UAE Unveils Dates and Details of 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), an integral part of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, has revealed the comprehensive agenda for the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) 2024.

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Scheduled to kick off with its professional segment, including the much-awaited third edition of the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries on April 28th, the 33rd iteration of the Fair will subsequently welcome visitors from April 29th to May 5th at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), with the Arab Republic of Egypt designated as the Guest of Honor.

The distinguished Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz has been appointed by ALC as the Book Fair's "Focus Personality." Mahfouz, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988, is notable for being the inaugural Arab author to attain this esteemed distinction. His extensive body of work has had a profound impact on readers from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

The selection of Egypt as the Guest of Honor stems from its illustrious literary heritage, iconic writers, and profound impact on Arab intellectualism and creativity, making it a befitting choice for celebration at this esteemed event.

Naguib Mahfouz, the late luminary of Egyptian literature, is the designated focus personality for this year's edition. His enduring literary legacy has left an indelible mark on Arab literary discourse. As the inaugural Arab laureate of the Nobel Prize for Literature, his oeuvre has significantly enriched the Arabic literary landscape. Translations of his novels into numerous languages have played a pivotal role in showcasing Arabic fiction on the global stage.

One of the innovative programs introduced by ALC at ADIBF 2024 is the "Books of the World" initiative, which highlights seminal works that have shaped human civilization and influenced diverse cultures. This year's featured book is "Kalila and Dimna" by Abdullah Ibn Al Muqaffa. Concurrently, an engaging art exhibition titled "From Kalila wa Dimna to La Fontaine: Traveling through Fables" will be hosted by Louvre Abu Dhabi, complementing the literary exploration.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of ALC, emphasized the Center's dedication to promoting influential cultural figures from the Arab world globally who have played pivotal roles in shaping the ideas of successive generations and elevating the status of the Arabic language.

He stressed the importance of the Fair's long-standing practice of choosing a "Guest of Honor" and a "Focus Personality," which serves to honor intellectuals as cultural icons while also encouraging substantive cross-cultural communication and understanding among the many different cultures represented there, including those of the United Arab Emirates, the Arab world, and the rest of the world.

The introduction of the "Books of the World" program aims to reintroduce enlightening books that have contributed significantly to humanity's intellectual, literary, and scientific advancement. "Kalila wa Dimna" stands as a prime example of Arabic literature's richness and cultural synthesis, influencing notable figures such as the renowned French poet Jean de La Fontaine and the late Ahmed Shawqi, who drew inspiration from it for his significant collection for children.

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