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.