Riyadh fair solidifies Saudi Arabia’s position as a major cultural destination in the Gulf



RIYADH — The 2022 Riyadh International Book Fair, the biggest cultural event ever held in Saudi Arabia, comes to an end on Saturday evening. The ten-day book and culture festival, with the participation of 1,200 publishing houses from 32 countries, saw an unprecedented influx of male and female visitors and book lovers, further cementing the position of Saudi Arabia as a major cultural destination in the Gulf region.

Several international publishing houses, including those from the UK and China, took part in the book fair for the first time. Britannia Books is one of them. A wide variety of cultural events was the main feature of the festival with the theme of “Cultural Chapters”.

There was a 50% increase in book fair space at the Riyadh Front due to the huge increase in the number of publishing houses that showed up to showcase their titles at the fair. Tunisia was the guest of honor at the festival of readers and book lovers, organized by the Commission for Literature, Publishing and Translation, under the supervision 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 participate in the cultural and artistic events, in addition to being actively involved in the organization of the event. The weekend days of Friday and Saturday saw a large influx of visitors and book lovers, including Saudi citizens and expatriates, at the book fair until the final hours of the festival.

Cultural activities included no less than 71 seminars, 22 workshops, seven poetry evenings, six theatrical performances, nine concerts and 55 children’s activities. The exhibition also discussed the “Report on the Cultural Situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Year 2021”.

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

For the first time in the Arab world, the famous Belarusian writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Svetlana Alexievitch took part in the book fair. She discussed a cultural dialogue with Khaled Al-Yahya.

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 nights of the book fair. About 17 Tunisian publishers participated in the exhibition, presenting thousands of titles.

The event devoted a large space to the pioneers of Tunisian culture, thought and art to participate in a series of seminars, conferences and workshops dealing with all areas of the cultural creativity of the northern nation. -African. A series of seminars, poetic and literary evenings and artistic performances were organized in the theaters and stands of the book fair, which bore the names of Carthage, Kairouan and Green Tunisia. These highlight the contributions of Tunisian intellectuals and artists to the enrichment of the Arab library, theater and the rest of the artistic sectors.

A number of seminars focusing on Tunisian culture were also organised. These include the session of Tunisian architecture which highlighted the heritage of 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, the challenges of the translation sector, the experience of Tunisian theatre, criticism and other themes, workshops and literary and poetic evenings presented by a group of eminent personalities in the fields of culture, literature, and thought. Prominent Tunisian poets Muhammad Al-Ghazi and Moez Majed took part in the poetry evenings.

The famous Tunisian singer Ziad Gharsa attended three musical evenings at the Green Tunis Theater. Princess Noura University hosted the Tunisian Nights concert, where artists Saber Al-Rubai, Latifa and Olfa Ben Ramadan captivated the audience. The Princess Nourah University theater troupe also gave four concerts.

Six publishing houses win excellence awards worth SR300,000

The Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission on Saturday announced the 2022 Riyadh International Book Fair Excellence Awards worth a total of SR300,000 for local, Arab publishing houses and international who participated in the book fair.

Addressing the awards ceremony, Dr. Mohammed Hassan Alwan, CEO of the commission, said the commission believes that a developed publishing industry means vibrant Arab culture, positive partnerships and cooperation. fruitful between all the actors of the Arab cultural scene.

Tashkeel Publishing House won the Excellence in Publishing Award while Jarir Bookstore won the Excellence in Publishing Award in the translation category. Asala Publishers of Lebanon won the Excellence Award for Children’s Publishing while Madarik Publishing won the Excellence Award for Digital Publishing. Publishers of Inspirational Books won Excellence in Content Publishing while Jadal Bookshop won Readers’ Choice. Each of these six prizes carries a cash prize worth SR50,000.

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

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