Starting with a public interview of Natasha Trethewey, the 19th US Poet Laureate on April 24, and ending with a Slam Poetry Competition on April 29, where five judges will be picked from the crowd to grade each performer, the cultural programme of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) is packed with several daily talks, book signings, lectures and competitions.
Celebrating 100 years since the birth of Albert Camus, the Discussion Sofa will get together writers and Sorbonne professors to talk about the life and works of one of the greatest novelists.
Professor Jim Al Khalili, a Baghdad-born British physicist, will be talking about his Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, published in 2010, a book about the greatest period in Arabian scientific discoveries, from the beginning of Islam, when inquiring minds from Baghdad and Isfahan took over from Ptolemy and Aristotle, through the following six centuries.
The New Wave of North African Literature discussion will bring together the next generation of writers, from Morocco to Egypt — Abelaziz Al Rachedi, Youssef Rakha, Kamel Riahi and Samir Qassimi.
An Open Mic poetry night, panoramas of contemporary literature from Germany and Iceland, and literary blogs from the Arab world are also in this year's cultural programme.
A popular return at ADIBF this April is Show Kitchen, which will be focusing on healthy eating. Apart from the six chefs and dieticians sharing tips and ideas, Mafraq Hospital will bring expert nutritionists, who will offer help on how to adopt a well-balanced and healthy diet.
The Professional Programme will have new events meant to strengthen the publishing industry's leading professional platform in the MENA region. Lined up are over 30 sessions that will bring together 50 professional speakers, market leaders and trend-setters to share their views on topical publishing topics.
"This will help deliver an accurate and up-to-date assessment of the current state of the book publishing industry and digital content in the Arab region,” said ADIBF director Jumaa Abdulla Al Qubaisi.
"The Professional Programme remains one of the fair's most important pillars and is part of our ongoing commitment to developing a robust publishing industry in the MENA region,” he added.
One of the key focus points will be the role technology continues to play in the developing publishing world. The dedicated ‘eZone' area — that has doubled in size — will feature seminars on cutting edge issues at the crossroads of publishing and technology and will host companies from US, Germany, Spain, Greece, the UAE, Jordan and India.
"Our focus will also be on content produced for children and young adults exploring the global trends in children's book publishing, children's reading habits in the future and the use of technology in education and the classroom,” mentioned Al Qubaisi.
New to this year's panel discussion line-up is Vanessa Middleton, head librarian at the Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, who will share her views on "Libraries Making a Difference by Fostering Literacy within our Community”. The panel of librarians will discuss the impact of libraries in international and local communities and creative strategies to encourage literacy and foster writing and reading.
Running in parallel with the ADIBF will be the 19th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Special Libraries Association — Arabian Gulf Chapter, being held in Abu Dhabi on April 23 and 25.
Source: Khaleej Times