AL AIN, 1st November, 2022 (WAM) — The Arabic Language Center Abu Dhabi, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, has announced that the 13th edition of the Al Ain Book Festival (AABF), formerly known as a “Book Fair,” will take place November 14-20.
Organized under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, representative of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in the Al Ain region, the event will take place for the first time ever in five venues in Al Ain, including Hazza Stadium bin Zayed and the Zayed Central Library. , Qasr Al Muwaiji (Fort Muwaiji), Bait Mohammed Bin Khalifa and UAE University.
Under the slogan “All eyes on Al Ain”, the event will return to the city, known as the birthplace of the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, the “garden city” of the capital and home to the first World Heritage sites. from UNESCO in the United Arab Emirates. With a renewed mission not only to shine a light on Al Ain’s heritage and Emirati culture, but also to nurture a culture of reading, the Festival will celebrate the work of Emirati and Arab writers, creatives and intellectuals, past and present.
Through a transformed program of events, spanning literature, performance, music, film and sports, the Festival will bring Emirati stories to life and celebrate the Arabic language in all its forms. Stories and voices from beyond the UAE will also be celebrated in the ambitious program.
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center (ALC), which is leading the organization of the multi-site event with the support of its sponsors, including its strategic partners, the Al Ain Club and Al Ain University, media partner Abu Dhabi Media Company, and logistics sponsor, Tawzea Distribution & Logistics Services, is part of the Centre’s broader mission to preserve Arab heritage, promote the development of the Arabic language and also organize ambitious events that support creative and cultural industries in the UAE.
Dr. Ali bin Tamim, President of the ALC, said: “The new spirit of the Al Ain Book Festival departs from the traditional role of book fairs as platforms for buying and selling books, for a distinctly interactive cultural celebration that shines a light on Emirati culture and creativity. The Festival will be open to all with a special focus on young people, and the newly expanded visitor offering will showcase the work of Arab writers, artists and creators who enrich our society today.
Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Acting Executive Director of ALC, said, “This year, the Al Ain Book Festival will engage a community of readers in a much more diverse and vibrant way, encapsulating a new chapter for the annual event. Reaffirming Al Ain’s central position on the cultural map, the festival will host 110 exhibitors and potentially more than 35,000 visitors at different locations across the city. As part of the festival’s long tradition of promoting literature and culture, the event will celebrate the heritage, script and language of the United Arab Emirates and the Arab world.
Through the multi-site Festival, visitors can expect a huge range of events and activities designed to suit all tastes and age groups. Panel discussions, live music, shows and performances, seminars, workshops, sports activities and heritage events will all provide a unique platform to explore all areas of UAE culture and creativity.
The Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium will serve as the hub of the festival, hosting a multi-faceted program for children and young people and a vibrant arts programme, as well as the all-important Publishers’ Wings – an inspiring showcase of publishing in the Arab world of today.
The stadium will host 70 shows, including folk and heritage shows that showcase the beauty of popular music from around the world, as well as dance and comedy performances. Visitors can expect to see and hear Dubai-based Syrian handpan player Anas Alhalabi and Emirati, Egyptian and Omani folklore come to life at the stadium.
A series of 49 cultural seminars will be organized at four Festival sites as part of the cultural programme. Discussion topics spanning heritage, family, children, sports, history, arts, sustainability, literature and poetry will offer something for all age groups and levels of expertise. Some of the questions to be explored in the cultural program include: “What do we mean by the concept of youth empowerment? » ; ‘Does the art of fiction come with training or talent?’; and “What’s behind depictions of the Emirati burqa in popular culture?”
Qasr Al Muwaiji will also host one of the Festival’s flagship programs, “Sung Word: The Eleven Poets of Al-Ain” to celebrate the legacy of Nabati poetry and timeless sung poems, famous locally and in the Arab world. . Thanks to cultural phenomena such as the television show The Million’s Poet, the oral tradition of Nabati poetry dates back to the 14th century and has become increasingly popular today. The Festival will highlight young and seasoned talent inspired by the great poets of Al Ain.
During the seven days of the Festival, young people, families and children will discover more than 200 activities, designed to inspire creativity and innovation, ranging from arts and crafts workshops to storytelling, puppet shows and science projects. and techniques. The Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and the Zayed Central Library, in particular, will offer programs aimed at the younger generation.
Visitors will experience spectacular kinetic installations that recreate important fictional characters from ancient Emirati and Arab folklore, such as Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the Magical Coconut Tree, the Beast Bird and the Giant of the Seas. Audiences will be invited to experience the full character experience through the use of augmented reality and discover the hidden details that complete each protagonist’s story.
A program dedicated to Arab cinema will feature young emerging Emirati filmmakers and offer workshops and discussions such as creative writing for children’s films, and how to reach audiences in non-commercial cinema, led by directors and creatives from renowned such as Nujoom Alghanem and Nasser Al Dhaheri.
As part of ALC’s broader program of cultural initiatives, the Festival program champions current and future talent in the cultural and creative industries and aims to foster a widespread reading culture.
The Zayed Central Library will notably host the “Kanz Al Jeel” (Precious Sayings) award ceremony on November 15 to honor the winners of the first edition of this initiative launched earlier this year by the ALC. Through six categories of awards aimed at poets, writers, translators and scholars, the award celebrates the legacy of the increasingly popular oral and literary tradition of Nabati poetry.
The Festival will also host an event to mark the launch of a long-term partnership between ALC and the University of the UAE. The multi-faceted collaboration will promote the sharing of knowledge and skills, including educational initiatives and cultural events.