Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam inaugurated the 58th edition of Beirut International Arab Book Fair at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Center (BIEL) on Friday in the presence of former prime minister Fuad Seniora and dozens of political, public and cultural celebrities.
The fair, organized by the Arab Cultural Club and the Union of Publishers in Lebanon, brought together a total of 167 Lebanese publishers and 56 Arab ones, including the Center for Research and Studies on Kuwait (CRSK) and KU's Academic Publication Council (APC).
Addressing the opening ceremony, Salam said this annual event has become "an occasion to commemorate book as a symbol of culture and civilization.
"The capital city of Beirut, despite the challenges it faces, is able to host this great event which very significant to us and all Arab intelligentsia," the prime minister said, noting that the city will continue to be a sphere of creativity, thought, freedom and enlightenment.
He paid tribute to the intellectuals who contribute to the enlightenment in Lebanon and the Arab region amid the current wave of darkness, intolerance and extremism.
On the domestic affairs, the prime minister called on all political forces to put the national interests above all considerations, bring the country out of the current dilemma, and promote dialogue on the resumption of the operation of the state institutions and the election of a new head of state.
Besides Lebanon and Kuwait, four other Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq and Palestine, and Iran take part in the fair which lasts until December 11.