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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Dr. Ali 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. Dr. Ali 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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted on the website.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 Dhabi, Chairman of the Award’s Higher Committee; H.E. Abdulla Majed Al Ali, Acting Director General of the National Library and Archives and Member of the Higher Committee of the Kanz Al Jeel Award.
Moderated by Emirati poet and media personality Shaikha Al Mutairi, the launch event was also attended by Higher Committee Members Saeed Hamdan Al Tuaniji, Acting Director General of the ALC, and Dr. Dheya Al Kaabi, Assistant Professor of Narratives and Modern Literary Criticism at the University of Bahrain.
H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim said: “Today, we celebrate the launch of an exceptional award that brings tremendous value and depth to our cultural scene. It derives its name from one of the poems of our Founding Father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and reflects his wisdom, passion for poetry, and his vision, which helped cement this literary genre in the hearts and minds of all Emiratis and Arabs.”
The award is a promising step towards enriching the local and Arab cultural and literary landscape with new poetic models that serve to introduce readers to this artform, enrich Arabic libraries, preserve this piece of our heritage, and promote it as a literary genre that reflects our societies and their aspirations,” H.E. bin Tamim added. “The award is supervised by a jury of renowned experts and literary and intellectual figures with extensive expertise in Nabati poetry and its history.”
For his part, Eissa Saif Al Mazrouei said: “Launching this award reflects the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s commitment to protecting and promoting our heritage, and encouraging a sense of loyalty and belonging to nation. The award’s name is reminiscent of an expression that can be found on multiple occasion in a poem by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, where the word ‘Jeel’ refers to poems and is the colloquial Emirati form of the word ‘Qeel’ (what was said).”
“The award celebrates Nabati poetry and seeks to promote the poetry of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” Al Mazrouei added. “It will undoubtedly be a notable addition to the poetic arts and to the Sheikh Zayed Poetry Encyclopaedia, a priority area for the ALC. With that in mind, we extended the application period to receive entries for the first edition of the award until July 30, 2022, in order to attract the largest number of creative people who are passionate about this poetic and literary genre.”
On the same note, H.E. Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji said: “The great value this award brings is perhaps most evident in its unconventional theme and name, boasts a unique aesthetic and points to a meaningful objective. Popular poetry today needs this kind of award in order to reach the world, and go beyond the bounds of spoken poetry, limited to its local audience and culture. We strive for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair to be a launchpad for the award. We deeply value the importance of Nabati poetry and its close connection with our culture; it is an integral part of the culture and civilisation of the Emirati and Arab people.”
Meanwhile, H.E. Abdulla Majed Al Ali asserted: “The UAE stands firmly at the forefront of the cultural scene in the region. This award follows in the path of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the tremendous value that it represents. It is inspired by a wise leader who always associated civil and societal development with intellectual advancement, knowledge, and culture. We are committed to supporting Nabati poetry, as well as all academic studies, research, and translations related to it. We strive to communicate it to other cultures so that they can explore our identity, and we encourage the youth to explore Sheikh Zayed’s poetry and great legacy, and transform it into images and songs. This is truly a unique award and we are certain it will carve a niche for itself from the very first edition.”
For her part, Dr. Dheya Al Kaabi said: “The poems of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan cemented the importance of Nabati poetry, marking its continuity through the generations. It established poetry as a transient artform. The late Sheikh Zayed’s poetry was exceptional, as was his political and social wisdom and his approach to building bridges with other countries. When we look back on what he said in interviews, we find poetry that speaks of wisdom. We hope that this award will promote his values, support academic studies of Nabati poetry, and motivate Arab researchers and orientalists to keep up their efforts and continue to advance and promote this artform.”
Nominations are open until 30 July with individuals, literary unions, cultural institutions and universities invited to submit in any of the categories of the award, except the ‘Creative Personality’ category, where nominations are only accepted from academic, research and cultural institutions, or high-profile literary and academic figures.
Candidates are required to have actively contributed to enriching local and Arabic poetic, critical, or artistic movements. Nominated works must also feature a high level of originality and innovation, making a significant addition to human culture and knowledge. Each candidate can submit only a single entry for one of the award’s categories. A nominated work cannot be submitted for another award in person or by proxy in the same year. Nominated works must be written in Arabic, except for the Translation and Studies and Research categories, which consider poems translated from Arabic into other languages.
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2022) hosted the latest meeting of book fair directors from across the Arab world.
The 19th Meeting of Arab Book Fair Directors on May 26th 2022 aimed to cover issues regarding the development and advancement of these fairs, the enhancement of their role in supporting the publishing sector and its workers and ways to promote their position as platforms to spread knowledge among various members of the community.
Representatives of the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) attended the meeting, along with directors and officials from book fairs.
Attendees discussed the challenges facing book fairs and how to turn them into promising opportunities, in addition to exploring the current state of affairs in the Arab publishing industry and the challenges publishers face. Several additional issues also were on the table, including the role that book fairs play in spreading culture and civilised communication, as well as the impact they have in promoting books and other content to readers.
ADIBF will be heading the Meeting of Arab Book Fair Directors as the presidency of the meeting is transferred from KSA to the UAE. For the upcoming year, ADIBF will supervise and coordinate with the General Secretariat to track progress made on development plans, in addition to working to advance and promote Arab book fairs.
Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Acting Executive Director of the ALC and Director of ADIBF, said: “Through innovation and collaboration between the organisers of Arab books fairs, we have effectively supported the region’s publishing industry its growth. We have great faith in these fairs and the pivotal role they play in the development of communities. Arab book fairs will undoubtedly play a constructive role in enriching the cultural movement in general. We look forward to the meeting’s recommendations, which aim to bring all efforts to enable book fairs to continue to enlighten Arab minds, promote awareness and advance thought.”
Saad Al-Zughaibi, Director of the Department of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities in the General Secretariat of the GCC, welcomed the UAE’s efforts – represented by the ADIBF management – to organise and host the 19th Meeting of Arab Book Fair Directors.
He said: “These annual meetings are in compliance with the decisions of Their Highnesses and Excellencies, the Ministers of Culture in the GCC region, to promote further collaboration in the cultural sector in the region. A wide range of topics was addressed during this meeting in order to enhance the level of organisation in GCC book fairs; pitch and coordinate new accompanying cultural events; discuss topics that support book fairs; and raise recommendations to the Committee of Ministers of Culture, which promotes joint action and advances the cultural movement.”
The 19th Meeting of Arab Book Fair Directors also reviewed the progress made towards implementing the recommendations of the 18th meeting, in addition to exploring several topics proposed by member states, including the tentative dates for book fairs in GCC countries from 2026 to 2030, as well as the activities accompanying these events. Attendees also discussed the Gulf Cultural Strategy 2020-2030 and the requirements of the next meeting.
The 31st edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair takes place from May 23rd to 29th at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
Prize-winning authors taking part in a discussion session at the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair have emphasised the importance of research grants for Arabic literature in order to deepen knowledge, understanding and spread the Arabic language.
Dr. Salah Jarrar, Visiting Professor at the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, the University of Sharjah and Dr. Saad Eddin Kulaib, Professor at the Faculty of Arts, the University of Aleppo stressed the importance of grants to foster creativity, consolidate culture and expand knowledge and research horizons in literary critique and creative writing.
Speaking at a panel session discussing research grants hosted by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, which is part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the authors discussed their work with Dr. Muhammad Abu Al-Fadl Badran.
Dr. Jarrar, a specialist in Andalusian literature and the author of (Araeis El Adab) Literary Enchantments, said that the importance of Arabic manuscripts and the necessity of pursuing them by specialists and experts from all fields is key. “They represent our identity and culture and the present is closely related to it, from which we can get to know ourselves. It also may answer many important questions raised about the Arabs being moving away from their culture and history, "he said.
Speaking about his book, The Beauty of the Arabic Language (Al Jamal Fi Allissan Al Arabi), Dr. Kulaib shared his writing journey. “In the beginning, I was looking for texts by authors, or visual customs and traditions to write about the beauty of the Arabic language, because I believed that it was simple as it was aesthetic,” he said. “Coincidentally I discovered, while attending a lecture, that the Arabic language contains 125,000 linguistic terms under this category, so it led to me to focus on the societies that use these words, and I found that they are distributed in colloquial Arabic at the level of countries throughout the Arab world, and have been used for over 120 years," he added.
Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s research grants programme is part of the cultural strategy of Abu Dhabi, which supports the pillars and foundations of the emirate’s cultural sector to enhance qualitative scientific research efforts in various fields of culture and knowledge. The grants programme strongly encourages the study and research of Arab heritage as a strong foundation to open up the culture to the world, and also aims to support researchers in studying the Arabic language and enhance its presence within the Arab region and the world.
The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) hosted a panel session featuring renowned Syrian poet Adonis on Wednesday (25 May), who shared his opinions on how there is currently an abundance of Arab literary and poetic talent.
Adonis, the pen name of Ali Ahmed Saeed Esber, is one of the most influential poets, critics, and essayists in contemporary Arabic literature, and as he participated in the 31st edition of the 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), he spoke about the state of the region’s literary scene.
During the session, Adonis addressed the decline of poetry and the state of Arab literature, and discussed comparisons between Arabic and international poems, saying: "Talking about poetry is like talking about love, we live it, but we do not know how to analyse it."
Adonis questioned the difference between two views of poetry today, one that sees poetry as a reproduction of what already exists, and another that manifests itself in the usage of words as changeable, descriptive or narrative.
He noted the importance of women's poetry, saying, " This generation of women poets is especially accomplished. There are women who have not yet been able to publish their poetry but I am sure that their time will come."
Adonis reflected admiringly on the poetry of his generation, but cautioned against limiting ourselves to the poetry of the past 70 years, noting that if we do so, we are missing out on multiple eras of creativity. “If I mention poets like Umru Al Qais, Tarafa, Abu Nawas, Abu Tamam, or Al Mutanabi, you will not find greater poets than those the world over,” he said.
The CIMA pavilion at the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) was visited by the French Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Xavier Chatel, on Wednesday (25 May).
He was greeted by HE Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), who accompanied him on the tour of the pavilion.
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.
HE Dr bin Tamim commended the efforts of the Institut du Monde Arabe in enhancing the status of the Arabic language as a global language of creativity, communication, culture and art. He expressed his keenness to launch more research and studies in Arabic, while promoting the language’s beauty, importance and connection to human civilisation and culture.
HE Chatel stressed that the cultural exchange and joint efforts of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Institut du Monde Arabe have helped boost interpersonal contact and cultural exchange. This has cemented the relations between France and the UAE, forged effective communication, and introduced the Arab value system, history and culture through the language.
The ALC and Institut du Monde Arabe signed an agreement last year to coordinate with all CIMA centres in the UAE to submit reports on the number of registrations annually and their level of competence. Both entities would also share information on key performance indicators and organise joint events in conjunction with international events in support of the Arabic language.
ADIBF, organised by the ALC, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), runs from 23 to 29 May at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
The 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) offers visitors a lot more than just books and literature. Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the fair also features a packed agenda of artistic events at its Art Corner.
The Art Corner plays host to a series of activities, carefully selected to suit the interests of all visitors. It offers fair-goers a standout exhibition space for displaying inspiring artistic creations from established and emerging artists from around the world, in addition to providing opportunities to communicate with artists and publishers of visual creations, as well as enthusiasts in the field.
The Art Corner also hosts workshops where budding illustrators, designers, and publishers can exchange experiences, learn new techniques, develop new tools, and hone their talents and capabilities.
Workshops at the Art Corner include a session on Decoupage Book Cover, which allows participants to learn how to use this technique in their drawings or calligraphy, or to create a background to be painted over with oil paint or acrylics.
The Comics for Beginners workshops focus on teaching participants how to draw characters and create a comic strip. Meanwhile, the Batman Forever session allows participants to improve painting and composition through step-by-step instructions in painting the Dark Knight using acrylic paint on canvas.
Another workshop is dedicated to Book Cover Design and Printing, which aims to introduce the foundations of book cover design using simple materials, to express both the book’s theme and the designer’s vision.
The ALC has also dedicated a number of events and workshops to Arabic calligraphy, with the aim of teaching participants advanced skills to enhance their knowledge of the artform and create more comprehensive and professional works.
The Art Corner welcomes all sections of the community to benefit from and enjoy its diverse series of workshops, where they can hone their skills, develop their talent, and help spread the culture of innovation and creativity.
ADIBF runs from 23 to 29 May at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and is open daily from 10am to 9pm. For more information visit: https://adbookfair.com/
One of the most popular attractions at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) is the Lifestyle Corner, where visitors are entertained with inspiring cultural, creative and recreational events.
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the Fair is showcasing a variety of artistic, sports, social media and other performances, presented by world-class performers at its Lifestyle Corner. Here, visitors all age groups can experience interactive workshops, live shows and seminars providing a mix of entertainment and knowledge.
The Corner is hosting a series of sessions titled ‘My Experience’, including one with Emirati playwright Habib Al Attar, who will recount his own experiences in practicing the arts, particularly theatre. He will discuss the various stages of developing a play and how drama has been impacted by the rapid changes in the world and the changing tastes of audiences.
In another, Amer bin Jassas will highlight his experience in the field of media content development alongside Mohammed Al Mansoori, PhD holder in architecture, who will talk about traditional and contemporary Emirati architecture and its role in shaping the UAE’s history
Another ‘My Experience’ session will see content creator Ali Al Salloum talk about the credibility of social media and the impact of digital content on audience trends. He will be joined by Amira Mohammed, a presenter on Abu Dhabi TV, who will offer insights into the life of media personalities, while exploring visual media in general. Other high-profile personalities from various fields will also be joining the discussions during ADIBF.
The Lifestyle Corner will also feature a variety of culinary events, with celebrity chefs, such as Khulood Atiq and Sultan Al Otaiba. An event will also be dedicated to Turkish gastronomy and showcase several timeless recipes from different countries.
The 31st edition of ADIBF runs from May 23rd to 29th. More information about the fair’s activities is available at: https://adbookfair.com/
The ‘Dean of Arabic Literature’ Taha Hussein has been named by Abu Dhabi International Book Fair as the Focus Personality for this year’s edition. He was a role model who paved the way for generations of writers.
The panel discussion titled ‘Taha Hussein: Insight of Mind’, organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), discussed the legacy of the great Egyptian author and critic.
Moderated by Dr Nashwa Al Ruwaini, the seminar brought together Her Excellency Dr Enas Abdel Dayem, Egyptian Minister of Culture; Dr Ammar Ali Hassan, novelist and researcher in political science; Dr Asma Al Moqbel, Assistant Professor at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia; Dr Hayan Juma Al Saei, critic and translator, and Egyptian academic Dr Muhammad Abu Al-Fadl Badran.
HE Dr Abdel Dayem asserted that Taha Hussein is one of the greats of Arab history, a widely influential name in Arab and international thought, and a role model whose career opened people’s minds.
She said: “Taha Hussein championed science and knowledge as the way to people’s minds. He promoted the values of love and peace, ensuring his name would live on as an exceptional Egyptian figure. He is so much more than a figure in our heritage and history, or our envoy to the West, collecting prestigious scientific credentials, he was a storyteller, novelist, and literary critic. Hussein was an accomplished writer leading a discussion on contemporary intellectual movements; he was an amalgamation of all these traits and brought great knowledge to humanity.”
Her Excellency applauded ADIBF 2022 for its efforts to celebrate Hussein as its Focus Personality, stressing the importance of celebrating such figures that Egypt and Arab culture have presented to the world. “This reaffirms that our culture does not only celebrate our past, but also looks forward to our future, and our knowledge is meant to foster communication,” she said.
Dr Ammar Ali Hassan said: “In just one year, we will be marking half a century since the Dean of Arabic Literature passed. Taha Hussein had a keen insight into nearly every topic; his masterpiece ‘The Days’ laid the foundation for the art of the autobiography and broke new ground in Arabic literature. The book created an entirely new style; Taha Hussein pioneered a text that is comparable to ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ in the place that it occupies in our Arab heritage, and he wrote it in just nine days. He wanted his ideas to reverberate in people’s lives, so he established himself as an intellectual who is accessible to everyone.”
Saudi academic and critic Dr. Asma Al Moqbel applauded Abu Dhabi International Book Fair for its commitment to highlighting a great literary and intellectual talent like the "Dean of Arabic Literature" Taha Hussein, who is considered one of the most important Arab literary figures.
One of the most popular presentations at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) this year has been by Ann Hiatt, the bestselling American author, Silicon Valley veteran and investor.
In her speech on the Youth Stage, she explained to the audience ways to take charge of their career with the right mindset. Sharing her personal experiences with her technology CEO mentors, such as Google’s Eric Schmidt, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, her insightful speech emphasised her five leadership principles.
She said: “Be fearless, be humble, be influential, be curious, be balanced - these are the five principles I have found common working with some amazing super-performers in the technology world. I was lucky enough to join the team of dreamers, doers and fearless people - do the same.
“It is good to be relentless in pursuit of perfection, but one mustn’t be afraid to fail. Just start by saying yes. That is the secret to enriching your knowledge. Irrespective of how daunting a task may feel, you have to be curious if you want to be a leader. If you want to commit to a better tomorrow, say yes today.”
Referencing her bestselling book Bet on Yourself: Recognise, Own and Implement Breakthrough Opportunities, she told the audience they needed to ask themselves important questions.
“First, ask yourself what do you want to learn in the next step of your career? What skill do I want expertise in? Then seek out leaders who align with your vision and ask them to delegate their tasks to you,” she said.
“The next step is surrounding yourself with high-quality people that show you the kind of life you want to emulate. Lastly, disrupt yourself - take on the hard challenges and be proactive in knowing what you want in your life. Constantly stay updated with the latest trends and what the future of your industry looks like, and you’ll definitely futureproof your career.”
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 23rd to 29th May.
Held on the side lines of the 31st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) 2022 – organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) – the first International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries continued with a series of panel discussions examining the latest trends in publishing.
One session, titled ‘Education and Publishing in the Virtual World’, discussed the wide-reaching effects of the pandemic on the education sector. It examined how students around the world of all age groups used remote education, which brought significant attention to digital learning platforms and systems that relied on academic publishing. The session explored the dominance of these new platforms in the education sector and whether open access education will eventually become a reality.
Moderated by Hanada Taha Thomure, Endowed Professor of Arabic Language and Director of the Arabic Language Centre for Research and Development at Zayed University, the panel consisted of Cristóbal Cobo, Senior Education Specialist with the World Bank; Al Kingsley, CEO of Edtech Company NetSupport and Chair of Multiple Educational Boards; Bissan Korban, Head of Higher Education Products and Services for the MENAT Region at Pearson ME Publishing; and John Russell, Director of Education at Alef Education.
In his session, Cristóbal Cobo said: “This current inspiration that technology will revolutionise the education industry is not new; we have known this for years. During the pandemic, we saw people worldwide invest a lot into technology to enable remote learning. However, in many cases, it led to ineffective learning and had a lot of gaps, especially between students and teachers. We need to teach both students and teachers how they can learn to think with these digital tools and not just how to use them. We need to enable them to learn how to distinguish between different types of information and form their own opinion. During the pandemic, we learned that human connection is not replaceable by technology, but we have to develop new capacities and be open for serious transformations as no one can be certain of what the future holds.”
In stressing the importance of holistic growth, Al Kingsley said: “When we think back to school memories, we remember interacting with our peers, school performances, activities with our classmates. Students experienced isolation during the pandemic as they lost peer-to-peer contact, which is essential for their development. There was an attempt to mitigate this digital divide by introducing technology solutions by providing personalised learning. I urge you to ask yourself what are we trying to achieve? Is it students who leave with the most knowledge or a system that creates well-rounded students who focus on their mental health, social skills, and academic greatness? So, how are we going to create these positive experiences? First, we need to ingrain confidence. Our teaching staff needs to develop confidence in integrating technology and students need to develop confidence in using it to benefit from technology truly.”
Bissan Korban, emphasised the importance of prioritising consumer needs. She said: “Every sector suffered due to the pandemic. The education sector was forced to create different learning experiences, which paved the way for the future of digitisation. This learning experience taught us that we need to look at the need of our users and then provide them with tools that enable better futures. If companies and publishers are truly interested in the needs of all stakeholders involved in education, we will observe effective communication taking place and creating an impact.”
John Russell discussed how AI and innovation can support creating learning pathways. He said: “With AI, we can provide highly personalised learning that is catered to students’ needs. By using generative language technology, students will have access to learning exercises created with their specific needs in mind, compared to a single book published years ago that is being used to teach all students. When we analyse data, we observe that student performance differs according to geographical location - students in densely populated areas and cities outperform students in the countryside. By combining AI and innovation, we can provide support in creating learning pathways, ultimately creating an ecosystem that focuses on end-to-end growth.”
The session was followed by a Keynote Speech titled ‘Reading in a Time of Distraction’, delivered by Nicholas Carr, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, and New York Times bestselling author.
Carr spoke about the impact of mobile technology on the human ability to immerse oneself in deep reading. “It’s important to talk about this today as deep reading is under threat, and I think we all know why it’s under threat and it’s this thing we have in our pockets – the smartphone,” he said. “This new technology is not something that wants us to engage in deep reading, it has an adversarial relationship and does not want us to be lost into the pages of a book.
“When we spend a whole lot of time looking at our mobile screens or computer screens, we no longer use the criterion of importance to grab our attention, instead, we look at what is new, by looking at what is newest on our phone. The ability to take information and transforming into knowledge in essence is affected by that. Books are shields against distraction, through providing active immersive experiences, a reader is not only reading the words but experiencing them, bringing their own thoughts, ideas and emotions into the book”.
The Congress went on to discuss the role social media is playing in book publishing, where leading Western publishers are looking to collaborate with authors who have platforms and huge followings on social media. Titled ‘Is Social Media the New Book Market?’, the session highlighted how publishers are investing heavily in digital marketing as e-commerce gains ground in the book market, asking if this a bubble or a solid trend. Panellists also explored if the Arabic market has the same relationship to social media as other markets, and how influential are ‘booktubers’ and TikTok influencers in terms of book sales.
This session was moderated by Ed Nawotka, International and Bookselling Editor at Publishers Weekly, and brought together Sami Al-Batati, Founder and Presenter of YouTube channel ‘The Shadow of the Book’; Annie Arsane, Head of Platform Strategy for METAP at TikTok; and Joelle Yazbeck, Partner Manager for MENA at Twitter.
Sami Al-Batati said: “The publishing industry has the reader, the author and the critic. With booktubers, it is just readers and critics: readers consume the content while critics use their tools and standards to critique. Booktubers consume and share their personal experiences on the subject they read. Book reviews published by Al-Batati have reached 10 million views on YouTube, allowing a book reviewing community to widely grow in the Arab world.”
Annie Arsane said that the book reading community on TikTok has grown to 54 billion views globally. “People today love talking about the books they read, this has been a reality across time, but the problem is how do you find a person who has read a book that you have read and how do you find someone who has interesting recommendations. What media platforms have done is creating a space for people to have this discussion,” she said.
Joelle Yazbeck said: “On Twitter, we provide the ability for the public to engage directly with the authors, breaking the barriers and providing a real engagement for both. When a book is published and conversations are happening around it, the reader or the author have the ability to influence the public who start following the conversation and discussions on that book or subject.”
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced the adoption of a new ‘Sales Monitoring System’ for the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2022. The system uses advanced technology to provide instant information about the sales of books and materials within the exhibition allowing exhibitors access to detailed sales data and reports on a daily basis.
Through this system, ALC seeks to provide a user-friendly sales experience for exhibitors and visitors alike to help monitor book fair sales and give insight into readers’ interests. Facilitating access to a documented database of books and materials on display will also support planning for future events based on market demand.
Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Acting Executive Director of the ALC and Director of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, said: “At the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, we were keen to harness advanced technology to serve cultural mobility and elevate the status of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and other exhibitions that we organise for the growth of the publishing industry. The new system, which meets the highest global standards, will provide an accurate and precise mechanism for book sales, saving time, effort and cost for exhibitors and visitors alike.”
He added: “We hope that this system will streamline sales of books at book fairs and boost the confidence of publishers and exhibitors at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. We look forward to this technology as a promising opportunity to advance the publishing sector, especially as we are recovering from a pandemic that impacted the volume of book sales not just in the Arab world but also globally.”
The system reduces human error by providing accurate information checks to verify the numbers entered, and streamlines purchases, invoices and the required data with details and reports for all book sales at exhibitions. Using sophisticated technology, it assists exhibitors in monitoring daily sales, showing inventory size and facilitating the process of tracking sales at a much lower cost.
As part of its participation in National Reading Month 2023, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has partnered with the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination to organise the ‘Determined to Read’ exhibition at the Majlis Sheikh Mubarak bin Qaran Al Mansouri in Al Dhafra region’s city of Ghiyathi, from 13 to 15 March 2023.
The event, which is the first of its kind in Ghiyathi, presents a small-scale book fair for People of Determination, catering to their needs and aspirations by providing books and publications in various fields. The Centre is also organising a series of accompanying events alongside the exhibition, in order to establish a culture of reading and promote it as a daily habit among all individuals.
The ALC is organising the exhibition as part of the activities for the ‘Khazanat Al Kutub’ initiative, providing nearly 200 titles and a total of 700 books across various fields, including children’s and young adult books, literature, history, natural and social sciences, arts, sports, and languages.
His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre constantly strives to advance the status of the Arabic language in cultural, creative, and academic fields, and to that end, we work to organise impactful cultural events and projects throughout the year, targeting all segments of the community, including People of Determination. We deeply believe that reading and books are an essential right for all, and with that in mind, it is important to join hands and work together to enable all individuals to access books in various fields, and to benefit from the significant cultural movement the UAE is witnessing, and particularly during National Reading Month.
“By organising the ‘Determined to Read’ exhibition, we aim to expand the reach of the ‘Khazanat Al Kutub’ initiative, launched by the ALC to motivate the public to acquire its publications in various fields, and to ensure that they reach the largest number of readers in various regions and cities around the UAE,” H.E. bin Tamim added. “The initiative has achieved remarkable success since its launch, and today, the event has reached the city of Ghiyathi, where it hopes to inspire a culture of reading among residents, build a community of avid readers, enhance their awareness and culture, and enable them to actively participate in the UAE’s sustainable development.”
His Excellency Abdullah Abdul Ali Al Humaiden, Secretary-General of Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, said: "Through these activities, we aim to promote the concept of reading in the field of care and rehabilitation of People of Determination, in line with the National Reading Strategy 2026, and to create a generation of readers and an educated and conscious society, and the Foundation seeks to instill a love of reading in the hearts of its members, pointing out that Zayed Foundation will work hard to integrate this category into the programmes and initiatives included in the National Reading Policy to spread knowledge among People of Determination, and enable them to access contemporary knowledge.”
The exhibition offers visitors several themed corners to explore, in addition to a range of activities, including the Children’s Knowledge Challenge Competition, and a reading workshop for parents titled ‘A Book I Like’, in addition to performances by the Marionette Puppet Theatre and the Story Corner. The event welcomes visitors In the first period from 10 am to 1 pm, and in the second period from 5 pm to 8 pm.
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has launched the ‘Medad’ Library Services Platform to provide the best possible experience for library users and ensure that it meets the requirements of the libraries of the future.
The initiative forms part of the ALC’s activities for National Reading Month 2023 and aims to support the comprehensive digital transformation of the UAE’s culture and knowledge sectors, aligning initiatives with the latest and most advanced technologies used in the libraries and information sector around the world.
The ‘Medad’ Library Services Platform and its library services website portal enable stakeholders to benefit from a range of digital services that include establishing library memberships, book lending, automatic indexing, electronic searches, access to digital databases, and communication with library specialists, among others.
His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said: “Digitisation touches every aspect of life today, including the fields of culture, education, and creativity. The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is keeping pace with this major shift, implementing projects to digitise culture and knowledge and ensure the widest possible audiences have seamless access to these resources. The ‘Medad’ Library Services Platform is a remarkable new addition to the Centre’s digital initiatives, offering comprehensive library services and adhering to the highest standards of security to ensure reliability for users.”
The platform’s website portal provides access to more information related to the management of specialised libraries, in particular, and about the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre in general. Visitors can view the events schedule and read the latest news. Additional services are set to be added to the website in the future.