RIYADH, December 14 (CIC) – The third edition of Jeddah International Book Fair was opened on Thursday by the Governor of Makkah Region, Prince Khalid Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz. China is the guest of honour at this year’s event.
Some 500 Arab and international publishers from more than 40 countries are taking part in the December 14-24 event that offers visitors an opportunity to interact with upcoming writers, as well as established stars of Saudi literature.
The Minister of Culture and Information, Dr Awwad Alawwad, called the fair an “extension of the cultural reality in the Kingdom”, adding that it coincided with the significant changes being witnessed in the Kingdom at all levels. He expressed hope that the event would achieve its objective of promoting the cultural movement in Saudi Arabia.
The exhibition will include 187 book signings, lectures, seminars, poetry recitals and story-telling, in addition to a special evening to mark the life and work of the celebrated Saudi poet, Ibrahim Al-Khafaji, who penned the Kingdom’s national anthem. The fair will provide a platform for budding writers to connect with publishers.
Six prominent Saudis who have made a significant contribution to cultural and literary scene of the Kingdom will be honoured – Dr. Ahmed Al-Dabbayeb, Dr. Abbas Tashkendi, Dr. Yahia Bin Junaid, Professor Abdul Rahman Al-Muammar, Dr. Huda Al-Amoudi and Khalid Al-Yousif.
A special Chinese cultural show will be held, apart from performances by artists from other nations.
Alawwad said the book fair reflects the interest shown in cultural affairs by the government, under the leadership of King Salman, pointing the care and attention given to the cultural movement by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his keenness to promote culture, science, and working to establish meaningful dialogue with all peoples.
Alawwad said the aspects of culture are numerous, such as the linguistic form of literature and language, and the richness of poetry and prose. The arts include theater, fine art, formative and visual arts. The performing arts include music, songs, folk dances and folklore; as well as theater and cinema. “These are comprehensive cultural aspects that provide knowledge and entertainment,” he said.
In order to activate the cultural aspects, this year’s exhibition includes an important addition, namely the establishment of cultural events for China, Japan, Turkmenistan, the European Union and the United States, the minister said.
The exhibition is open from 10am to 10pm from Saturday to Thursday and from 4pm to 10pm on Friday.