The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi has announced that Sheikh Zayed will be “Personality of the Year” at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), which takes place next month at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The honour, which comes during the Year of Sheikh Zayed, acknowledges Sheikh Zayed’s commitment to education and heritage – a spirit that lives in on the literary event, which brings national and foreign publishers, literary and cultural organisations, and bookstores and distributors to Abu Dhabi. It has become a venue for those in the industry to debate publishing news, digital initiatives, copyright questions, and matters pertaining to translation, and features a series of panel discussions that are open to the public.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of DCT Abu Dhabi, says, “As the nation celebrates the Year of Zayed, we strive to highlight the valuable intellectual legacy of the founder of our country, and his deep belief in the strategic significance of education and culture in human development.”
This edition of ADIBF has named Poland as its “Guest of Honour,” celebrating the rich tradition of Polish literature and culture, which stretches back over 1000 years. The Polish pavilion will showcase contemporary Polish literature, Polish traditions in the field of children’s literature, and, of course, the works of its literary giants, such as Henryk Sienkiewicz, Czesław Miłosz, and Wisława Szymborska. It will also turn its attention to the history of Muslims in Poland, which dates back to the 16th century.
This is the 28th edition of the fair, which was first held in Qasr Al Hosn’s Cultural Foundation as the Islamic Book Fair. It changed its name to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in 1986, and became an annual event in 1993, when it moved to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. This year, the fair kicks off on April 25 and end on May 1.
The awards shortlist
The shortlist for the book awards has also been announced: 1,191 entries were received.
The 'Literature' shortlist includes: Yakfi Annana Ma'an (At Least We are Together) by Egyptian writer Ezzat el-Kamhawi, Ikhtibar Al-Nadam ('Remorse Test') by Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh; Al-Shaytan Yoheb Ahyanan ('The Devil May Love Sometimes') by Saudi author Zainab Hifni; and Anaqeed Al-Ratheelah ('Grapes of Vice') by Mauritanian novelist Ahmad Hafid.
Meanwhile, Syrian author Muhannad Al-Aqous is nominated in the children's literature category for Green Braids, as is Emirati author Hessa Almehairi for The Dynoraf. Nominees in the young author category include Moroccan author Mohsine Loukili, and Egyptian writer Ahmad Al-Qarmalawi.
The translation finalists includes the work The Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality by Luciano Floridi, which was translated into Arabic by Lo’ay Abdul-Majid Al Sayyed from Egypt.