is the evolution and integration of existing ideas and technologies over time, as well as the advancement of knowledge and technology, in order to use renewable tools and materials to find new solutions to human challenges, meet their needs, and achieve comprehensive development in a variety of fields. However, innovation is rarely well-received.

 

Although it may need a touch of luck for the inventor to stumble across something unexpected and investigate how it can be useful, innovation does not rely only on luck, as there is always a series of gradual events and consequences that will promote invention. The accumulation of knowledge significantly contributes to the occurrance of innovation when different people work to produce it in multiple places, taking into account the importance of time in this process, as this requires sufficient time to discover new ideas and develop them into real innovations.

 

Ridley also explained the relationship between innovation and invention, which is a subset of innovation. The invention requires ongoing development in order to become a trustworthy and useful source that benefits us and contributes to the ease of our lives.

 

Innovation, on the other hand, frequently leads to discovery, as we unveil new and innovative things that inspire us to learn more about the technologies that enable them. There is trial and error in both scenarios, as well as times of inspiration and serendipity where various people can have the same creative experience.

 

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will continue to bring subject matter experts like Matt Ridely to the public, enabling visitos of all ages to be inspired and to learn something of value every day until May 28th at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre announces “One Hundred and One Novels” during ADIBF 2023

As part of the activities of the 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), launched its new publication "One Hundred and One Novels: Arab Novels that Enriched the 20th Century" during a session titled “One Hundred and One Novels: The Treasures of Arabic Narrative”.

 

The session was attended by a constellation of writers, critics, and specialists in the Arabic language and its literary arts. It witnessed a rich dialogue about the new book and its cultural dimensions, as well as its importance in shaping the literary taste of Arab readers, specifically the emerging generation, through a selected collection of the most creative novels in Arab literature.

 

The session hosted a distinguished panel of speakers, including Dr. Chokri Al Mabkhout, University Professor at Zayed University, Dr. Muhsin Al-Musawi, Professor of Classical and Modern Arabic Literature at Columbia University - New York, Dr. Khalil Sheikh, Director of the Arabic Language Education and Research Department at ALC, and Dr. Mohamed Abu Al-Fadl Badran, Academic, Poet and Literary Critic. Together, they shed light on the importance of this book and its literary and cultural impact derived from the depth of the selected novels and their influence on the culture of Arab society through the creative variations in literary styles and themes.

 

This book is a result of the efforts of ALC in supporting the Arabic language and its readers and is a continuation of its project "One Hundred and One Books: Arab Books that Impacted the World", launched during the 31st edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. A publication that grants readers the opportunity to discover creative treasures of the Arabic language and its literature throughout the ages.

 

On the book, Dr. Khalil Al-Sheikh commented: “This is an exceptional addition to the Arabic library due to its immense literary value and the diversity it presents in the creative presentation of the selected novels' themes. This diversity undoubtedly takes the Arab reader on a cultural journey that sharpens their taste and shapes their cultural identity.”

 

He further explained the journey of the book from its inception to its release, saying: “14 critics participated in the creation of this book. Each of them initially proposed 75 novels that they considered the best in terms of subject matter and cultural and societal impact. These novels were then reviewed, and foundations were laid to select 101 novels that the specialised committee deemed representative of contemporary Arab culture. Each of the critics then wrote an analysis or translation for each selected novel, which was carefully reviewed, organised, and placed in chronological order before its release”.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre continues to work on new publications as part of the "One Hundred and One Books" project, currently working on the third edition titled “One Hundred and One Innovators” in collaboration with a specialised research team, set to be launched during the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

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Participants in Abu Dhabi Book Fairs Exempt From Rental and Participation Fees for Third Consecutive Year

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced that participants in all book fairs in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are exempt from paying rental and participation fees in 2023.

 

For the third consecutive year, the decision exempts all publishing houses, exhibitors, and publishers participating in the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023, Al Ain Book Festival 2023, and Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023 from rental and participation fees. The objective is to offer a strong incentive to attract more publishers and creators to participate in these exhibitions, which serves to enrich the local and regional cultural scene, supply Arab libraries with a wide collection of international publications, and position Abu Dhabi as a global cultural capital, a thriving centre for commerce, and a hub for cross-cultural dialogue.

 

H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: "The fees exemption granted to publishing houses, exhibitors, and publishers participating in Abu Dhabi’s book fairs and festivals – now for the third consecutive year – is a catalyst for growth and advancement in the publishing and creative industries locally, regionally, and globally. This feeds into wider goals of the ALC, namely to reach greater numbers of readers and to promote and elevate Arabic language content across all forms of publishing. This decision reflects the vision of our wise leadership and the great value they place on knowledge and culture as essential elements of a thriving society.” 

 

The exemption forms part of the DCT Abu Dhabi and the ALC’s joint efforts to support local and international publishers, in line with the Centre’s strategy to ensure the continuity and growth of the publishing sector and promote Arabic as a language of culture, science, and innovation.

 

The announcement coincides with the launch of the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, taking place from 22-28 May at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

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5 Major Programmes Featured at the 32nd Edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT), the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair continues to take place until May 28, featuring a diverse cultural programme with over 2,000 main events and 700 activities presented by exhibitors and partners, to form an overall cultural, literary, artistic, and educational diversity comparable to that of a cultural festival whose events last for a full week of sessions, seminars, dialogues, discussions, workshops, and live and cinematic performances that meet the aspirations and interests of visitors of various tastes and ages.

 

The Fair's largest edition in its history is distinguished by the diversity of its events, which will be presented across five main programmes: the cultural programme "INSPIRE", the creative arts programme "CREATE", the children and youth programme "LEARN", the professional programme "DEVELOP", and the exhibitors and partners programme "EXPLORE".

 

INSPIRE: Cultural Programme

The cultural programme will be a great source of inspiration and a rich resource, with various cultural and literary seminars, including the Guest of Honour "The Republic of Türkiye" and the Focus Personality "Ibn Khaldun", as well as a number of debates and poetry evenings, and opportunities to meet famous names in the Arab and international world of books, and obtain signed copies of books, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as well as the launch of the "Podcast from Abu Dhabi" for the first time at the Fair.

 

The cultural programme "INSPIRE" will feature a number of not-to-be-missed sessions like “Sustainability According to the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan”, part of  the sustainability programme, which comes in line with the UAE’s announcement of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, “The Impact of Ibn Khaldun on the Global Thought”, discussing the great impact of his writings on global thought, and a session titled “The Century of Turkish Literature from West to East”, exploring last century’s Turkish literature. It will also host a session about the “Science Fiction Works Exchange Symposium & Arabic Copyright Signing Ceremony of The Wandering Earth", focussing on the reality of science fiction literature in China and the prospects of Arab-Chinese cooperation in this field, in addition to “An Evening in the Company of Nizar Qabbani and Nazik al-Malaeka” to celebrate their centenary of birth, and “The Epic Sagas of the East Never Die… A Contemporary Reading of Gilgamesh” investigating whether Gilgamesh was initially a real person or a fictional character created by myths and heroic epics.

 

 

CREATE: Arts and Creative Programmes

This year, the Fair features seminars and workshops that provide a one-of-a-kind experience in everything related to creativity, from sketching to cinema and from photography to culinary arts, where visitors will immerse themselves in a unique experience of creativity that fills the place.

 

Among the activities that the art programme "CREATE" will witness is a workshop on the “Taste of Türkiye by the Guest of Honour”, in which participants will have a unique opportunity to learn from a culinary expert about the characteristics of Turkish food. Also, a session about “The Art of the Rababa”, during which they talk about the art of rebab and perform some interesting clips. In addition to a workshop on “The Art of Designing Chibi Anime Characters”, which introduces the art of anime and how to draw characters in the Chibi style, as well as screenings of short films in the "Black Box Cinema" and possibilities to publish own comic books and graphic novels for visitors at the “Sandstorm” booth, the first dedicated comic book studio in the UAE, which was founded to support local talents, in addition to many other artistic events.

 

LEARN: Children and Youth Programmes

Because learning is one of the Fair’s main themes this year, the Children and Youth Programme is designed to take care of everything related to children's culture, through activities that stimulate their enthusiasm and contribute to their growth and development within a valuable entertainment and educational framework.

 

One of what the “LEARN” program includes is an interactive "Spend Some Energy" event to teach how to take care of our planet and make it more dependent on clean energy, and full of jokes and funny singing sessions “Hello Mr. Jam!”.

 

The Importance of Arabic Content Online – Wikimedians” is another session on the LEARN programme’s agenda that delves into the significance of having trustworthy and accessible information in the Arabic language in the digital world, and “Being Together” session is one more on the list that educates attendees on how to understand and embrace individual differences with empathy and kindness.

 

The "Children's Oasis" offers a delightful environment full of fun and exciting activities, performances, and artistic workshops, as well as reading sessions that combine literature and culture, beside the "Alpha" corner which offers young visitors innovative visual and interactive activities designed to help them broaden their horizons and learn more about their world.

 

DEVELOP: Professional Programmes

The Fair’s development workshops provide opportunities for writers and publishers to sharpen their abilities and learn more about the publishing industry from notable industry experts.

 

Among the activities included in the professional programme are the “Agenda for the China-Arab Civilization Dialogue – China-Arab Publishing Culture Exchange and Cooperation Forum” for publishing cooperation between Arab and Chinese publishers, and a workshop on “How Do You Publish a Translated Work?” that explains how to choose books for translation and publication.

 

The programme also includes a workshop about “How to Publish an E-Book?” which provides solutions to the challenges of digital publishing, and a session on “AI and the Future of Publishing” on the relationship of technologies to publishing and the impact of artificial intelligence on the future of electronic and audiobooks, as well as workshops that help you improve your creative writing skills, and many more.

 

EXPLORE: Partners and Exhibitors Programmes

The “EXPLORE” programme sheds light on governmental partnerships around us, in addition to creating opportunities to meet writers and engage with them in constructive conversation, and building memories at book signings for unforgettable experiences.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Reserves a Major Part of Events for Children and Youth in Its 32nd Edition

The activities of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year have kicked off as part of its 32nd edition at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre "ADNEC." The Fair is portrayed by diverse themes ranging from cultural, artistic, creative, and professional aspects, in addition to the educational theme, which is considered one of the main pillars of the Fair due to its strong bond with children and youth who are among the most important segments of visitors.

 

The "Learn" programme has been designed specifically for children and youth, focussing on their cultures and interests. The programme includes a variety of educational and training activities and events that enhance the appeal, growth, and development of their scientific and practical skills within a valuable educational and entertaining framework. The programme also provides entertainment and developmental options that help improve communication between children, parents, and friends, comprehensive multidisciplinary panel discussions, and diverse sessions for university and school students aimed at expanding their horizons and encouraging their active participation in community development.

 

Among the main activities in the children and youth programme are fun and inspiring workshops and activities to explore galaxies, space sciences, and the secrets of the universe, as well as robots used in space stations and surrounding planets, and virtual reality experiences of space travel. Additionally, there is an opportunity to conduct chemical experiments in the chemistry lab for the production of sanitizers, soaps, perfumes, secret ink, and more.

 

This is in addition to the "Children’s Oasis," which provides an opportunity for interaction through fresh and inspiring activities and experiments. It includes art workshops, reading sessions, and opportunities to interact with distinguished writers in enjoyable and inspiring dialogues and sessions. These include the Dinosaur Corner, which includes workshops for excavation, engravings, and virtual reality games to experience the world of dinosaurs, as well as the "Number Blocks" corner, which focusses on numbers, calculation, and mathematics.

 

The "Alpha" corner within the youth programme also offers innovative activities that include visual and interactive experiences, specialised workshops, and experiments aimed at developing and improving their artistic and social skills. It provides them with an opportunity to meet and interact with influencers in various fields, expanding their perception of the future and discovering more about their world.

 

Among the other main activities is the interactive event "Exhaust Some Energy!" aimed at teaching children how to take care of our planet and make it more sustainable by relying on clean energy sources. There is also the entertaining session "Hello Mr Gum!" filled with jokes and funny songs, the session "What Do You Know About Ibn Khaldun?" to introduce the biography of Ibn Khaldun and his achievements that changed the world, the session "Being Together" to explore how to understand the people around us, accept their differences, and interact with kindness and tolerance, and the session "The Importance of Arabic

Content Online – Wikimedians" which discusses the importance of providing reliable information in Arabic in the digital world.

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The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023 offers a rich professional programme with a plethora of exciting events

The professional programme of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year is packed with numerous events that enhance the advancement of the publishing industry and support those interested in it. It provides all that is needed for the industry, including skill development and discussions on its current state and future aspirations. It offers a professional and contemporary platform for professional networking, partnerships, exchange, and joint publishing. This is in line with the strategic vision of the UAE and the vision of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair to achieve its leading role in the global publishing arena, based on global professional concepts that embrace sustainability, professionalism, and empowerment.

 

The professional programme includes more than 20 events organised into 5 main axes that address the professional needs of Arab publishers and emphasise the significant presence of international publishers. These axes include translation, marketing, creative content, digital publishing, and partnerships. Each axis is discussed by a selection of experts and professionals in a series of events that delve into the details of each axis, providing insights into current realities and future aspirations, while establishing professionalism with international standards and future perspectives. Additionally, there are sessions within each axis that consider the technical aspects of publishing as an industry and aim for sustainability as a goal, featuring practitioners, visionaries, and successful experiences.

 

The professional programme of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year provides a daily forum for publishers, specialists, and industry experts and facilitates the search for new collaborative projects among publishers, providing opportunities for the exchange of publishing, translation, and digital and audio transformation rights.

 

The programme distinguishes itself by offering an Arab platform that meets the aspirations and needs of Arab publishers, while also incorporating an international presence that adds a new dimension to Arab publishing. It opens doors for partnerships and opportunities to explore industry developments and technologies. The programme focuses on achieving the concept of sustainability through foundational sessions that serve as a new starting point for Arab publishing professionals. Alongside the international presence, it creates a stimulating environment for local publishing professionals to share their experiences and exchange knowledge with regional and international participants.

 

The Emirati presence in this programme is notable and diverse, enriched by the significant number of Emiratis working in the publishing industry and those interested in it. Local publishers such as "Dar Al-Thaqafa," "Dar Al-Hudhud," "Dar Al-Muheet," "Al-Folk," "Dar Sedra," "Dar Kiwi," "Dar Al-Burj," "Dar Noor," "Dar Ghaf," "Smart Mind Publishing," and "Comics Publishing" contribute to the programme with their unique presence.

 

The programme boasts a distinguished presence of institutional figures starting with officials from the International Publishers Association, encompassing international and Arab entities, organisations, and institutions, and culminating with the younger generation of publishers and emerging talents. The programme expands its horizons towards the future of the industry by exploring the developments in digital publishing, digital marketing mechanisms, and the relationship between digital and print through content and promotion, side by side.

 

To fulfil its mission of fostering creative talents, providing an incubator for their development, and offering professional learning opportunities for young creators, the professional programme of the Book Fair includes sessions and workshops in the fields of creative and technical writing. The aim is to highlight successful experiences and provide professional support for beginners.

 

The programme also includes professional aspects related to the Republic of Türkiye, which is the Guest of Honour of this year's edition. It celebrates successful Turkish publishing experiences through professional seminars for Turkish publishers and provides a platform for Turkish publishers and specialists to collaborate and engage in mutual learning with Arab and foreign publishers. This programme attracts a significant number of Turkish participants interested in the cultural industry, seeking to sign a considerable number of agreements related to copyright and publishing rights and aiming to secure a larger share of the international market. They will present several sessions on the Turkish book market, where books are read in the Turkish language, and discuss international copyright, translation, and publishing rights.

 

The programme also witnesses the same level of interest from participating publishers from the People's Republic of China, which has the largest participation in the Fair this year after the Frankfurt Book Fair. There are 50 Chinese government publishing houses participating, with 20 of them attending in person, while the rest participate through agencies. Some Chinese publishing houses are directly participating as well. Notable participants include the Beijing International Book Fair, Shanghai International Children's Book Fair, China National Publications Import and Export Group Corp, Beijing Language and Culture University, and Jelly Books for Children.

 

The professional programme of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair serves as a strong supporter of the advancement of the publishing industry and its enthusiasts. It provides everything needed for skill development and knowledge exchange. The programme focusses on achieving real and tangible collaboration among participating publishers from around the world through meetings for rights and translation exchange. It aims to establish the role of Arab book fairs as supportive platforms for publishing rights trade and enriching Arabic content with new offerings. The goal is for the Fair to become a centre for exporting Arabic content, allowing the world to see and explore its latest developments.

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Black Box Cinema Shines at the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT); the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair holds its 32nd session until 28 May 2023, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), with over 2,700 diverse events ranging from cultural, artistic, educational, and professional topics.

 

This year, visitors will enjoy a renewed cinematic experience with the "Black Box Cinema", presenting Arab films and spreading cinematic culture; an interesting programme that includes 15 short films from the Arab world, as well as 7 films from the Republic of Türkiye: ADIBF 2023’s Guest of Honour.

 

The UAE is taking part in 3 short films: "A Small Dream" about a young woman who has a small and seemingly simple dream of swimming in the sea. She faces obstacles and struggles to find the balance between fulfilling her dream and her fear of judgment. On the other hand, "Amber" tells the story of a barber who is caught in a deadly situation when he realises that his first customer of the day is not who he seems to be. The film "Unveiling Selma" tells the story of Selma, 35, who decides to free herself from housework, her neglectful husband, and her innocent daughter, in order to rediscover herself.

 

Saudi Arabia showcases 3 short films; "My Vibe" explores how the lives of three teenagers changed forever after a cinema theatre opened in Jeddah. "Othman", who is a parking lot security guard at a public hospital lives harmoniously with his cousin, before events shake him out of his customary complacency and forces him to face reality, while "Panting" follows Marco as he finds himself in a maze between reality and its virtual counterpart, seeking to find the girl he met on social media.

 

Visitors of the Fair will also have the chance to explore movies from Egypt, namely, "Big Day", a story of a wedding that goes the wrong way after rumours spread that the groom is planning to flee, "Liter of Gas", the story of an unemployed man who goes on a journey searching for gasoline for his car after a nationwide rise in oil prices, only to find himself exploring the socioeconomic injustices that caused this situation in the first place, and "Doors of Makkah" that recounts Makkah’s pathway to become a leader in her community creating a unique success story, facing marginalisation and challenges suffered by her women peers in Nuba, in addition to two Tunisian films, "Train" and "Flesh and Blood".

 

Bahrain is taking part with the film "The Sea Bride" that depicts the story of a young woman who must decide between surrendering to her family’s decision, society, and traditions, or rebellion. "This World Is Wonderful" from Kuwait, "Long Trip" from Iraq, and "Abed" from Jordan are shown as well.

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2nd International Congress on Arab Publishing and Creative Industries Concludes Rich Programme of Panel Discussions and Workshops

The second edition of the International Congress on Arab Publishing and Creative Industries has come to a close following a rich programme bringing together publishers, translators, content creators and entrepreneurs from around the world to discuss topics related the latest trends in publishing and Arabic content.

 

Held on 21 and 22 May 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), under the theme ‘Adapting Stories’, the event was organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), as part of the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

 

The congress programme featured a diverse series of panel discussions and workshops. ‘Arab Fantasy Tales: Where Has All That Magic Disappeared?’ saw Arab creatives discuss the challenges of adapting fantasy stories for wider audiences while staying true to the story’s cultural roots, and how creators can draw inspiration from the rich history of Arab literature to open new horizons for the genre. Speakers included Emirati filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja, CEO of Nayla Al Khaja Film Company and founder of Scene Club Film Club; author and scriptwriter Ahmed Murad; Creative Director of Sandstorm UAE Mohammed Al Shaibani; and Director of Shahid Original at MBC Group Ali Ghamloush. The moderator was Dr. Abdulwahab Khalifa, an expert in Arabic literature and translation.

 

The congress also discussed the relationship between education and entertainment in the session ‘Edutainment: Can Entertainment Be Used to Support the Quality of Education?’.  This discussion explored the growth of edutainment and how effectively it encourages children and young people to learn, and how teachers and content creators can use it to improve educational outcomes. The panelists were CEO and Co-Founder of Adam & Mishmish Lama Adnani; Founder and CEO of Lamsa Bader Ward;  Historian of Futurology and Science Fiction and Principal Lecturer at the University of Erasmus Rotterdam Etienne F. Oge; and Project Manager of the Children's Museum and Content Curator at Louvre Abu Dhabi Anne Haguel. The session was moderated by Dr. Hanada Taha, Professor of the Arabic Language Chair and Director of the Arabic Language Center for Research and Development at Zayed University.

 

The panel discussion ‘Audiobooks and Podcasts: Can an Audible Word Keep Up with Music?’ featured Karim Beydoun, CEO and Chief Content Officer of Hakawati; Mohammed Al Ajili, Vice President of Product Management at Anghami, the leading music streaming platform in the MENA region; Helena Gustafssen, Chief Content Officer at Storytel and CEO of Storyside, digital publisher of Storytel; and George Walkley, digital publishing expert. Moderated by columnist for The National Saeed Saeed, the panel addressed the recent expansion of music streaming platforms by adding audiobooks and podcasts to their users' music content, debating how this model of delivering integrated audio content can enhance the Arabic publishing industry and increase interest in reading, and what innovations are needed to support authors and publishers to take advantage of growth opportunities.

 

‘Translation or Adaptation of Content to Culture? Towards Increasing Access to Arabic Content’ highlighted the importance of the role of translation in adapting content for global audiences and providing international content to Arab audiences. Panelists included leading translators and content creators: author and translator Mohamed Esmat; Adham Abdullah, creative content writer at Wanderman Thompson; Younis Al-Jada, Director of Harmonization and Translation at Tamatem; and Nadia Al-Khayyat, Managing Partner of All Prints. The panel was moderated by Maha Abdullah, Senior Product Manager for International Printing at Adobe, and a former localisation consultant and regional language expert for the Middle East and North Africa at Netflix and Disney Plus streaming services.

 

The congress also addressed the conversion of novels into films, through a three-way panel discussion entitled ‘From the Pages of the Novel to the Screen: Transforming the Novel HWJN Into a Work of Cinema’, with the participation of the novel's author, Saudi writer Ibrahim Abbas, author and specialist in future studies Yasser Bahgat, and translator of HWJN and director Yasser Al-Yasiri.

 

'Practical Solutions: Real-Real-Reality Investing in Data in Shaping the Future of Arabic Content' focused on the importance of data as a driving force in many industries, including the content sector, and was presented by Ammar Heikal, CEO of Majara.

 

In addition to panel discussions, the congress programme included a range of workshops organised by congress partners the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth, TRENDS Research and Advisory and New York University Abu Dhabi. These included ‘Literary Criticism in the UAE: Mechanisms and Challenges’, presented by critic and poet Sameh Kaoush, and ‘Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and the Arabic Language: Challenges and Opportunities’, presented by Dr. Nizar Habash, Professor of Computer Science at New York University Abu Dhabi and Director of the Computational Methods for Language Modeling Lab (CAMeL Lab).

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Signs MoU with NYU Abu Dhabi to Bolster Collaboration

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi to foster collaboration on various projects and initiatives dedicated to promoting and advancing the status and use of the Arabic language worldwide.

 

The MoU was signed by H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, and Mariët Westermann, Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi, on 21 May as part of the agenda for the International Congress on Arab Publishing and Creative Industries, which the ALC is organising on 21 and 22 May as part of the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

 

The agreement will establish collaboration processes for research and development as well as knowledge exchange between the two parties. The institutions will also explore how each can benefit from the other’s existing projects and initiatives to promote and advance the Arabic language globally.

 

H.E. Dr bin Tamim said: “Advancing the global status of the Arabic language is at the heart of our vision at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre. A significant aspect of achieving this this lies in conducting research and fostering linguistic development, which we can best accomplish through partnerships with esteemed local and international institutions that possess extensive experience in these domains, such as NYU Abu Dhabi. This collaboration will pave the way for launching research projects and ambitious initiatives aimed at enhancing the prominence of the Arabic language, revitalizing endeavors to promote language learning among both native speakers and non-speakers alike.”

 

“We are very pleased to establish a close partnership with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre. Alongside other major institutions around the world, we will join in the Centre’s pioneering work and play a key role in the development and advancement of the Arabic language,” NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann said. “As a global academic institution that is and of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, NYU Abu Dhabi is committed to making creative, scholarly and educational contributions that enrich the cultural experience of all people in the UAE and the broader region. Our Library of Arabic Literature was established in 2013 to produce top quality editions of outstanding works of Arabic literature across the ages, and publish them side by side with modern English translations that make these works accessible to a worldwide audience of readers. The Library of Arabic Literature focuses primarily on significant texts from the seventh to the nineteenth centuries, and includes many genres, from poetry, religion, philosophy, and fiction to law, science, travel writing, and historiography.”

 

Under the terms of the MoU, both entities will collaborate in organizing workshops for the International Congress on Arab Publishing and Creative Industries, and will jointly develop initiatives and projects to promote Arabic language education. This new partnership will encompass the organization of  workshops aimed at enhancing Arabic language writing skills in various genres, including creative writing, poetry composition and recitation, article writing and journalism, as well as academic writing. Additionally, cultural seminars will be managed to further enrich the understanding and appreciation of the Arabic language.

 

NYU Abu Dhabi will be accredited as a partner in the International Congress on Arab Publishing and Creative Industries, as well as in research projects at the ALC. Meanwhile, the Centre will be a strategic partner in joint research projects carried out by the university. A coordinating committee will be formed by the two parties to follow up on progress and developments in joint projects.

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Under the patronage of the UAE President, Nahyan bin Zayed inaugurates 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation (Zayed CHF), and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, has inaugurated the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF).

 

Organised by Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, the event is taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) until 28 May 2023, bringing together authors, thought leaders and publishers from around the world to showcase the region’s literary and cultural heritage, while strengthening ties between Arab and international publishing communities.

 

During the visit, His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan toured several exhibitor stands including the pavilion of the Republic of Türkiye, which is this year’s country guest of honour at the event. His Highness also met with publishers who are promoting the Arabic language around the world through various cultural initiatives.

 

ADIBF will host events across five cultural sites, in addition to ADNEC, including the Cultural Foundation, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, New York University Abu Dhabi and the Logos Hope, the world's largest floating book fair, which is currently anchored in Mina Zayed in conjunction with the fair's activities.

 

In line with 2023 being the Year of Sustainability in the UAE, this year’s edition of ADIBF will also focus on sustainability. Visitors will able to attend a range of events and talks that will highlight the best global sustainability practices within the publishing industry, as well as discussions around the broader topics of climate change and food security.

 

The fair is also celebrating the 14th-century Arab philosopher Ibn Khaldun, the founder of sociology, as this year’s personality of the year through a series of historical, philosophical and literary discussions that highlight his work and legacy.

 

The 32nd edition of ADIBF will be the largest in the fair’s history featuring more than 2,000 cultural, literary, educational and artistic events. It will also host more than 1,300 participants from more than 85 countries, providing visitors access to more than 500,000 book titles.

 

ADIBF is one of the leading literary events in the Arab world, offering a platform for global dialogue and featuring talks by distinguished Arab and international speakers, including renowned authors, artists, academics and digital content creators. The fair will cater to a diverse audience, ranging from professionals to consumers and families, with five primary programme types: cultural, creative arts, children and youth, and specialised professional and partner programmes.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre inaugurates world’s largest floating book fair

Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has inaugurated the world’s largest floating book fair aboard the ship Logos Hope docked at the emirate’s Mina Zayed Port. Coinciding with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the exhibition was inaugurated in an opening ceremony on 18 May and will welcome visitors until 4 June 2023.

 

The opening ceremony was attended by His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Saood Alhosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, His Excellency. Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC, His Excellency Saleh Al Geziry, Director-General Tourism Sector at DCT Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Saif Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer of Ports Cluster at AD Ports Group, His Excellency Adnan Mohammed Al Awadi, Support Services Executive Director, DCT Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Saeed Al Tunaiji, ALC Executive Director, Noura Al Dhaheri, Managing Director of Cruise Business, AD Ports Group, and Sebastian Moncayo, Advance Preparation Project Manager for Abu Dhabi at the Logos Hope exhibition.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is participating in the exhibition with a cultural programme that features activities for members of the public and school students, including educational workshops for children, creative and technical workshops, and specialised corners.

 

His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC, said: “The Logos Hope floating exhibition is an innovative addition to Abu Dhabi’s cultural agenda. This novel offering further strengthens our efforts to promote a culture of reading and to ensure the widest possible access to books and knowledge resources for all our community members, in line with the strategic objectives of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.”

 

Noura Al Dhaheri, Managing Director of Cruise Business, AD Ports Group, said: “We are thrilled to be part of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023 by hosting the Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book exhibition. For the next coming weeks, all the residents of Abu Dhabi will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful world of books covering a wide range of topics catering to all preferences. We are also proud of Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal’s contribution towards the cultural and intellectual entertainment within the capital.”

 

The ALC’s programming includes a children’s stories reading workshop presented by author Dr Fatima Al Mazrouei, an Arabic calligraphy workshop presented by Saeed Al Amiri, a book discussion led by members of the ALC Reading Club, and a workshop on the history of literature and music, presented by Iman Al Hashemi.

 

The floating book fair offers its visitors a wide range of more than 5,000 books and publications, covering fields such as sports, science, arts, dictionaries, medicine, and languages, among others. The exhibition is also accompanied by a busy agenda of events, workshops, discussion sessions, as well as interactive and musical performances that cater to all segments of the community.

 

Every year, the Logos Hope ship receives approximately 1 million visitors. Since its establishment in 2009, it has visited more than 150 countries around the world, welcoming a total of 49 million people. The ship’s crew includes volunteer staff from 60 different nationalities, with teams travelling to areas surrounding the ports where the ship docks to visit hospitals and schools, and provide community service and assistance. Logos Hope’s main objective is to serve people in the communities wherever it docks

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Golden Narrative Award Higher Committee

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced the members of the higher committee of its new Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award, launched in December 2022 to honour notable works by local and international creative minds in the genre of Arab prose.

 

The Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award aims to shed light on Emirati folk tales and narratives, highlight inspiring works in this field, and celebrate the talented narrators who, through this art form, have helped to preserve the UAE’s history, lifestyle, and popular heritage over the decades.

 

The Higher Committee brings together experts from a range of fields including literary criticism and cultural narratives, libraries and archiving, short stories, popular culture, and Arabic language and literature. The group is headed by His Excellency Abdullah Majid Al Ali, Director General of the National Library and Archives. Members are Bahraini academic and critic Dr. Dheya Al Kaabi; Egyptian writer Dr. Miral al-Tahawy; Emirati director, writer, and producer Nasser Al Dhaheri; and Dr. Saïd Yaktine, Moroccan narratologist and critic. Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh, a researcher, scholar, and literary critic, serves as the committee’s rapporteur.

 

“The Golden Narrative Award is an exciting addition to the UAE’s cultural landscape, enriching the field of storytelling and reflecting our nation’s unique identity by highlighting local values, customs, and heritage,” said H.E. Al Ali. “The award recognises and supports creative minds, and will help enable their important work in preserving and passing down to future generations the folk heritage of the UAE, in line with both the Centre’s mission and Abu Dhabi’s overarching cultural vision. We hope it will establish a productive environment for creativity and innovation that encourages talent across all literary disciplines.”

 

The Higher Committee recently held its first meeting, where it discussed the nomination procedure and the criteria for selecting the winners, as well as reviewed the internal processes and function of the Award.

 

The Award’s six categories are the Short Story Prize, where talented writers’ unpublished creations are evaluated, honoured, and published, as well as the Short Story Collection Prize, which recognises published Emirati or Arab stories that draw inspiration from heritage.

 

The Popular Narratives Prize honours collections of popular folktales that build shared memory and contribute to the formation of a cultural identity, or notable studies that analyse these tales, while the Narrators and Biographers Prize celebrates narrators of popular literature and biographies from the UAE and the wider Arab world.

 

The Illustrated Story Prize selects a narrative that relies on images in its structure, blending narration and graphic arts, while the Emirati Storytelling Prize honours literary works that explore Emirati identity and are inspired by the UAE’s history, geography, and symbols.

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Türkiye Announced as Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023 Guest of Honour

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has named The Republic of Türkiye as the Guest of Honour for its 32nd edition. The Fair, which will take place between 22-28 May at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, will host a dedicated Turkish Pavilion which will be accompanied by a dynamic cultural programme celebrating Turkish literature, children’s books and cuisine and highlighting cultural exchange between Turkish and Arabic cultures.

 

To mark the announcement, a signing ceremony was recently held at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), led by HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC, and HE Tugay Tunçer, Turkish Ambassador, and attended by guests including HE Saeed Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of ALC, and Münir Üstün, Representative of the Turkish Publishers Union and Representative of the Board of Directors of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce.

 

H.E. Dr. bin Tamim said: “We are delighted to welcome the Republic of Türkiye as the Guest of Honour of the 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. We look forward to welcoming authors, artists, publishers and thought leaders from Türkiye to join our dynamic programme of events celebrating the country’s cultural legacy and exploring its historic and contemporary creative links with the Arab region. As with previous years, I have no doubt that the Guest of Honour initiative will reveal new avenues for cultural exchange, as well as offer valuable opportunities for publishers and creators.”

 

The Guest of Honour programme will feature in-depth discussions on the cultural exchange between Türkiye and the Arab world and promote cross-cultural dialogue. Sessions and workshops will cover the history of Turkish literature, the journey of bringing Turkish TV series to Arabic audiences, and literary translations of Arabic and Turkish poetry. Visitors will be able to join talks and panel discussions covering a host of topics such as ‘Game Changing Women’, ‘Philosophy for Children’ and ‘Turkish Culinary Culture’.

 

H.E. Tugay Tunçer, Ambassador of Türkiye to the UAE said “We are honoured that Türkiye is chosen as the Guest of Honour of the 2023 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. We are confident that the Fair will serve as an opportunity to further elevate our cultural cooperation to new heights that would reflect the deep-rooted ties and shared cultural values between our brotherly nations.”

 

H.E. Mr. Münir Üstün, Executive Board Member of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce said “We are going to expand our export figures by signing a large number of agreements on copyright  during Abu Dhabi Book Fair.”

 

The Executive Board Member of The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Münir Üstün, underlined that the cultural industry beginning with the book printing activities, they are interested in economical version, and they supported the Abu Dhabi Book fair in order to get larger share from the international market. He added that the activities in the fair will pave the way in front of the copyright agreements between the countries  and will affect the culture, arts, and literature fields on both sides.

 

Drawing on the historic cultural ties between Türkiye and the Arab world, this year’s Fair will explore translation between Turkish and Arabic and delve into specialised topics such as ‘The Century of Turkish Literature from West to East, East to West’, ‘The Rhythm of Turkish Poetry’ and famous Turkish calligrapher  Mushaf Istanbul.



Visitors will have the opportunity to hear from Turkish authors and poets including Ahmet Ümit, Beşir Ayvazoğlu, Ömer Erdem, Sunay Akın, as well as leading academics and thought leaders such as author and literature researcher Kayahan Özgül, Professor of History and Turkish Studies Cemal Kafadar, Arabic Language Professor and Literary Translator Mehmet Hakkı Suçin, and Arabic Language Professor and Literary Translator Memduh en-Nebi.

 

To celebrate the rich heritage of Turkish cuisine and its links to literature, there will be a series of discussions and interactive workshops, featuring renowned authors, expert historians and famous chefs including Prof. Dr. Arif Bilgin, Saygin Ersin, Mary Işın, Arda Türkmen and Ömür Akkor.



Throughout the Fair, there will be exhibitions showcasing Turkish painters, illustrators and manuscripts. These include exhibitions such as ‘Manuscripts of Ibn Khaldun,’ ‘Children and Book Themed Paintings from Sketch to Illustration’, ‘Against the Windmills’ looking at Turkish painter Zahit Büyükişliyen’s life and work. There will also be sessions on the Turkish book market, which books are being read in Türkiye, international copyright trade and translation, as part of the Professional Programme.

 

Furthermore, there will be a spotlight on children’s and young adult literature and illustration, with a panel discussion featuring illustrator Gökçe Akgül, publisher and children’s writer Melike Günyüz, journalist and writer Yalvaç Ural and creator of the popular children’s programme King Şakir, Varol Yaşaroğlu.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Announces More than 2,000 Events for 32nd Edition

Under the patronage of the His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) has unveiled an incredibly diverse and dynamic programme of more than 2,000 events for its 32nd edition, taking place from 22-28 May at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

 

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the fair is set to welcome more than 1,300 exhibitors from nearly 90 countries, with participation from authors, publishers, creatives and other industry professionals from around the globe. 

 

Event attendees can expect a fun, educational and immersive experience with a programme ranging from book signings with renowned authors and insightful panel discussions to creative workshops, live art demonstrations, and music performances.

 

The theme of ADIBF 2023 is ‘Sustainability’, to coincide with the UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’, marking the country’s hosting of the annual COP28 conference on climate change in November this year. The fair’s programme will include thought-provoking events focused on the future of the planet, with panel discussions covering wider perspectives on sustainability, and exploring ways to make the publishing industry more sustainable.

 

With the Republic of Türkiye as this year’s Guest of Honour, a special programme will celebrate the country’s creative output and highlight cultural exchange between Türkiye and the Arab world. Panel discussions and events will explore Turkish literature and poetry, literary translations of Turkish classics, and the nation’s rich culinary traditions in sessions including ‘Game Changing Women’, ‘Philosophy for Children’ and ‘Turkish Culinary Culture’, featuring appearances by renowned authors such as Beşir Ayvazoğlu and Mehmet Hakkı Suçin. The dedicated Turkish pavilion will welcome publishers and partners from across the region, including the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce.

 

The Fair’s Focus Personality this year is the 14th century Arab philosopher Ibn Khaldun, widely regarded as the father of the social sciences. The programme will feature sessions and workshops focused on Ibn Khaldun’s work and legacy, including discussions of history, philosophy and literature. Speakers will include a variety of critics and academics such as Tunisian historian and archaeologist Dr. Ibrahim Shabouh, known for investigating the works of Ibn Khaldun, philosopher Ahmed Barqawi, and British writer Anthony Satine.

 
The fair will also celebrate Arab literary awards and translation grants, with the Meet the Winners event introducing the laureates of the 2023 Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), who will also be on hand throughout the fair for meet-and-greets and book signings. The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) will also be honoured, along with the IPAF shortlisted authors, as ADIBF 2023 marks the 15th anniversary of Abu Dhabi hosting the Prize.

 

Fairgoers will have the opportunity to hear from a diverse range of international creatives including author of The Rational Optimist and How Innovation Works Matt Ridley; Spanish philosopher and author Carissa Véliz, an Associate Professor at the Institute for Ethics in AI, University of Oxford; as well as Ali Tabrizi, director of the documentary “Seaspiracy”, one of Netflix’s Top Ten most popular films across the globe in 2021.

 

Meanwhile, the fair’s Professional Programme will feature over 40 diverse activities, including in-depth sessions on marketing, translation, partnerships, content creation and publishing with industry experts. Prominent names in the international and regional publishing worlds will discuss topics spanning social communication and marketing, sustainability in the publishing industry, artificial intelligence, electronic publishing, and self-publishing.

 

ADIBF 2023 will feature a remarkable representation of youth across all programmes and activities, including cultural, professional and creative programmes. The event is prioritising its Educational Programme for children and teenagers, presenting a variety of events, activations, performances and interactive sessions specifically catered towards children and young people, including reading sessions led by renowned authors and illustrators, science and art workshops, and engaging theatre shows.

 

Following the success of its inaugural edition in 2022, the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries (Congress PCI) will return in conjunction with the ADIBF on 21 and 22 May. With a spotlight on the Arab world, the Congress will present the latest trends in publishing through keynote presentations, panel discussions, networking events and workshops. Under the theme of ‘Adapting Stories’, topics covered will include Arabian fantasy, edutainment and emerging technologies. The event will welcome high profile speakers including award-winning comic book writers, bestselling authors, leading AI specialists and film directors.

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Under the patronage of the UAE President, 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair to take place from 22-28 May 2023

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is set to take place from 22-28 May 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). The event will bring together a remarkable lineup of celebrated authors, thought leaders and publishers from around the world to showcase the distinct literary and cultural heritage of the Middle East, while strengthening ties between the Arab and international publishing communities.

 

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), which is part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, this year's book fair will focus on sustainability, in line with the UAE's declaration of 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability.’ Visitors can look forward to an array of initiatives, events and seminars that will highlight the best global sustainability practices in the publishing industry.

 

As a leading literary event in the Arab world, the fair offers a vital platform for global dialogue featuring talks by distinguished Arab and international speakers, including renowned authors, artists, academics and digital content creators. The fair will cater to a diverse audience, ranging from professionals to consumers and families, with five primary programme types: cultural, creative arts, children and youth, specialised professional and partner programmes.

 

Throughout the week, attendees can participate in a range of cultural sessions such as panel discussions, debates, seminars, and poetry evenings featuring famous personalities from the worlds of thought, literature and media. Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet their favourite authors and have their books signed.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Participation in the Tunis International Book Fair 2023

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced its participation in the 37th Tunis International Book Fair, organised by the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, from 28 April to 7 May 2023.

 

By participating in the exhibition, ALC is promoting its various publications to reach a wide segment of readers, in addition to making its books and publications available for sale to visitors at the Book Fair. The Centre’s stand is set to offer more than 800 titles, including some of the most notable contemporary publications in literature, sciences, humanities, and children’s literature. It will also include a number of classics issued through the Kalima Project for Translation, as well as literary and historical books, travel books, and cultural works related to the Esdarat Project, which is dedicated to transforming the intellectual works of both Arab and non-Arab scholars into books.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Our participation at the Tunis International Book Fair reinforces our efforts to open new channels of communication and to achieve our goals at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to promote areas of intellectual creativity, discuss opportunities for cooperation, and build partnerships with various stakeholders in the regional book industry. We strive to participate in specialised exhibitions alongside local, regional, and international publishing houses, which allows us to further promote publications by Arab and international creators issued from our specialised projects, which cover various cultural fields.”

 

The Tunis International Book Fair is an annual cultural event organised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs at the Palais des Expositions in the Tunisian capital, after being hosted by the Palais des Congrès since 1981. The programme includes parallel intellectual and cultural activities. This year’s edition is set to welcome 300 publishing houses, exhibiting nearly 500,000 titles, with Iraq selected to be the guest of honour for this edition of the exhibition.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre announces new members joining Higher Committee for ‘Kanz Al Jeel’ award’s 2nd edition

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced that the ‘Kanz Al Jeel’ award’s Higher Committee is set to welcome new members ahead of its second edition, including renowned intellectual, literary, and academic figures.

 

The award aims to celebrate and honour Nabati poetry works that embody the authentic heritage surrounding this artform. The award’s Higher Committee consists of five members with extensive expertise and notable qualifications in the award’s categories, in addition to a rapporteur. Their tasks include general oversight of the award’s operations, outlining policies to enable it to achieve its goals and objectives, and conducting its affairs. The Committee held its first meeting virtually to discuss the progress made on the award’s second edition and the role of the Higher Committee.

 

The new committee includes three new members and a rapporteur: Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Ali Saeed Al Kaabi from the UAE, Chancellor at the United Arab Emirates University and Professor of Education Policy and Comparative Pedagogy; Prof. Dr. Aisha Al Shamsi, Emirati academic, critic, and poet; Hassan Zaki, Egyptian composer, artist, and researcher; and Abdulrahman Mohamed Al-Naqbi from the UAE, Director of the Literary Awards Department at the ALC, Rapporteur of the Committee, along with current members H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji from the UAE, Executive Director of the ALC, and Saudi academic and researcher in Nabati women’s poetry, Dr. Munira Al Ghadeer.

 

Dr. Ali Saeed Al Kaabi thanked the previous higher committee and all its members, who have a track record and notable experience in their respective fields, for the essential role they played in setting the award on the right track in its first edition, wishing them continued success and progress. “The current Higher Committee of the ‘Kanz Al Jeel’ award is committed to maintaining the momentum of success and building on the achievements that have been made so far to ensure the award continues to move forward, in accordance with scientific and objective standards,” he said. “The new members will work to strengthen the award’s accomplishments and enhance the contribution of Nabati poetry to the local and Arab cultural scene, in a way that protects Emirati heritage and passes it down to future generations.”

 

Dr. Ali Saeed Al Kaabi served as Secretary General of UAE University and Deputy Director for Student Affairs and Registration. Prior to that, he was Acting Dean, Vice Dean of the College of Education, and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Alumni Support between 2009 and 2015. Dr. Al Kaabi is a faculty member in the Department of Fundamentals of Education at the college since 2005, and has also served as General Coordinator of the UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers from 2009 to 2015. He chaired the Advisory Board of the Regional Centre for Educational Development and served as a member of the Arabic Language Advisory Council, the National Committee for Culture and Education, and the Government Council of ‘Knowledge for All’ (IFAP), affiliated with UNESCO. He is the author of several scientific publications and articles, and has participated in scientific and educational conferences and seminars, in the UAE and abroad.

 

Meanwhile, Dr. Aisha Al Shamsi holds a PhD in Modern Literature and Criticism and serves as Associate Dean at the Higher Colleges of Technology. Her books include ‘The Psychology of Poetic Image’ and ‘Emirati Poetry in Light of Environmental Literary Criticism’, in addition to three poetry collections. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Academic Women Award and of the International Future Schools, as well as a member of the Emirates Writers Union, International Federation of the Arabic Language, and the International Council for the Arabic Language. Dr. Al Shamsi has published numerous research papers in several peer-reviewed journals and international conferences.

 

For his part, Hassan Zaki created melodies for many stars of the Arab world. He wrote and scored the documentary film series ‘Passing’, composed music for more than 20 theatrical performances, and represented Egypt several times in European festivals. In the field of fine arts, he held many individual exhibitions and participated in the Cairo International Forum for Arabic Calligraphy in its first, third, and fourth edition. Zaki received a five-year sabbatical grant from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture to work on a project to take Arabic calligraphy beyond its traditional forms and designs, and bringing it closer to the designs of abstract art.  He is a member of the Egyptian Writers Union and has three published collections, as well as several literary publications and research books, earning a range of awards in the fields of music, fine art, and literature. Furthermore, Zaki served as member of the Technical Committee at the Cairo International Book Fair for four consecutive sessions.

 

Also on the Committee is Prof. Dr. Munira Al Ghadeer, who has held a series of academic positions at prestigious universities, the latest of which is Chair Professor in Arabic Literature and Literary Theory at Harvard University. She was also a visiting professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University, and before that, an Associate Professor in the Department of African Languages and Literatures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US. Dr. Al Ghadeer has been invited to deliver 40 lectures, chaired sessions and presented academic papers at 50 international conferences. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and Philosophy from the University of California – Berkeley in the US, and authored, among other prominent books, ‘Voices of the Desert: Poetry of Bedouin Women in Saudi Arabia’, which is considered one of the most notable research studies in the field of comparative literature, literary theory, and translation studies. Dr. Al Ghadeer’s research focuses on demonstrating the diversity of literature and culture in the Gulf region. She has published several studies and contributed to the translation and publication of Nabati and contemporary Saudi poetry in many peer-reviewed periodicals.

 

For his part, H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji held the position of Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre since 2021, bringing extensive experience in managing book and publishing industry initiatives at the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, where he managed creative content for publishing important series of books, including under the Kalima Project for Translation, and the ‘Esdarat’ series that publishes. Furthermore, he held the position of Director of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. H.E. Al Tunaiji assumed several administrative positions, including Director of Media and Public Relations at DCT - Abu Dhabi. He began his career as a journalist and worked in several Emirati newspapers, writing op-eds in cultural sections of various journals, and publishing several books, such as: ‘From and to the Depths of the Homeland’, ‘Mosaic’, and ‘Her Majesty’s Mistakes’.

 

Lastly, Abdulrahman Mohamed Al-Naqbi has held the position of Director of the Literary Awards Department at the ALC since November 2022, and prior to that, served in multiple administrative roles. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. He is an opinion writer for the Emirati newspaper Al-Roeya and a publisher of book reviews in several Emirati news platforms, with an interest in reading and lecturing about the subject and spreading the culture of reading in society.

 

The ‘Kanz Al Jeel’ award is inspired by the poems of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to promote poetry as a mirror of society, and the place that the poetry of Sheikh Zayed occupies in the Emirati and Arab conscience. It includes six categories: Studies and Research, Poetic Publications, Poetry Match, Arts, Translation, and Creative Personality. Potential candidates for the award can submit applications for candidacy until 1 June 2023 on the website: kanzaljeel.ae

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Logos Hope, World’s Largest Floating Book Exhibition, to Dock in Abu Dhabi in May 2023

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in collaboration with AD Ports Group, has announced that the emirate will be hosting the ship Logos Hope – the world’s largest floating book exhibition – which will be docking in Abu Dhabi in May 2023, following stops in Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai.

 

The seafaring exhibition will welcome visitors from 17 May to 4 June, in parallel with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023, and will present nearly 5,000 titles covering a wide range of topics including science, sports, arts, medicine, dictionaries, languages, and many more. It will also organise a busy programme of accompanying events and interactive shows.

 

The ALC is participating in the exhibition with a rich agenda of educational and creative workshops, book discussion sessions, and arts and music events for all ages.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is committed to supporting cultural events which facilitate access to knowledge and encourage reading. The Logos Hope exhibition is an innovative global platform that aligns with these goals, showcasing the latest publications to communities in a novel way. We look forward to participating in this event to promote the centre’s latest projects and publications, coinciding with our activities for the annual Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.”

 

Saif Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer, Ports Cluster at AD Ports Group said: “We are privileged to welcome Logos Hope,  the world’s largest floating book fair, at the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal. One can imagine the amount of wealth of knowledge and information carried on board. This offers us the opportunity to extend an unmatched new learning experience to the residents of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

 

Sebastian Moncayo, Advance Preparation Project Manager for Abu Dhabi at the Logos Hope exhibition, said: “This will be the first time visiting the United Arab Emirates for most of our crew, and the excitement is evident. Our volunteers are curious about the history of the country and its amazing development over the years. Logos Hope’s visit coincides with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, and we want to extend our appreciation and gratitude to the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi for their invitation to be a part of it. We are honoured to visit the UAE, and to open the doors of our floating home to all our visitors. We look forward to continuously strengthening our relationship with the country to have more frequent visits in the future.”

 

Every year, the Logos Hope ship receives approximately one million visitors. Since its establishment in 2009, it has visited more than 150 countries around the world, welcoming a total of 49 million people. The ship’s crew includes volunteer staff from 60 different nationalities, with teams travelling to areas surrounding the ports where the ship docks to visit hospitals and schools and provide community service and assistance. Logos Hope’s main objective is to serve people in the communities where it docks.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Launches ‘Arabic Language Curricula in the Arab World’ Report

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has launched a report titled ‘Arabic Language Curricula in the Arab World: Present Experiences and Future Prospects’, presenting in-depth scientific research and analysis of Arabic language curricula in five Arab countries – the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tunisia.

 

The 475-page report was completed over nearly two years by a team of more than 25 researchers. It presents prominent characteristics and the key challenges faced by the curricula in each country, and building on that, offers a scenario and a suggested frame of reference for designing a new generation of Arabic language curricula that meet the needs of learners and teachers.

 

To benefit from global lessons in developing curricula that advance Arabic language education, the report features international models from six countries: Australia, China, the United States of America, Singapore, South Africa, and Ireland. It examines the experiences and efforts to develop curricula for teaching the native language in each of these countries, guided by scientific research and in line with the needs of the communities these curricula were created to serve.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “This report is the result of two years of hard work devoted to the field of education, which is a top priority for us in our plans to empower the Arabic language and position it as a language of knowledge and a marker of our cultural identity. The report’s recommendations will support officials and decision-makers in developing academic curricula to teach the Arabic language, and help build a frame of reference for designing new curricula that meet the needs of the educational sector.”

 

Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, said: “Mastering the Arabic language is a scientific and cultural necessity for Arab students. The process of developing Arabic language curricula is a key educational and scientific requirement that requires advanced expertise in order to adapt to contemporary requirements. We hope this report will contribute to the efforts to develop Arabic language curricula in a way that fulfils these needs and meets all aspirations.”

 

The report consists of eight chapters, where the first aims to define the term “curriculum”, traces the development of the term according to various educational and philosophical schools that used it, and presents the evaluation framework adopted by the study.

 

This is followed by five chapters that run a scientific analysis of Arabic language curricula in the five Arab countries selected for the study, exploring the scientific and educational prospects of these curricula, as well as the opportunities they present and the challenges they face. The report concludes with a chapter that contains key results of the study and presents a vision for a reference framework that can guide future efforts to design a new generation of Arabic language curricula.

 

The report is the first in a series of projects, books, and studies that cover various aspects of teaching the Arabic language, including methods for assessing teachers and ways to benefit from the technological revolution in teaching the Arabic language. The ALC will implement the research series as part of its programmes, in collaboration with partners in academic bodies across the UAE.

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Kalima Project for Translation Issues Arabic Version of 25 Days to Aden by Military Expert Dr. Michael Knights

The Kalima Project for Translation at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has issued the Arabic version of the book 25 Days to Aden: The Unknown Story of Arabian Elite Forces at War by Dr. Michael Knights, military and security specialist in the Arabian Gulf, translated by Samer Abu Hawwash.

 

The book covers the decisive military campaign led by Arab special forces and Yemeni resistance fighters to liberate the historic port of Aden from the control of the Houthi militia. It tells the true story of how Arab Gulf states formed a coalition of ten countries in just one week, launching the largest military operation ever undertaken by one side. The campaign had its ups and downs, as the southern resistance was, at times, on the verge of being crushed, but they were able to stand firm and eventually defeated the invaders.

 

25 Days to Aden recounts the details of this contemporary armed conflict in a captivating and distinctive tone. The Yemeni resistance, along with the Emirati elite forces, faced the Houthis from northern Yemen. The story is set against the backdrop of the romantic, yet neglected, port of Aden, facing the slopes of a volcanic mountain, Victorian-era monuments, quirky British architecture, and seaside resorts.

 

The author of the book is an expert in military affairs in the Middle East; he tells the story based on the testimonies of several participants in the military campaign, presenting carefully scrutinised details that help indicate the future of the war, which was led by emerging powers that rose to fill the vacuum left by the retreat of American influence.

 

The book includes a dedication to the martyrs – 1st Lieutenant Abdul Aziz Sarhan Saleh Al Ka’abi, Sergeant Saif Youssef Ahmed Al Falasi, First Corporal Juma Jawhar Juma Al Hammadi, First Corporal Khalid Abdullah Al Shehhi, and First Corporal Fahim Saeed Ahmed Al Habsi –  and features a wide range of maps that reinforce its assertions about the battle sites and the theatre of operations.

 

In his introduction, the author says: “This is a documentation of the moment when the Arabs drew a line in the sand to prevent the militias from gaining a foothold in the Arabian Peninsula, where they would have been just a stone’s throw from the holiest Islamic sites in Mecca and Medina and would have also been able to cut off the Suez Canal and block 20% of the world’s oil shipments. As one Special Forces soldier put it, this is the story of elite Arab forces battling a ghost coming from the mountains to the world’s most important sea route.”

 

Author Dr. Knights is a Lafer Fellow of The Washington Institute, tasked with, among other things, regularly informing policymakers, military, and intelligence leaders in the United States and Europe about developments in regional battlefields. He holds a PhD from the Department of War Studies at Imperial College London, and worked as a historian of military affairs, spending time in Yemen during the first decade of the new millennium, where the Yemeni government fought six wars with the Houthis, in addition to working with Yemeni security forces.

 

Dr. Knights writes regularly about Yemen for academic journals, such as: Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Journal of Strategic Studies and Sentinel, and the magazine of the Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point. He also writes for international media, including War on the Rocks, This Means War of the Royal United Services Institute, Lawfare Blog, and The Hill.

 

The translator of the book, Samer Abu Hawwash, was born in Saida, Lebanon, in 1972. He studied media in Beirut and worked for several newspapers in the Lebanese capital until 2004, before moving to Abu Dhabi. He has published 12 poetry collections, including: Greetings to the Gentleman, Two Trees on the Roof, One Last Selfie with a Dying World, Sewing a Dress to Remember, and Ruins, in addition to two novels: Valentine’s Day and Happiness.

 

Abu Hawwash has translated many poetry collections, novels, and children’s stories, including: On the Road by Jack Kerouac; The Complete Novels of William Faulkner; Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson; Home by Marilynne Robinson; and The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi. He has been translating American poetry since 1997 and has so far published 20 collections from some of the most prominent contemporary American poets.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Organises Live Performance at Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is organising a live performance titled ‘The Rhythm of Oud and Calligraphy’, featuring world-renowned Tunisian Artist Naja Al Mahdawi and composer, oud master, and UNESCO Artist Naseer Shamma, in a Ramadan evening at Louvre Abu Dhabi tomorrow, 7 April 2023.

 

Deeply rooted in Arab culture, the show will blend the aesthetics of Arabic calligraphy with the melodies of the oud. It will be the third joint performance by the two artists following events at the Arab Music Days Festival 2022 in Berlin, Germany, and at the Carthage Amphitheatre in Carthage, Tunisia.

 

HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Advancing the status of the Arabic language is at the core of our mandate at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and we strive to build bridges that bring the language and its aesthetics into people’s everyday lives. By supporting artists and original art forms that advance the prevalence and artistic use of the Arabic language, we are introducing an aesthetic dimension to the language, from which the art of Arabic calligraphy emerged. Artist Naja Al Mahdawi excels in presenting the art of calligraphy in a contemporary way, while Naseer Shamma showcases the traditional heritage of the Arabic oud instrument. Bringing them together in Abu Dhabi in this thrilling live performance will bring great enrichment to our audiences.”

 

‘The Rhythm of Oud and Calligraphy’ explores the improvisation skills of the two artists in their respective fields, presenting an immersive duo of colour and music, each following the movement of the other in a sensory show that deviates from traditional formats and treats spectators to a real-time glimpse into the creation of an artwork. At the same time, the performance reveals the ingenuity and artistry inherent in Arabic letters, highlighting the modern artistic schools that stemmed from that. It also underlines the movement in Arabic music and its traditions, especially when it comes to the oud, towards contemporary experimentation. Each artist will present a new method for improvisation, and highlight opportunities for dialogue between different art forms.

 

Al Mahdawi said: “‘The Rhythm of Oud and Calligraphy’ is essentially a search for a spiritual language that takes you to new heights, where the feather merges with the strings to create a new dialogue between Arabic letters, which form the basis of a key foundation of abstract Islamic art, and the method of playing the oud, as developed by Naseer Shamma, who gave the artform a more global and civilisational aspect.”

 

Shamma added: “Calligraphy is letters and colours, and so is music. They create life at the heart of life. The creations of the brilliant Naja Al Mahdawi inspired my oud music, and his calligraphy and colours motivate me to create joy, as we weave stories that we play together.”

 

Al Mahdawi is a Tunisian multimedia artist and one of the most prolific contemporary artists in the Arab world. Known as “Arranger of Letters and Explorer of Symbols”, Al Mahdawi is considered one of the pioneers of abstract calligraphy, where he follows an unparalleled artistic methodology based on what he refers to as ‘sketch writing’ or ‘free linear units’. These methods have enabled him to embody the true aesthetic qualities of Arabic letters and inspire many admirers.

 

Iraqi musician and composer Shamma graduated from the Institute of Musical Studies in Baghdad in 1987 and holds a PhD in Musical Philosophy. He has gained fame for his outstanding performances playing oud, for which he has earned more than 60 awards. In the late 1980s, Shamma began exporting his musical culture to Europe with dazzling performances in Paris, Germany, Switzerland, London, and others. He launched the Bait Al Oud music academies in several Arab cities, including Abu Dhabi and Cairo. He has also been active in humanitarian and heritage preservation efforts, leading to an appointment as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, as he has served as an ambassador for several international organisations, such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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New Issue of Al Markaz: The Journal of Arab Studies Explores Theme of ‘Hope’

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has launched the new issue of Al Markaz: The Journal of Arab Studies, in collaboration with Brill Publishing, under the theme of ‘hope’.

 

The foreword, ‘Hope in Arabic Literature’, is written by ALC Chairman Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Dr. Tahera Qutbuddin, a professor of Arabic literature at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Bilal Orfali, Sheikh Zayed Chair for Arabic and Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut. It explains that the subject of hope is explored in literature from around the world, and particularly highlighted in Arabic poetry and prose. However, subject-based research is rare in the field of Arabic literature studies in general, despite prevalence in English and other international literatures. This issue of the magazine explores the subject for the very first time in the history of peer-reviewed studies, with new critical insights.

 

Over more than three hundred pages, this issue of Al Markaz presents nine studies on ‘hope’ across various Arabic literary genres and historical eras. The studies examine the characteristics that are unique to Arabic literature and the concerns it shares with common human themes, via works by prominent figures including Ibn Qutayba, Al-Tanukhi, Abu Ishaq Al-Sabi, Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabi, Ibrahim Touqan, and Wissam Goubran.

 

The articles in the issue examine a series of narrative, textual, structural, grammatical, rhetorical, and lexical issues. Participating researchers represent various countries around the Arab world, including the UAE, the Sultanate of Oman, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon.

 

Al Markaz: The Journal of Arab Studies is published by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and features Arabic studies on language, literature, and culture. It explores a range of historical and critical issues, as well as book reviews, covering a considerable time period that extends from the pre-Islamic era to contemporary times. The magazine is committed to familiarising readers with the affairs of classical Arabic (Fus’ha) as well as the spoken dialects, highlighting written and oral heritage in poetry and prose. It also features interstitial and comparative studies.

 

To browse and download the magazine, please visit the Brill Publishing website

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Organises Creative Writing Programme Workshops for UAE Reading Month

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), organised a series of workshops and lectures under its Creative Writing Programme as part of its participation in UAE Reading Month 2023.

 

The ALC launched its Creative Writing Programme in an effort to help writers enhance their Arabic skills and strengthen their writing abilities across different genres, including novels, children’s books, poetry, Arabic calligraphy, academic papers and plays.

 

H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, said: “In line with the vision of our nation’s wise leadership, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre strives to empower and develop literary talent, further advancing the status of the Arabic language and contributing to a richer regional creative scene. Our Creative Writing Programme, held during the annual UAE Reading Month, is presented by a group of experts in their fields, and provides participants with the knowledge and practical skills they need to take their work to the next level.”

 

The session ‘Workplace Correspondence’, presented by Dr. Ali Kamel Al-Sharif, discussed the concept and different forms of business writing, as well as the skills related to scientific writing, a technical form of writing that communicates scientific information.

 

On International Women’s Day (8 March), the workshop ‘Pioneering Women in Literature’ was presented by Dr. Fatima Hamad Al Mazrouei and Asma Al Mutawa, and moderated by Hessa Nasser Al Jaroudi. The event shed light on the achievements of Arab women in literature and poetry, highlighting their contributions in this field.

 

The workshop title focused on the role that the UAE plays in preserving Arabic calligraphy. Presented by calligrapher Khaled Al-Jallaf, President of the Emirates Society for Arabic Calligraphy, the session discussed the history of Arabic calligraphy in the UAE as well as the tools and procedures used to prepare the paper, ink, and pen for calligraphy works.

 

‘A Life with Each Reading’, presented by Dr. Bilal Orfali, Sheikh Zayed Chair Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Head of the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages ​​at the American University of Beirut, traced the experiences of notable readers throughout history to highlight reading as an inherent habit.

 

Author Najwa Barakat presented the workshop ‘The Art of Novel Writing’, covering the basic skills needed in this field. The session presented curated examples of novels to be developed and produced according to the highest writing standards.

To mark World Poetry Day (21 March), Dr. Aisha Al Shamsi led a session titled ‘Poetry Evening’ that brought together Dr. Monsef Al Wahaibi, Dr. Maha Al-Atoum, and Dr. Alaa Janab, who explored the various forms and structures of poetic verses and the music of poetry. The event also included interactive activities in poetry writing.

 

Lastly, the ‘Qasr Al Watan Salon’ session discussed the book The Liberation of Tolstoy by Ivan Bunin, which combines biography, memoir writing, and critical study. Members of the Kalima Literary Club participated, exchanging views on the life of the famed Russian author and intellectual and discussing the technical construction of the book and of its Arabic translation.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Launches Complete ‘Oyoon Al She’er Al Arabi’ Arabic Poetry Series on World Poetry Day

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has launched the complete ‘Oyoon Al She’er Al Arabi’ Arabic poetry series for World Poetry Day on 21 March 2023.

 

The initiative aims to revive Arab poetic heritage by publishing a collection of 100 books compiled from original sources by a group of researchers specialising in Arabic poetry. The series includes anthologies of Arabic poetry from the pre-Islamic era to the 18th century, with insightful introductions and explanations catering to a wide range of readers.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The release of the full ‘Oyoon Al She’er Al Arabi’ Arabic poetry collection is a cause for celebration, as we honour this essential component of our Arabic culture and language. Guided by the UAE’s vision for safeguarding and nurturing culture, we have developed a rich and unique reference for scholars and all those who love this authentic art form. A labour of love by the renowned poets, authors, and researchers created this valuable literary work, this initiative reflects the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s mission to promote Arab cultural and linguistic heritage and make it accessible to wider audiences.”

 

His Excellency Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC, said: “One key objective of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is to make significant contributions to the preservation of Arab heritage, where poetry features as a prominent element. The ‘Oyoon Al She’er Al Arabi’ Arabic poetry series is an important achievement in this area, providing an integrated database that tracks the history of Arabic poetry. We are grateful to the 21 authors, researchers, and critics specialising in traditional Arabic literature, coming from countries across the Arab world, whose considerable talent and effort has resulted in this milestone collection.”

 

The Centre launched the series’ first 25 books in 2021, while the second and third instalments of 25 books each were released in 2022. This release for World Poetry Day 2023 sees the complete collection of 100 books available for the very first time.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Reveals Results of Third Research Grant Programme

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced the results of the third edition of its successful Research Grant Programme.

 

This year’s edition received a total of 111 participants from 17 countries, including 13 Arab countries, one African, two Asian, and one European. This marks an increase of nearly 40% over the last session.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Research Grant programme is at the heart of our strategic plans at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and aims to support Emirati, Arab, and Arabic-speaking researchers to conduct research that elevates the Arabic language and promotes its use locally and internationally as a language of science, culture, and creativity. The programme offers a significant incentive for researchers focusing on Arabic and reflects the Centre’s commitment to advancing scientific research in the field and enhancing the cultural status of Abu Dhabi, highlighting its pioneering role in supporting and promoting our language.”

 

This year, the ALC selected eight research papers, whose authors received financial support to complete their work. The Centre aims to create the necessary conditions for scientific research to thrive and to help thinkers, researchers, and creators to produce distinguished works which are worthy of publication.

 

The papers covered various fields of the Arabic language. In the Supporting Manuscript Editing and Arab Heritage category, the ALC chose three research projects, the first of which, Report on the Book ‘Ibn Musafir’s Choices’, was presented by Moqbel Al-Ahmadi from Yemen and Shafiq Bitar from Syria. An important work of Arab heritage, Ibn Musafir’s Choices provides explanations for 18 highly acclaimed Arabic poems that literary scholars and critics unanimously agreed are outstanding.

 

Hadith Bayad wa Riyad by Fayez Al-Qaisi from Jordan, examines a prose story by an unknown Andalusian author dating back to the eighth century AH and focusing on platonic love as its main theme. A unique manuscript of the story is preserved in the Vatican Library.

 

The third paper is titled “The Storytelling Creation: A Study in Narratives... and an Investigation of the Biography of Iskandar Dhul-Qarnayn and the Wonders that Happened to Him”, by Nabil Hamdi Al-Shahed from Egypt. The biography of Iskandar Dhul-Qarnayn is one of the most prominent biographies to not gain popularity and reach in our modern era. The study presents a set of justifications that it seeks to collect and study, in order to make it one of the most notable biographies of a historical figure with profound impact and who was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

 

In the Literature and Criticism category, the ALC selected four research papers, the first of which is Evolving Narratives in Emirati Literature: A Technical Study, by Maryam Al-Hamshi from the UAE. The study explores narrative and character building, as well as novel development and overlapping literary genres.

 

The New Historical Novel and Betting on Fantasy by Mustafa Al-Nahhal from Morocco seeks to develop the critical approach to new historical novels, both in line with the development of literary theory and analysis, and according to the evolution of the fictional discourse itself, which takes history as its background and a framework for fantasy.

 

The Literary and Critical Movement in Saudi Arabia: Beginnings and Trends by Muhammad Al-Safrani from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to outline a framework for Saudi literature and poetry in the course of the renaissance of Arabic poetry, impressionism, and modernity in poetic and literary criticism in the Kingdom.

 

The fourth research paper in this category is The Aesthetics of Meaning: The Philosophy of Tradition in the Arabic Language from Interpretation to Meta-Interpretation by Shafiqa Wail from Algeria. The study examines the Arab philosophy of tradition on the grounds that it is an ‘aesthetic’ of meaning and considers the process of understanding in a new philosophical field by returning to the ontological origin of the Arabic language and its heritage, and through a new framework: meta-interpretation.

 

Lastly, in the Arabic Lexicon category, the ALC selected The Illustrated Arabic Dictionary for Children by Amr Gomaa from Egypt, an illustrated Arabic dictionary directed at children in the early years of their development and elementary education.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s Scientific Committee holds first meeting of 2023

The Scientific Committee of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), held its first meeting in 2023, where committee members explored the Centre’s strategy and plans for the year ahead, discussed the committee’s objectives and responsibilities, and highlighted the ALC’s accomplishments over the past year.

 

The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, with the members of the Scientific Committee in attendance, namely, Professor Dr. Bilal Orfalli, Professor Dr. Khalil al Sheikh, Professor Dr. Abdullah al Ghathami, Professor Dr. Ali Al Kaabi, Professor Dr. Vitaly Naumkin, Professor Dr. Muhsin al Musawi, Professor Dr. Muhammad Abu al Fadl Badran, Professor Dr. Hanada Taha-Thomure, and Professor Dr. Wen-Chin Ouyang. Also in attendance was H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al-Tunaiji, Executive Director of the ALC.

 

“The Scientific Committee of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is a notable addition to the Centre’s development of the projects and initiatives,” said bin Tamim. “It presents innovative visions and scenarios that support this mandate and the Centre’s vision to cement Abu Dhabi’s role in championing the Arabic language across all cultural, creative, and educational fields.”

 

“During its first meeting of 2023, which brought together distinguished academics, literary figures, and intellectuals, the Scientific Committee sought to build on the Centre’s achievements in 2022 and the many milestones accomplished through continuous and close collaboration between the ALC team and the committee,” bin Tamim added. “We are confident that the outcomes of today’s meeting will encourage the ALC to move forward, develop more programmes, and achieve even greater success this year.”

 

The meeting’s agenda covered several topics, most notably, discussing the committee’s responsibilities and objectives, and going over the ALC’s most significant achievements in 2021 and 2022. On another note, the meeting discussed the execution plan for upcoming projects, which include the 32nd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, to be held from 22 to 28 May 2023; the second International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries on 21 May 2023; and the ninth Abu Dhabi Translation Conference, which is set to be hosted on the side lines of the ALC’s participation in the 2023 Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Forms 2023 Scientific Committee

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has announced the formation of its 2023 Scientific Committee, headed by ALC Chairman His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim and bringing together renowned academics, scientists, and experts in the Arabic language and various other literary and cultural fields.

 

The Scientific Committee contributes towards accomplishing the Centre’s strategic objectives of promoting the Arabic language and enhancing its status in cultural and creative fields, as well as encouraging its use among native speakers and non-speakers alike. The Committee also works to form creative visions, ideas, and recommendations to support the ALC’s current and future projects and initiatives.

 

“The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s Scientific Committee is a fundamental pillar in the organisation’s structure and helps drive its efforts to strengthen the presence of the Arabic language at local, regional, and international levels,” said H.E. Dr. bin Tamim. “The Committee’s efforts over the past two years have facilitated key partnerships, projects and initiatives that have had a notable impact on the local and regional cultural ecosystem. With members including some of the most renowned experts in their respective fields, we are confident that the 2023 Scientific Committee will continue to present innovative ideas and perspectives and drive further success and achievements for the ALC.”

 

The ALC Scientific Committee 2023 includes: researcher and academic Prof. Dr. Bilal Orfali, the Sheikh Zayed Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Head of the Arabic and Near-Eastern Languages Department at the American University of Beirut; Prof. Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh, a researcher, scholar, literary critic and translator; and academic and literary critic Dr. Abdullah Al Ghathami, Professor of Criticism and Theory at the Faculty of Arts Department of the Arabic Language at King Saud University in Riyadh.

 

Also on the Committee are Prof. Dr. Ali Al Kaabi, Vice Dean of the College of Education at the United Arab Emirates University; Prof. Dr. Vitaly Naumkin, President of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences; and Prof. Dr. Muhsin al Musawi, Professor of Arabic Literature and Comparative Studies at Columbia University in New York.

 

Members also include poet, author and academic Prof. Dr. Muhammad Abu al Fadl Badran, Vice President of the University of South Valley in Egypt, former Secretary-General of the Council for Culture, and former President of the General Authority for Cultural Palaces in Egypt; Dr. Hanada Taha Thomure, Endowed Chair Professor of Arabic Language and Assistant Dean of Research and Development at the College of Education at Zayed University; and Prof. Wen-chin Ouyang, Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at SOAS, University of London.

 

The new Scientific Committee will be entrusted with offering recommendations and suggestions on the strategic plans, programmes, projects, and activities supervised, managed, or implemented by the ALC. It is tasked with helping to develop the Centre’s vision and content policies; suggesting experts, specialists and research centres to collaborate with; subject matter recommendations related to the fields of publishing, libraries, technology, activities, and events; and identifying topics and themes for conferences, seminars, and workshops that help achieve the Centre’s objectives.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre launches Qalam Creative Writing Programme

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has launched the Qalam Creative Writing Programme, offering writing workshops to talented Emiratis to expand their skills and encourage new authors to publish their creative works.

 

The launch of the programme coincides with the national Reading Month in March, underlining the ALC’s support for creativity and authorship. This is in line with Abu Dhabi’s vision for culture and identity, which aims to strengthen deep-seated cultural values, contribute to the advancement of the Arabic language, and encourage non-speakers to learn it and speakers to help enrich it. The Qalam Creative Writing Programme offers a series of specialised workshops throughout the year, where distinguished professors supervise a creative laboratory, enabling participants to improve their writing skills in various creative fields.

 

His Excellency Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Qalam Creative Writing Programme is one of the tools the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre uses to spread the Arabic language, enhance its presence locally and internationally, and enable the production of Arabic content. The Qalam Project had already published more than 42 creative works by Emirati authors from various generations, and by upgrading the project to a programme for teaching professional writing, we strive to create more opportunities for talented people to develop their skills, present their creative works, enrich the cultural scene, contribute to the quality of Arabic writing, and promote dialogue and discussions about it.”

 

In its new format, the Qalam Creative Writing Programme offers three workshops throughout the year, where literary works completed during the programme are published at the end of the year, with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre covering the expenses.

 

The programme begins with a novel writing workshop, supervised by Dr Youssef Hatini, Professor in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). From 18 March until 1 September, 10 face-to-face meetings will be held at the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi. The workshop mixes theoretical and practical elements, covering various topics related to novels and their components, the meaning of the story and how it is made, how to develop characters, narrative time and space, the social dimension of language and the use of symbolism, narrative rhythm, and the levers and obstacles of the narrative style.

 

In September, two workshops will be held in parallel. The Poetry Writing workshop will be supervised by academic, critic, and poet Dr Aisha Al Shamsi on 1 September and continue until 27 October, where one face-to-face meeting will be held every week at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. The workshop covers topics related to poetry and its various forms, rhythm in poetry, poetry writing techniques, poem writing with practical applications, and reviewing and proofreading texts.

 

Meanwhile, the Children’s Writing Workshop is supervised by Dr Fatima Al Mazrouei, writer and publisher with a PhD in Literature and Criticism, and will be held from 5 September to 7 November, with one face-to-face meeting per week at the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi. The workshop begins with an introduction to children’s literature, before covering the principles, elements, and techniques of writing, in addition to reading various literary texts. Furthermore, the session introduces illustration techniques and discusses how to collaborate with illustrators, in addition to offering participants practical applications on writing, proofreading, editing stories, and preparing them for printing.

 

Registration is open until 13 March for talented Emirati writers aged 18 and older. The application requires sending a short resume and a draft or chapter from a novel via the registration link, either on the kalima.ae website or on the Kalima Project for Translation’s accounts on social media.

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Announcement of the recommendations and outcomes of the first session of the Arabic Language Summit and the cultural retreat

The first Arabic Language Summit, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, led to effective recommendations to enrich the Arabic language. 

 

The summit's theme was "Language and Identity Formation" and was organised by the Ministry of Culture and Youth in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC).

 

Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: "In the presence of experts, specialists and academics from around the world, the two-day summit covered key issues and themes that advance Arabic language and expand its position as a language of science, knowledge, and civilisation and humanitarian dialogue with various peoples and civilisations, thereby achieving our leadership's vision of supporting efforts to preserve and strengthen the Arabic language as a fundamental pillar of Arab identity".

 

She added: "This year, we identified key recommendations that we hope would serve as a starting point for working toward the stability of the Arabic language's status, promoting its use, and benefiting from the unique content that it presents for various aspects of life. The recommendations help guide media institutions, content writers, librarians, and creative writers, who can help young people enhance their Arabic language skills and benefit from advanced technology. They can improve their learning and expand their perceptions of the importance of Arabic language and use it as a starting point for dialogue with their peers all over the world".


Her Excellency said the cultural retreat held during the summit was part of an integrated effort with partners, who provide opportunities to discuss the most significant issues facing the Arabic language and to come up with effective solutions that contribute to consolidating its status. This reflects the interest of the nation and its institutions to develop a treasure of human knowledge and thought, and underline language as a main premise of societal identity.


Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said: "The Arab Language Summit will elevate the stature of the Arabic language and open new horizons that keep up with the rapid speed of technical advancements. Through linguistic and creative bridges, Arab culture will spread throughout the world".

 

He added: " The cultural retreat is also a part of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center's ongoing initiatives to highlight the status of Arabic at the regional and Arab levels by hosting a number of specialised events and retreats that seek to identify the barriers to Arabic's growth as a global language, develop effective methods to address them, and innovate new concepts and business models. The aim is to integrate these solutions into all facets of people's lives in line with the UAE's vision and plan for a better future for the Arabic language".

 

His Excellency praised the efforts the specialists who took part in the summit and retreat, who through their extensive knowledge and rich experience, opened the horizons of dialogue and constructive discussion that supports Arabic language development and enables youth to master the language, while realising the goals and aspirations of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center.

 

Creating non-traditional future patterns
At its first session in 2023, the Arab Language Summit issued recommendations stressing the need to use the aesthetics of the Arabic language and its timeless masterpieces in poetry and prose, and to focus on dialects as because of their linguistic, aesthetic, and spiritual values. It called for activating the role of productive institutions in developing content specialised in early childhood and kindergartens in Arabic and activating the role of media institutions in establishing Arabic in the society and as part of the identity. It also stressed the importance of planning to enrich the content and production of Arab television and drama, through workshops in content development to create beloved Arab and international heroes.
The summit also called for the need to write a common human history as the foundation for a broad understanding of Arab culture, helping young people communicate and express themselves in their mother tongue and for promoting the use of artificial intelligence in teaching grammar and broadening perceptions of Arabic and its various dialects, and recognised the need to host exhibitions across the world to introduce Arabic aesthetics and calligraphy.

 

The recommendations also stressed the importance of launching scientific and cognitive research to bring colloquial dialects closer to the classical ones, stimulate studies in the identity and nature of the language, and the need to launch studies on Arabic literature and its effects on world literature and languages. The summit also urged to encourage genuine linguistic and music education of the next generation beginning in early childhood, as well as to popularise the greatest works in Arabic poetry through h musical works.

 

A cultural retreat to strengthen the position of the Arabic language in key domains
During the summit, a cultural retreat was organised under the patronage and in the presence of Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Arab Culture at the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO), who discussed several topics related to enhancing the presence of the Arabic language and ways to develop innovative mechanisms and visions to improve its position in various domains.

 

The retreat included a series of specialised sessions that discussed themes such as “Language and the Worlds of Creativity”, and “Arabic Language Academies, a Future Vision”, and discussing the prospects for the Arabic language, and organising sessions that raised topics “Arabic Language and Literature”, “Arabic Language and Education Curricula”, and “Arabic Language and Youth”.

 

Establishing and Strengthening the Arabic Language
The retreat developed a set of recommendations that stressed the importance of supporting Arabic language academies and centers, achieving Arabic manuscripts, continuing to publish and digitise modern dictionaries, encouraging and developing studies and research, supporting the movement for translation and Arabisation, and encouraging the use of social media and contemporary technologies to further the presence, enrichment, and dissemination of the Arabic language and to provide a framework for the Arabicisation of scientific words, which will result in the complete Arabisation of curriculum.
The recommendations included encouraging research into the relationship of Arabic music and the language, and its expression of identity, and supporting Arab identity through symbols and motifs, and the heritage of decoration and architecture. 

 

The participants also suggested enhancing the role of social media influencers in promoting the use of Arabic language among children and young people and urged institutions and entities to enact legislation and policies to use the Arabic language in internal and external communications and during meetings.

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Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022 Concludes on a High Note After 100 Activities and Events for Visitors

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, the third edition of Al Dhafra Book Festival has concluded after a successful seven-day run.



The festival, previously known as the Al Dhafra Book Fair, took place under the theme ‘Celebrating a Cultural Legacy’ from 5 to 11 December at the Public Park in Zayed City in the Al Dhafra Region.

 

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), launched the new version of the event, transforming it into an innovative festival to enhance Abu Dhabi’s cultural agenda and connect the Al Dhafra community with its heritage and history.

 

The 2022 festival inspired pride, belonging and loyalty to the UAE, as well as to promoting reading, knowledge and culture in the community, empowering visitors to play an active role in the UAE’s continuous development.

 

In total, 41 local publishers and distributors showcased their latest books to encourage reading in the Al Dhafra community. The new format of the festival transformed it from an exhibition into an event packed with culture, education, entertainment and artistic performances.

 

The book fair attracted32,605 visitors, including many students and families, to enjoy the various activities at the 4,000 square-metre site in Zayed City.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The remarkable success of the new edition of the Al Dhafra Book Festival highlights the creativity and culture in Abu Dhabi, while revealing how it interacts with the environment and society. It also showcases the strong cultural movement throughout the emirate, with its unique identity and national traits.

 

“We thank the publishers, authors, academics and partners who contributed to the success of the new edition of the Al Dhafra Book Festival with their outstanding creativity and their commitment to delivering their cultural works to readers in Al Dhafra. They are essential partners in our efforts at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to organise these events as a platform to strengthen Emirati values and heritage.”

 

With its new format, the Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022 presented a wide range of diverse literary, musical, and heritage-based activities. The programme included more than 100 activities covering various topics, most notably a series of cultural evenings titled ‘Voices Loved by the People’, which celebrated renowned poets and artists from Al Dhafra.

 

The festival allocated two areas for youngsters, with one dedicated to children’s workshops, performances and story readings, and another for workshops for youth. There was also an art corner, which featured exhibitions by artists, as well as art workshops held throughout the day. The event also offered visitors a chance to meet fictional characters inspired by Emirati and Arab folktales, which were brought to life with 3D models around the festival, along with a series of roaming artistic and musical performances.

 

The Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022 was held in partnership with the Al Dhafra Region Municipality - Department of Municipalities and Transport as a strategic partner, and Baynounah TV as a media partner.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Launches Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award at Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), launched the Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award at the Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022.

 

The award will be presented annually for the best short stories, either published or unpublished by new or emerging writers, graphic stories, and works of historical literary fiction.

 

The name of the Award was inspired by the poetry of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. In his verses he uses the word ‘Sard’ (narration), to indicate discipline and consistency, while ‘Thahab’ (gold) denotes beauty and aesthetics. The name represents what the art of storytelling possesses in terms of discipline in content and form, in a way that facilitates communication and openness.

 

The (Sard Al Thahab) Award will preserve the art of storytelling by promoting its study and inspiring its use and expression in contemporary works. It also seeks to discover talented short story writers and publish their fictional works, while honouring established creators in the field of short stories.

 

By showcasing various aspects of Emirati culture, including history, notable figures, geography, folklore, the award will motivate authors to highlight the UAE’s excellence, beauty, and its historic and present achievements.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Al Dhafra Region occupies a distinguished place in the UAE’s history, so this book festival is the ideal place to launch the (Sard Al Thahab) Award. Through this award we will further our strategy to strengthen the UAE’s culture and identity, while enriching and preserving the Arabic language. We also aim to encourage creativity, and motivate Arab generations to use their imagination and express their experiences. This Award is of great significance because it draws inspiration from the art of narration in all its forms in the Arabic language, which has long been an integral part of Arab literary tradition from its earliest days.”

 

The Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award is a further addition to the series of inspiring initiatives launched by the ALC, which strengthen the UAE’s position as a leading supporter of creativity, arts, and culture.

 

The Award includes six prize categories, including the Short Story Prize for unpublished stories, and the Short Story Collection Prize, which recognises published Emirati or Arab stories, that draw inspiration from heritage.

 

The Popular Narratives Prize category honours works that collect popular folktales that build a collective memory and contribute to the formation of a cultural identity, or notable studies that analyse these tales, while the Narrators and Biographers Prize celebrates narrators of popular literature and biographies from the UAE and the wider Arab world.

 

Other categories include the Illustrated Story Prize, which selects a narrative that relies on images in its structure, and the Emirati Storytelling Prize, which honours literary works that explore Emirati identity and are inspired by the UAE’s history, geography and symbols.

 

This year’s Al Dhafra Book Festival offers an intellectual programme to connect various segments of Emirati society to their heritage and aims to create a society of avid readers who can make significant contributions to the UAE’s continuous progress and development. The Festival is being held in collaboration with the Al Dhafra Region Municipality – Department of Municipalities and Transport as a strategic partner, and Baynounah TV as media partner.

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More Than 100 Activities on the Agenda as Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022 Kicks Off with 40 Publishers and Distributors

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, the third edition of Al Dhafra Book Festival kicked off yesterday. Taking place at the Public Park in Zayed City in the Al Dhafra Region, the event runs until 9 December under the theme ‘Al Dhafra: Where Heritage Meets Prosperity’.

 

Al Dhafra Book Festival is a continuation of the Al Dhafra Book Fair, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). The 2022 edition presents a renewed version of the event, inspired by the rich local cultural heritage, which promotes a sense of belonging, encourages creativity and innovation, and celebrates literature and writers. The event aims to advance and promote the Al Dhafra Region as a key part of the UAE’s cultural scene, in addition to offering a unique platform for all segments of the community to enjoy books.

 

The festival will provide intellectual content that connects the various segments of Emirati society with their heritage, documenting their connection to the past to inspire pride and promote the values of belonging and loyalty to the UAE. The festival also aims to create a society of cultured and avid readers who can make significant contributions to the UAE’s continuous development and progress.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Al Dhafra Book Festival aligns with our objectives at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to advance the status of the Arabic language and position it as a key component of Emirati identity and a pillar of UAE culture. With its new and improved format, the 2022 edition of the festival cements the ALC’s leading position in organising major cultural events that meet the highest standards and cater to the needs and requirements of the community in the Al Dhafra Region. The event also enhances the remarkable intellectual and cultural achievements of creative poets and writers, shedding light on inspiring works by renowned figures from the region.”

 

The 2022 edition of the festival is set to bring together 40 local publishers and distributors, who will present the latest books to encourage reading in the Al Dhafra community and provide an innovative and inspiring experience. The new format of the festival transforms it from an exhibition to an event packed with culture, education, entertainment, and artistic performances. The event aims to attract more than 15,000 visitors, including many students and families, to enjoy the various activities at the 4,000 square-metre site.

 

The Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022 presents a wide range of diverse literary, musical, and heritage-based activities. The programme includes more than 100 activities covering various topics, including a series of cultural evenings titled ‘Voices Loved by the People’, which will celebrate renowned and popular poets and artists from Al Dhafra.

 

The festival allocates two areas for children and young people’s activities, one dedicated to children’s workshops, performances, and story readings, and another for workshops for youth. The Al Dhafra Book Festival includes an art corner, which features performances by artists, as well as art workshops held throughout the day to cover numerous topics, including colour mixing, bag design, and more.

 

The event offers visitors a chance to meet a group of fictional characters inspired by Emirati and Arab folktales who have been brought to life with 3D models distributed across the festival. Also on the agenda is a series of roaming artistic and musical performances.

 

The Al Dhafra Book Festival 2022 is being held in partnership with the Al Dhafra Region Municipality - Department of Municipalities and Transport as a strategic partner, and Baynounah TV as a media partner.

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Al Ain Book Festival 2022 Champions Emirati Culture with Inspiring Programme of Events

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Al Ain Region, Al Ain Book Festival 2022 has concluded after welcoming 74,519 visitors at five cultural locations across the city.

The 13th edition, themed 'All Eyes on Al Ain', ran from 14 to 20 November and highlighted the UAE’s rich cultural heritage, while promoting Al Ain as a leader for the creative industries in the region.

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), conceived the new vision for the event, which was formerly known as Al Ain Book Fair.

The ALC curated a stellar events programme aimed at celebrating and highlighting the work of Emirati and Arab writers and creatives, both past and present.

With 130 exhibitors, the inaugural festival exceeded expectations, providing dynamic, collaborative and inspiring for adults and children alike. The Festival hosted more than 300 activities, including over 70 performances, 55 cultural seminars and activities, and over 200 children’s workshops and activities.

Throughout the week, Al Ain Square at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium was the Festival’s hub, hosting live music, performances, art shows and children’s workshops Other activities took place at Zayed Central Library, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa and the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).

Earlier this year, the ALC announced publishers would be exempt from paying rental fees to the key book fairs and festivals it organises.

The decision was part of the strategy to drive growth in the publishing sector in the Arab world, as well as to enhance recovery and support local and international publishers.

His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Al Ain Book Festival, in its revamped edition, has been a great success in supporting our publishers, artists and authors, while also showcasing our rich Emirati culture and heritage. Through this, we have continued our mandate to advance the Arabic language, while ensuring the destination of Abu Dhabi hosts a packed calendar of inspiring and informative events.”

The Festival’s Highlight Events

During Al Ain Book Fair 2022, thousands of visitors enjoyed events across different cultural programmes with appearances by numerous high-profile literary figures and artists. The Main Stage Programme featured musical performances celebrating both Arab and global cultures, including folk music and roaming entertainment shows. Some of the visitors’ favourites were the Lady of Fairy Tales stage show, the hypnotic Tanoura Dancers, the spectacular Chinese Dragon Show, the Golden Carnival and the traditional performance of the African Kodzo Drummers.

The Festival also celebrated the 52nd National Day of Oman on 18 November. For the occasion, Omani folklore groups performed throughout the day and the festival was visited by the Oman National football team. The celebrations then culminated in a musical evening with renowned oud musician Faisal Al Sari.

An Inspiring Children’s Programme

As part of the Children’s Programme, more than 200 activities were held during the festival, including storytelling and art workshops organised by the Abu Dhabi Children’s Library, the colourful Peter Pan Stage Show at Al Ain Square, and a Character Design Workshop with Emirati Manga artist Asma Alromaithi, also known as Asami Art.

Among the favourite activities for children and families was the Knowledge Challenge, which tested their understanding of Arabic literature and culture, Making Slime, and Music Drawing With Gerald Mercier. Children also could learn about music in the workshops organised by the Emirati pianist Iman Al Hashemi, while teenagers were given the chance to discover the future of Artificial Intelligence in the daily workshops, and enjoy the digital corner activities. 

An Educational Triumph

Al Ain Book Festival provided a platform to showcase and support Arabic culture and creativity, especially among students, researchers and educators. During the Festival, the ALC and the UAE University (UAEU) signed an agreement to collaborate on a range of cultural and educational projects that promote the Arabic language.

The UAEU also hosted literary and culture seminars such as Emirati Children's Literature: Between Inspiration from Heritage and Looking to the Future, and Forts of Abu Dhabi, Their History, Features and Functions.

Education was also a key part of the programme at Bait Mohammad Bin Khalifa, with events such as How Do We Prepare Our Children for Education? and A Creative Family: Looking at Ways to Nurture and Inspire Creativity. Additionally, as part of Men’s Health Awareness month, the Festival hosted a campaign of different activities, such as a walk around Hazza bin Zayed Stadium partnering with Al Ain Club and the Faculty of Medicine at UAEU. The activities also included the celebration of International Students' Day hosted by the UAE Students Association. 

A Platform to Champion Arabic Poetry

Arabic poetry was a huge feature of the festival. A spectacular pre-opening concert took place at Al Jahili Fort on Saturday 12 November enjoyed by 1,700 attendees, where the performers, including Hamad Al-Amri, sang renditions of traditional Nabati poetry. 

The Festival also hosted the prize ceremony of the first- ever Kanz Al Jeel (Treasured Sayings) Awards.

Launched earlier this year by the ALC, the awards celebrated the increasing popularity of Nabati poetry, while honouring the legacy of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who cemented the literary genre in the hearts and minds of Emiratis and Arabs. The six winners, from four different countries, each contributed to keeping this important poetic legacy alive through their excellent work. 

A Roll Call of Talented Speakers

The AABF 2022 welcomed over 120 guest speakers and moderators who enriched the festival’s programme with their wide-ranging experience and expertise. These included the inspirational Asma Seddiq Al-Mutawa, Founder and President of the women’s book club Salon Al-Multaqa, who moderated several panel discussions. The poet Sheikha Al Mutairi also hosted the panel discussion Shining Female Role Models, Emirati Women in Community Service. Dr. Parween Habib, the r media professional and author, hosted a session with the author and media expert Dr. Aysha Al Busmait about her unique experience in adopting her daughters, as reflected in her book titled Motherhood by Choice.

Al Ain Book Festival is due to return on 14 November 2023 with an exciting new programme of discussions, workshops, performances and activities.

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Arabic Language Centre’s Treasured Sayings (Kanz Al Jeel) Award announces six winners of inaugural edition

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) has announced the six winners of its inaugural Treasured Sayings (Kanz Al Jeel) Award.

 

The winners will be be presented at a ceremony at the Zayed Central Library on the 16 November at 6pm during the Al Ain Book Fair 2022 (14-20 November).

 

Launched earlier this year by the ALC, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the award celebrates the legacy of the increasingly popular tradition of Nabati poetry. The committee received a total of 234 submissions from 20 different countries across six categories.

 

The winners of the Treasured Sayings Award 2022 are:

⦁ Poet Obaid bin Qadlan Al Mazrouei (UAE) in the Poetry Matching category for his work, which was characterised by its ability to identify with the atmosphere of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s poetry

⦁ Poet Salem Saif Al-Khaaldi (UAE) in the Poetic Publications category for his collection (Good Heart) comprising 220 poetic verses, published by Hamaleel Publishing in 2022, which was distinguished for its artistic and linguistic interdependence, which reveals the depth of the poet’s experience and his mastery of the tools of the Nabataean poem

⦁ Artist Abdelkader Daoudi (Algeria) in the Arts category for his painting titled (God has given us Good and Grace), which innovatively portrays the poetry of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

⦁ Dr. Ayesha Ali Al Ghais (UAE) in the Studies and Research category for her book (The Initiation of Excellence in Emirati Nabati Poetry: A Critical Study), published by Aldhabi Publishing in 2022, which is an appraisal of a number of Nabataean poems by the greatest Emirati poets from the nineteenth century to the present day

⦁ Dr Khaled Al-Masri (Jordan/USA) in the Translation category was for his translated book Smile, may your life smile: from the pioneers of wisdom, leadership and love, featuring the poems of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

⦁ Orientalist and diplomat Marcel Kurpershoek (Netherlands) in the Creative Personality category for his dedication in studying Nabati poetry over more than a quarter of a century.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, warmly congratulated the winners of the first edition, wishing them continued success. He said: “The Treasured Sayings Award is an inspiring cultural award that stimulates literary creativity in the country and the region and celebrates the important poetic contributions of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his influence on contemporary Arabic poetry. The Treasured Sayings Award will have a great impact on motivating creators in various fields to present quality works inspired by or related to Nabati poetry and its legacy, and to explore new and innovative ways to experiment with poetic compositions.”

 

Eissa Saif Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Higher Committee of the Treasured Sayings Award and Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural and Heritage Programmes & Festivals Management Committee, pointed to the resounding success of the first cycle of the award. He especially highlighted the wide turnout of participants in various fields of literature and from all over the world. He said: “This confirms the originality and importance of the poetic and literary work of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who established an important hub for creators, translators, artists and critics of different nationalities and ethnicities, and contributed to launching a new creative movement that enriches the literary scene and reflects the noble values ​​rooted in the Emirati society.”

 

Al Mazrouei also congratulated the winners of the first edition, expressing his appreciation of their outstanding creative contributions and works, and inviting authors from all over the world to participate in the next editions of the award.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s Publishing Industry Forum Explores Sector’s Future and Prospects for Growth

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) organised the inaugural Publishing Industry Forum, an event for the Emirates Publishers Association, at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi on DATE. The forum aimed to support the promotion of the Arabic language and efforts to create Arabic content, and showcased local and international ALC publishing projects as well as its initiatives to support Emirati publishers.

 

The event was attended by His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Acting Executive Director of the ALC, and His Excellency Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of the Emirates Publishers Association, along with 50 Emirati publishers specialising in children’s and young adult literature, e-book and audiobook publishers, literary agencies, copyright trade professionals, and translators, in addition to representatives from the ALC’s various departments.

 

Al Tunaiji said, “The publishing sector has faced many challenges in recent years, which has required stakeholders and relevant authorities to mobilise efforts and clearly outline the future of the industry. The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is committed to developing systems for the publishing sector at the local and international levels, providing support to writers and publishers and promoting their work across global markets. The Publishing Industry Forum with the Emirates Publishers Association is a continuation of these efforts, helping to strengthen communication between industry players so that stakeholders can remain on top of developments and address any challenges that may arise.”

 

HE. Rashid Al Kous said, “This forum has given the global community of publishers a meaningful new opportunity to present recommendations which they believe will fuel necessary efforts for modern technology uptake to continue growing and advancing our industry. The forum’s participants from our region can harness and customise the recommendations to benefit their businesses while diversifying their content into ebook and audiobook formats, particularly in the children’s and young adult genres, since these have come up as central discussion themes along with translations, book marketing, fairs and festivals.

 

“The Arabic language will always be the primary medium for the transmission of our deep-rooted history and cultural identity, while also serving as a protector of our identity for generations to come. Therefore, the role that Emirati and Arab publishers play in achieving these goals cannot be overstated. Through their contributions, they are turning the local and regional publishing industry into an inclusive cultural ecosystem that continually promotes learning among Arab readers in their mother tongue.”


The forum assessed the current state of the Emirati publishing industry and the challenges it faces, shedding light on publishers’ aspirations and their proposed solutions to sector-wide issues. The event highlighted the role of book fairs and their impact on the industry, with attendees exploring ways to revamp the professional programme for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2023 and discussing Al Dhafra Book Fair’s prospects for development.

 

Other topics of discussion included modern marketing mechanisms and the multitude of channels for print, digital, and audio publications. The forum also spotlighted the outcomes of the first International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries, as well as the successes of the ALC’s regular participation at various international book fairs.

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Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre Announces Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee for Award’s 17th edition (2022-23)

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, has announced the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Scientific Committee for the 17th edition. Chaired by H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary-General of the Award and Chairman of the ALC, the Committee includes: Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Acting Executive Director of the ALC; critic, translator, and Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at Jordan’s Yarmouk University, Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh; Juergen Boos, President and CEO of the Frankfurt Book Fair; French Professor and Researcher Floréal Sanagustin; Lebanese academic and researcher Dr. Nadia El Cheikh; Egyptian literary critic and professor Dr. Amany Fouad Gadallah; Saudi Arabian writer and novelist Dr. Badria Al Bishr and Jordanian-German Translator Dr. Mustafa Al-Slaiman.

 

Each year the Scientific Committee appoints a group of distinguished regional and international literary figures as judges, who serve on nine separate judging committees. The Scientific Committee then reviews and approves the judges’ selections before submitting them to the Board of Trustees, to be officially endorsed and to select the winners of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary-General of the Award and Chairman of the ALC, welcomed the new members and applauded the distinguished roles the previous members played, which helped strengthen the Arab cultural movement, and paved the way for many notable achievements.”

 

“Appointing such renowned and celebrated figures who have had a remarkable impact on the cultural scene to join the SZBA Scientific Committee reflects our commitment to promoting the Award and advancing its status,” H.E. bin Tamim said. “We look forward to the valuable scientific knowledge and experience the new members will bring and we are confident that they will continue along the same path as their predecessors, who made significant contributions to enrich and develop the Award, which has come to enjoy a commendable presence in the Arab region and around the world.”

 

For his part, Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji said: “Being part of this prestigious committee is an honour that I cherish. Over the past 16 years, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award has offered a rich and important experience that has helped elevate the book industry, supported researchers and creative thinkers, and established a unique and inspiring environment for research and innovation.”

 

Meanwhile, Dr. Amany Fouad Gadallah, a Professor of Literary Criticism in the Higher Institute of Artistic Criticism at Cairo’s Academy of Arts, said: “I am pleased to have been chosen among the members of the Scientific Committee of the 17th Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and I am confident that the Committee will do everything in its power to evolve intellectual, literary, and cultural output.”

 

On a similar note, researcher Dr. Nadia El Cheikh, the Vice Provost for Cultural and Research Engagement at NYU Abu Dhabi, said: “I am happy to be joining the Scientific Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in its 17th edition. This pivotal award has made remarkable contributions towards serving Arab culture, in addition to supporting intellectuals and creators.”

 

For her part, novelist Dr. Badria Bishr from Saudi Arabia, said: “I am honoured and delighted to be a member of the Scientific Committee for an international literary prize as respected as the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which strives to advance human intellect and celebrate creativity, excellence, and innovation. Joining the Committee is both an honour and a great responsibility.”


The Sheikh Zayed Book Award will continue to accept nominations for its 17th edition until 1 October 2022. Applications can be submitted through its website or via email.

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Readers Discover the 101 Arabic Books that Enriched the World at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) hosted a panel session on Wednesday (25 May) which delved into the fascinating ‘One Hundred and One Books’ project, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) initiative that has compiled a list of the greatest Arabic language titles of all time.

 

The talk, titled ‘One Hundred and One Books: Arabic Books that Enriched the World’, took place at the fair’s Youth Platform. Literary critic and researcher Dr. Khalil Al Sheikh, a member of the initiative’s editorial committee, spoke about the genesis of the ‘One Hundred and One Books’ project, noting that the idea was for the ALC to present the greatest treasures of Arab knowledge to the world – with an end result of a more comprehensive world literature canon which was not limited to European and American countries, but spanned from the Far East to the Far West.

 

Dr. Al Sheikh said, “Initially, our idea was to include books that have impacted world culture, but we later changed it to books that have enriched other countries of the world. Therefore, each title selected is an element of enrichment for the world. After a lot of toing and froing, we proceeded with the book selection by focussing on their nature and whether they were appropriate for both specialists and youth.”

 

The ‘One Hundred and One Books’ publication provides a critical explanation of every title chosen, encouraging individuals to question each inclusion and inspiring further research into the works. Initially, 200 books were shortlisted, but the project’s committee was adamant about featuring only 101 books as an invitation for the readers to read more and question why specific titles were not included.

 

Dr. Bilal Al Orfali, Professor of the Sheikh Zayed Chair in Arabic and Islamic Studies, said, “There are numerous Arabic books that have changed elements of the world. For years, elements of Arabic culture have interacted with different cultures globally, producing literature and art. The project is a call for thinking about the art of selecting books; it activates the role of the critic and the reader at the same level.”

 

The 101 selected works have been compiled into a publication, which will be translated into various languages in the future. A second volume is already underway and will consist of a list of the 101 best Arabic novels of the 20th century.

 

ADIBF 2022, organised by the ALC, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, is ongoing at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre until 29 May.

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Crowds Discover Rare Treasures at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) , has seen participation from an impressive 1,130 international, regional and local publishing houses representing more than 80 countries – some of which have brought with them rare literary treasures to delight visitors.

 

Attendees at the fair, which has been organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, have been able to see the stunning ‘Golden Quran’, a precious and unique 11th century tome consisting of 184 gold-coated pages. A truly one-of-a-kind item, it is one of the oldest preserved Quran editions in existence. This invaluable holy book is on display at the Adeva bookstall alongside other magnificent examples of the art of Islamic calligraphy.

 

A rare 16th century book valued for Dh 11 million was presented by French Library Claverell. Written in 1550, the book contains images of rare and valuable bird species.

 

Those who like a bit of local history could find the first printed record of Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the fair’s Antiquariaat Forum stall. On display was the Viaggio dell'Indie Orientali by the Venetian jeweller Gasparo Balbi, detailing his nine-year voyage from Venice to the Far East between 1579 and 1588, during which Balbi visited the Arabian Gulf region.

 

At the Le Prince Art Consultancy booth, world travellers and geography fans could peruse one of the most spectacular illuminated atlases in existence. Bound in two volumes, the atlas comprises two engraved allegorical frontispieces and 226 double-page engraved maps. All the maps are fully hand-coloured and finished with gold-leaf, with decorative flair which far surpasses what is encountered in the other Dutch atlases.

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Thought-Provoking Entertainment for Younger Generation on Offer at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) continues to cement the event’s reputation as an intellectual and creative space for all segments of society, with fun and thought-provoking experiences on offer for visitors of all ages. Children have been especially catered to with a host of skill-building and artistic activities and educational sessions, as well as a wide range of books and publications.

 

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the fair offers young people an exciting and stimulating day out, with an experience designed to expand their knowledge and advance their mental and physical abilities. Across the 26,814 square metre exhibition space, play areas have been set up for children alongside various other facilities to engage, provoke and stimulate young minds.

 

Throughout the fair, publishers have educational books, games, posters and more on display, to draw the attention of children who are presented with endless diversions at the event. Publishers specialised in children’s literature have offered various activities ranging from educational games and creative exercises to storytelling sessions to engage their young audience.

 

Children are attracted by what is new and bright, said veteran publisher Bassam Shabaro, Founder and Director of Dar Thaqafa Publishing and Distribution. “They love the brightly coloured books with attractive drawings produced by the global education chains, and educational stories with animals,” he said.

 

The role of publishers, said Bilal Antal of Rowad Al-Majd Publishers, is to present simple, purposeful books that cater to children’s intellect and emotions. “Children are smart, and know what they want, so publishing houses present books that drive curiosity and awaken the imagination, in addition to those which educate children about the Arab values ​​that our parents and grandparents were raised on,” Antal said.



Maryam Moussa, Director of Programmes at Nabati Publishers, believes that a child can reach the minds of his or her peers.

 

“We have a number of young writers who are very easily able to reach children with stories and themes that are close to their minds and hearts, because they use simpler language than an adult would use,” she said, “We are proud to present educational stories that demonstrate the values ​​of our society and support our national identity.”



Educational games that teach children through play have become a globally popular, said Aya Abu Madi from Smart Skills Company. “Children can have fun while learning to solve problems, thinking outside the box, and experiencing teamwork,” she explained.

 

Overall, many publishers at the fair emphasised the need to understand children’s visions of the world in order to succeed in breaking through and connecting with this valuable young audience.

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Black Box Cinema Entertains Crowds at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2022

The Black Box Cinema activation at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has once again proved to be one of the most popular features of the annual event, with the corner screening 22 Arabic short films, both narrative and documentaries, from 13 countries to regular full houses.

 

Black Box Cinema’s organisers’ aim is to spread film culture, bringing people from all over the world together over their shared love for cinema, while offering audiences the chance to discover Arabic cinema.

 

Taking place for the fifth time at the Fair, Black Box Cinema’s capacity has been increased this year from 50 to more than 70 seats. Nawaf Al Janahi, the Emirati film director who founded Black Box Cinema, said: “Black Box Cinema has become a landmark in ADIBF since its debut in 2017, creating an excellent link between the public and the Arab culture. As we’re in a very popular book fair, we’ve expanded for our literary audience, and have been familiarising them with the art of short films. We are constantly encouraging people from different cultures to familiarise themselves with Arab culture and the world of films by being presented here.”

 

Al Janahi, who personally views and selects each movie to be screened at ADIBF, added, “Whenever I am between films, I love to work on projects like these around the world and spread film culture everywhere. As the platform is very multinational, we have the perfect opportunity to show recent works from experienced directors and new ones. ‘Watch more films' is the only advice I’d give to anyone who wants to be a part of the film industry.”

 

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the 31st edition of ADIBF is taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) until 29 May. This year, it has seen the participation of over 1,130 publishers from over 80 countries and more than 450 cultural, academic and creative events under its theme ‘Inspire, Innovate, Enrich’.

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Married Writers Wassini Al-A’raj and Zainab Al-A’waj Discuss Their Creative Ties at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Algerian novelist Wassini Al-A’raj and poet Dr. Zainab Al-A’waj took part in a fascinating session at the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this week, where they discussed the creative ties that unite them as a married couple.

 

During the ‘Family and Culture’ session, organised by Al Multaqa Literary Salon Foundation and moderated by Emirati cultural activist Asma Al-Mutawa, the pair spoke about marriage and its impact on their creative projects. Al-A’raj is the author of books including The Prince's Book: Paths of the Iron Gates, with Dr Al-A’waj revealing that for the past 40 years she has always been the first to read her husband’s books.

 

“He has always given me his opinion of what I write and, in turn, I not only read to him, but listen to his story ideas before they are written. I live with its characters and events and enjoy it, then it is told to the children and grandchildren,” she said. Dr. Al-A’waj added that for her, creativity is a cumulative process based on her love of reading, listening to music, and watching theatre and cinema. Her husband, she said, has been a strong – and even unwitting – supporter as she recently worked on her first novel.

 

“Wassini encouraged me a lot, as I worked on my first narrative for about three years. When it ended, I needed the opinion of a specialised person, so I sent the novel to Wassini under a false name, so that I could find out his opinion objectively and without bias, and indeed he gave me a number of notes on the structure of the novel and deleted some parts,” she said. “I finished the novel with him after four or five months; I asked him which publisher he recommends, I sent it, and published my first novel.”

 

Her husband said that the pseudonym under which he received his wife's novel, Zeina Maria, sparked a certain memory that made him curious to know more about this writer.

 

Al-A’raj said: “I liked the work and wrote to her adding my positive and negative comments. I told my wife about the work and even gave it to her to read it. Then, I forgot the topic, so I was later surprised that Zeina Maria herself sent a request for help to publish the work. I helped her, and of course I told my wife about that as well, only to be surprised that she was the author and she did all this to receive an objective view of her work.”

 

He said that he is the first to read his wife’s poetry and is always honest with his opinions about her work.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Session Discusses Influence of Taha Hussein

A panel discussion at the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this week has seen experts and academics discuss Egyptian writer and intellectual Taha Hussein, considered one of the most influential cultural figures of the 20th century.

 

During the session, entitled ‘Taha Hussein: Critic and Thinker’, Arab academics agreed that Hussein deserved the title of ‘Dean of Arabic Literature’ for his immense contributions to modernising Arabic literature. His critical approaches were even compared to the great Arab classical poet, philosopher and writer Abu Alaa Al-Ma'aari.

 

His Excellency Hassan Nazim, Iraq’s Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, described Hussein's literary status and genius in creating a modern shift in the Arabic language paradigm that led to its modernisation. “He was keen to rethink Arabic language heritage and adapted it to the needs of a new generation,” he said.

 

Dr. Mohsen Al Musawi, Professor of Arabic Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, New York, said that Hussein continually worked to defend intellectuals who immersed themselves in honing their craft.

 

“At the height of his career, during the cholera epidemic in Egypt, he adhered to his critical and intellectual vision and philosophy. He was keen that societies and countries should be led by educated leaders,” Dr. Al Musawi said.

 

Dr. Hassan Madan, the Bahraini author and academic, hoped more Arabs would engage with Hussein’s writings, saying: “Dr. Taha Hussein drew the features of the intellectual and literary road map needed by us as Arabs. It is an Arab project that concerns Arab culture, and we here in Abu Dhabi, as Arabs, are discussing his importance as a great literary figure. We need to engage more with his writings to understand his experience and legacy.”

 

Dr. Diaa al-Kaabi,  Associate Professor of Modern Literary Criticism at the College of Arts, University of Bahrain, described Hussein as a man of great depth and an inspiration, who shared many similarities with Abu Alaa Al-Ma'aari.

 

“A man of great depth and foresight, there is a deep connection between him and Abu Alaa Al-Ma'aari, the classical poet. Hussein’s blindness lent him a unique insight, which reflected in his critical speeches,” she said.

 

Dr. Ahmed Al Saeed, Founder and Executive Director of Beit Al-Hikma, Cultural Industries Group, reflected on Hussein’s influence in China. “Dr. Taha Hussein's literature resonated in China and with Chinese intellectuals and writers. I have reviewed many doctoral and Masters’ theses that dealt with his work as he is regarded as a great figure, not only a regional figure but a global one whose work is respected all over the world,” he said.


 
The session was attended by HE Saqr Ghobash, Speaker of the Federal National Council; HE Ambassador Dr. Muzaffar Mustafa Al-Jubouri, Iraq's Ambassador to the UAE; HE Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and a number of other officials and cultural figures, as well as journalists and media professionals.

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Ed Husain Discusses Islam and its Role in the West’s Past, Present and Future at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) continued to offer thought-provoking discussion and valuable insights for attendees, with sessions including ‘Islam and the West: Past, Present and Future’ featuring Dr. Bilal Al-Arfa Lee, Professor of the Sheikh Zayed Chair in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut, and Ed Husain, a prominent British writer and a professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

 

Having written numerous books on Islam, Husain explained how all his works are not just about Islam as a religion, but more widely about the future of Britain. With around 5 million Muslims currently living in the UK, and an expected increase in this number in the coming years, the author revealed that he believes combined Muslim populations could have the power to influence 35-40% of governmental seats. “Muslims in the UK can be the kingmakers of the future decision-makers of the country,” he claimed.

 

Speaking about his writings, he added, “My books and my writings are designed to explain that you cannot read a single book about the history of the West without remembering the debt the modern West owes to the Arabic culture and Muslim civilisation.”



Praising the UAE as a pioneer with a future-focussed mindset, Husain stated that the country is modern and outward-looking whilst remaining rooted in a classical understanding of Islam. “My work is designed to remind students that the West and the Arab world are sisters of civilisation - they are a part of the same family. Islam is a body of ethics that calls us to live our best lives while being conscious that we have to answer to our God,” he added.

 

Ongoing at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) until 29 May, ADIBF is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

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South Korean Ambassador Visits CIMA Corner in ALC Pavilion at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) welcomed His Excellency Lee Seok-gu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UAE, to the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) today.

 

Received by Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Acting Executive Director of the ALC and Director of ADIBF and Dr Khalil Al Sheikh, Acting Director of Arabic Language Education and Research Department Director, Ambassador Lee was presented with a debrief on the Centre’s activities and visited the CIMA pavilion at the fair. Developed by the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) in Paris, CIMA, the Certificat International de Maîtrise en Arabe (International Certificate for Proficiency in Arabic) is the first internationally recognised certification to assess proficiency in modern standard Arabic. The initiative was founded in 2018 to encourage non-Arabic speakers to learn and master the language.

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Experts Assert that Literary Awards Are Bastion of Hope Against Decline of Arabic Language

Despite Arabic literature witnessing a decline, literary awards are helping preserve the region’s publishing industry, experts stated during a panel session at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF).

 

Discussing the impact of literary awards on writers, readers and publishers, representatives of six literary awards from across the Arab world highlighted the current state of decline in Arabic literature, as well as suggesting solutions.

 

Dr. Hisham Azmy, Secretary-General of the Nagib Mahfouz Award in Egypt, stressed that Arab awards are a great motivator and a driving force in contributing to changing the creative scene. He explained that the awards’ great advantages include supporting creators and introducing them and their works throughout the Arab world and beyond. He also pointed out that Arab awards today help expand the readership base, which draws attention to other works published by the authors, in addition to the fact that translation of the winning works opens the way for communication with new communities.

 

Talib Al-Rifai, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Kuwait’s Almultaqa Prize for the Arabic Short Story, said as parts of the Arab world struggle economically it is a difficult feat to become an Arabic writer or publisher.

 

“Our communities now are facing hard times, with ongoing wars, an immigration exodus from many countries. So, to have a specific agency awarding writers, it is a great thing, specifically because Arabic writers are struggling a lot,” he said.

 

Ali Khalifa, Secretary General of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity in Bahrain, said that compared to other regions, which have thousands of publishing houses, there are fewer in the Arab world, which makes it difficult for writers to be published.

 

He said: “Writers have suffered simply to publish their books. They would owe people money or take loans just to publish their own books or even carry the books physically to distribute them. That was done in some of the more comfortable Arab countries.”

 

Khalifa stressed that awards are important but work must be done to increase the benefits of such awards, as well as to make sure the judging systems are fair.

 

Asaad Abdul Rahman, Member of the Board of Trustees and CEO of the Palestine International Institute, said: “The Arabic language is in a dire situation, this, in turn, affects publishing and awards because our language is the cradle of our culture.”

 

Abdul Rahman called for the support and promotion of existing writers. “The awards presented by the Palestine International Foundation introduce new generations to the products of dead writers that the new generations do not know, and this raises awareness of the value of the late creators,” he said. “Awards have created an important lifeline for writers and publishers across the Arab world.”

 

Abdulaziz Alsebail, Secretary General of the King Faisal Prize in Saudi Arabia, said that awards are a platform for unknown writers and authors to present their work. Writers from across the Arab world become recognised, their previous works are discussed and this opens opportunities for more writers to follow them.

 

“Prof. Suzanne Stetkevych from the US was studying and conducting incredible research into the Arabic language for years, she was not known or recognised in the region. When she was recognised by the King Faisal Prize for Arabic language and literature, her work was spread amongst many people,” said Alsebail.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), said Arab literary awards go beyond the motivational aspect in encouraging creators to continue with their artistic efforts. He believes the awards inspire talent in the region, develop the fertile imaginations of the youth, and motivate promising authors.

 

ADIBF, which runs from 23 to 29 May at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), is organised by the ALC, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

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Egyptian Delegation led by Minister of Culture Dr. Inas Abdel Dayem Participates in 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

A high-level delegation from Egypt, led by Her Excellency Dr. Inas Abdel Dayem, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, and including academics, writers, publishers and media professionals, is participating in the 31st edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which has been organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

 

Members of the Egyptian delegation include Dr. Hisham Azmi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Culture; Dr. Mustafa Al-Fiqi, Director of the Ba'ad Library and winner of this year's Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Publishing and Technology; Dr. Haitham Al Haj Ali, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian General Book Authority; Dr. Ahmed Bahidin, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian General Book Authority; Islam Bayoumi, Director of Exhibitions Department at the Egyptian General Book Authority; Dr. Khaled Sorour, Head of the Plastic Arts Sector; and Dr. Ahmed Al-Saeed, Head of the Central Department of Museums and Exhibitions, member of the Cultural Committee and coordinator of the professional programme at the Cairo Book Fair.

 

HE Dr. Abdel Dayem said Egypt and the United Arab Emirates share a long history of collaboration across various sectors, with culture being among the most notable. She said that ADIBF offers an opportunity for closer ties with Emirati institutions to advance the cultural landscape across the Arab world.

 

“The book fair is an extension of the honourable legacy of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who believed that building societies begins with building capacities, awareness and knowledge among human beings,” HE Dr. Abdel Dayem said. “It was launched as the UAE embarked on a holistic and wide-reaching developmental, societal and civilisational movement, which has cemented its position today as one of the most developed countries regionally and internationally.

 

“We are committed to actively participating in this grand event because we are aware of the great value it brings, placing it on par with major international events of this kind. Our participation stems from a common vision we have with the UAE to build a new generation of intellectuals and creative thinkers capable of expressing and addressing their nation’s issues.”

 

Among the events delegates participated in was the panel session ‘Taha Hussein: Insight of Mind’, in which celebrated Arab literary and academic figures discussed the legacy of late author and intellectual, known as the ‘Dean of Arabic Literature’.

 

The Egyptian delegation also included leading publishers such as Mohammed Rashad, President of the Arab Publishers Association; Sherif Bakr, General Manager of Al Arabi Publishing and Distribution House; Ahmed Bouhi, Founder and General Manager of Dawen Publishing and Distribution; Ahmed Muhannai, General Manager of Publishing, Dawen Publishing and Distribution; and Ali Abd El-Moneim, Head of Content Acquisition MENA at StoryTel. This year, a total of over 100 exhibitors from Egypt are attending ADIBF.

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Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Promotes Innovative Ways of Enjoying Books Via E-Zone Corner

The 31st edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), which is running at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) until 29 May, is aiming to create a new generation of bibliophiles with activations in its E-Zone Corner.

 

Ahmed Rewihel, Head of Partnerships and Business Development MENA for audiobook company Storytel, said that around 80 percent of its users have started reading and listening to books since they subscribed to Storytel.

 

He said: “Easy accessibility is the primary reason we find many non-readers and readers listening to audiobooks. In addition, enhanced user experience with features like sleep mode, speed adjustments, read or listen, kids mode, and personal lists entice individuals to listen to audiobooks at Storytel. Today’s generation consumes tons of content every day, and audiobooks are an excellent way to help them consume valuable content and increase their knowledge.”

 

Rewihel said audiobooks can help bridge the divide between digital and traditional books. “An interesting insight that we found at Storytel is that audiobooks and traditional paperbacks feed into each other and increase interest in reading overall,” he said.

 

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), ADIBF aims to encourage a love of books in all forms.

 

In January 2022, ALC launched the ‘Fifty Thousand Readers Initiative’ where 50,000 participants were awarded a free three-month subscription to Storytel, one of the world’s largest Arabic audiobook and e-book collections.

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New Nabati Poetry Awards Officially Launched at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2022

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has launched Kanz Al Jeel Award at the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) to celebrate the rich history and heritage of Nabati poetry.

 

Nabati is a form of vernacular poetry that stems from the many varieties of Arabic in the Arabian Peninsula, which contrasts the poetry written according to the classical rules of literary Arabic. The Award honours Nabati poetic works, as well as folk studies and research studies into the subject. It aims to preserve the traditional heritage of Nabati poetry for the next generation. Candidates will compete for a share of total prize pool of AED 1.5 million.

 

The launch ceremony for the Kanz Al Jeel Award was attended by His Excellency Dr Ali Bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC; Eissa Saif Al Mazrouei, Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the Management of Festivals and Cultural and Heritage Programmes in Abu Dha