Riyadh fair consolidates Saudi Arabia’s position as major Gulf cultural destination

Okaz / Saudi Gazette

Riyadh city - The Riyadh International Book Fair 2022, the largest cultural event ever in Saudi Arabia, concludes on Saturday evening. The Book and Culture Festival, which lasted for ten days, with the participation of 1,200 publishing houses from 32 countries, witnessed the influx of unprecedented numbers of visitors and book lovers, both male and female, thus consolidating the position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a major cultural center. destination in the Gulf region.

Several international publishing houses, including from the UK and China, participated in the book fair for the first time. Britannia Box is one of them. A variety of cultural events was the main feature of the festival under the theme “Cultural Seasons”.

There was a 50 percent increase in the book fair space at the front of Riyadh due to the huge increase in the number of publishing houses that appeared to display their titles at the fair. Tunisia was the guest of honor at the Festival of Readers and Book Lovers, organized by the Literary, Publishing and Translation Authority of the Ministry of Culture.

There was a tremendous response from Saudi women who came in large numbers to visit the pavilions as well as to participate in cultural and artistic events, apart from their active participation in the organization of the event. The weekend days on Fridays and Saturdays witnessed a large influx of visitors and book lovers, both Saudi citizens and residents, to the book fair until the last hours of the festival.

Cultural activities included up to 71 seminars, 22 workshops, seven poetry evenings, six theater performances, nine concerts, and 55 children’s activities. The exhibition also discussed the “Cultural Reality Report in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the year 2021”.

The Literature, Publishing and Translation Authority, in cooperation with the Saudi Publishing Association, organized the “Publishers Conference” in the presence of a large group of book industry specialists representing local, Arab and foreign publishing houses.

For the first time in the Arab world, the famous Belarusian writer and Nobel Prize winner for literature Svetlana Alekseevich participated in the book fair. And I spoke in a cultural dialogue with Khaled Al-Yahya.

A celebration of Tunisian culture

The book fair celebrated Tunisian culture, literature, art and heritage, with the participation of a group of Tunisian thinkers, intellectuals and artists who lit the lamps of culture and art during the book fair nights. About 17 Tunisian publishers participated in the exhibition, displaying thousands of titles.

The event provided a wide space for Tunisian pioneers of culture, thought and art to participate in a series of seminars, lectures and workshops dealing with all areas of cultural creativity of the North African nation. A series of seminars, poetry and literary evenings, and artistic performances were held on the theaters and podiums of the Book Fair, which bore the names of Carthage, Kairouan and Green Tunisia. She highlighted the contributions of Tunisian intellectuals and artists in enriching the Arab library, theater and other sectors of the arts.

A number of seminars on Tunisian culture were also held. This included a Tunisian architecture session that shed light on the heritage of the 10 centuries of civilizations that followed Tunisia, and left an important architectural and cultural legacy, giving it a world heritage value.

In addition to a number of meetings on the Tunisian novel, issues facing the translation sector, the experience of Tunisian theater, criticism and other topics, workshops, literary and poetic evenings presented by a group of eminent personalities in the fields of culture and literature. And thought. The two prominent Tunisian poets, Mohamed El Ghazi and Moez Majed, participated in the poetry evenings.

Famous Tunisian singer Ziad Gharsa attended three musical nights at the Green Tunis Theatre. Princess Noura University hosted the Tunis Nights party, where artists Saber Al Rebai, Latifa and Olfa Ben Ramadan stunned the audience. The Princess Noura University theater group also performed four concerts.

Excellence awards bag for six publishing houses worth 300 thousand Saudi riyals

Literature, Publishing and Translation Authority Today, Saturday, it announced the Excellence Awards for the Riyadh International Book Fair 2022, with a total value of 300,000 riyals for local, Arab and international publishing houses that participated in the book fair.

Dr. Muhammad Hassan Alwan, CEO of the authority, said in a speech at the awards ceremony, that the authority believes that a developed publishing industry means a vibrant Arab culture, positive partnerships and fruitful cooperation between all actors in the Arab cultural scene.

Tashkeel Publishing House won the Excellence Award for Publishing, while Jarir Bookstore won the Excellence Award for Publishing in the translation category. Asala Publishing House in Lebanon received the Excellence Award for Children’s Publishing, while Madarik Publishing Company received the Excellence Award for Digital Publishing. Inspirational book publishers received the Excellence Award for Publishing Content while Jadal Books won the Readers’ Choice Award. Each of these six prizes carries a cash prize of 50,000 Saudi riyals.

The Riyadh Book Fair 2022, which kicked off on September 29, was one of the most important Arab book fairs in terms of the number of visitors, sales volume, and the diversity of its cultural programs, as well as in terms of the participation of the most prominent Arab, regional and international publishing houses.