A pavilion dedicated to Emirati literature highlighting its significance in determining the characteristics of the Nation will bring together influential authors and publishers at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ABIBF) to be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre from April 30 – May 5, 2014.
Organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), ADIBF is one of the region’s most well-respected book fairs attracting over 1050 Arab and international publishers from 50 countries, an increase by 15 percent over last year.
Announcing the project at the Emirates Writers Union in the Emirati capital, Abdullah Majid Al Ali, Director of Library Management – TCA Abu Dhabi played homage to the important role literature plays in shaping modern Emirati society.
“Our aim is to bring the volume and quality of Emirati intellectual thought to the visitor’s attention. By selecting more than fifty titles by ten Emirati writers of three successive generations representing the country’s rich cultural landscape over three decades, the pavilion comprises a diverse literary production encompassing novels, poetry, storytelling, and academic studies and research,” said Al Ali.
The writers featured at the pavilion are Ali Abu Al Rish, Jamal Matar, Maryam Al Saeedi, Yasser Al Neyadi, Hamad bin Sarai, Fatima Sultan Al Mazrouei, Sultan Al Amimi, Amna Al Shamsi, Mohsen Sulaiman, and Salem Abu Jomhour. They will all be available to meet with visitors and autograph their books.
“As part of our efforts to support Emirati literature both practically and professionally, our initiative seeks to elevate the appreciation and trust of Emirati books. Our Emirati creative minds have always been in contact with their reality, expressing their visions and dreams. By creating a platform for these creative minds to present their intellectual production, and expose our finest authors to the world’s leading publishers, we aim to reflect our intrinsic cultural traditions and attributes to different cultures represented at ADIBF which is emerging as a gateway for cultural and artistic exchange,” added Al Ali.
In unveiling the supporting cultural programme, Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Head of Administration, Emirates Writers Union – Abu Dhabi, highlighted the Union’s important role in presenting the programme in parallel with the book fair
“The Emirates Writers Union seeks to be an active partner in developing the cultural community by stepping out of the office to manage cultural affairs in the society where they belong. In this regard, the support of the culture-oriented government entities is fundamental. Over the past three editions, the Emirates Writers Union has developed the scope of its participation in ADIBF’s main programme in terms of both space and engagement,” said Al Mazrouei.
The Emirates Writers Union participation at ADIBF involves organising a number of seminars and literary evenings. Abdul Jawad Yaseen, will discuss the topic of “Religion and Religiosity” through his book that holds the same title. The Union, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Badr Shakir Al Sayyab’s death, also hosts the poet Farouk Shousha and Guilan Al Sayyab – Badr Shakir Al Sayyab’s son – to talk about their memories with the pioneer of modern Arabic poetry. The Permanent Office of the Arab Writers Union has declared 2014 as year of Badr Shakir Al Sayyab. Additionally, musician Charbel Rouhana talks about “Lebanese Music, Past and Present” in a special music seminar, explaining how music has influenced his own personal experience. Rouhana will play some of his compositions during his solo Oud “Variations on the Love Scale”and will also host an autograph session for his new album, “Tashweesh”.
Reflecting a new tradition, ADIBF has selected the great Arab poet Abu at-Tyayyeb Al Mutanabbi to be this year’s focus personality in an attempt to re-read his intellectual accomplishment from a whole new perspective. Al Mutanabbi’s poetry collections and the dissertations written about him in different languages will be presented in a dedicated pavilion. ADIBF will also be organising daily lectures and seminars highlighting new aspects of Al Mutanabbi’s personality, literature, and poetry in an attempt to understand the reasons why a tenth-century Arab poet remains so influential today. And for the first time during the opening ceremony, Abeer Nehme – accompanied by the best Arab musicians – will sing a concert inspired by the poet’s unique creativity and his quest for an equitable prince under the title “Al-Mutanabbi… forever a traveler”.