File pic of Al Ain Book Fair 2019 Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Al Ain: More than 50 of the UAE’s leading writers and academics will participate in the 10-day ‘Al Ain Book Fair 2021’, which starts on Tuesday at Zayed Central Library.

The event will also celebrate UAE’s Golden Jubilee with various events, cultural dialogue sessions, children-specific programmes, entertainment and educational shows, and skill development workshops.

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has also unveiled a cultural programme for the book fair, featuring more than 50 of the UAE’s leading academics and writers.

There will be 24 dialogue sessions, with two to three scheduled for each day, covering the major topics of heritage, literature, poetry, knowledge and art.

Dr Ali Bin Tamim, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said: “We have designed events that celebrate our 50 years of cultural heritage and the talented authors and poets behind this heritage. We shall also highlight our glorious present and the emerging talents destined to enlighten the next 50 years. In offering such a rich and extraordinary experience, we hope to encourage the enthusiasm for culture in the community, especially as we return to our normal way of life after the pandemic.”

Who's coming to the show?

The programme features local and regional speakers including Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Advisor to the President of the UAE and Chancellor of UAE University; Saeed Al Nazari, Director-General of the Federal Youth Authority; Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation; Abdullah Al Gothami, Saudi academic and critic, and many others.

The fair will also host renowned authors and writers such as Sultan Al Ameemi, Ahmad bin Thani, Asmaa Siddiq Al Mutawaa, Adel Khozam, Lulwa Al Mansoori, and Ali Abu Rish, as well as poets such as Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Shamsi, Awad bin Al Saba Al Ketbi, and playwright Saleh Karama, among others.

Selection of sessions

On the topic of heritage, the dialogue sessions include: Zayed and Al Ain… How the Place Inspired the Founding Father; Al Ain, 50 Years of World Heritage and National Identity; Al Ain in the World Cultural Heritage List… A Leading Arab Example; Legacy and Heritage… An Overview of Al Ain’s Castles and Forts; and Fieldwork Research Projects in Al Ain.

The three sessions on knowledge include: UAE Centennial and Zayed’s Ambitions; Identity between the Lines of Novels by Emirati Female Writers; and Role of Oral History in Fostering National Identity.

There will be many other sessions held under other themes.

Safety first

Visitors aged over 16 must have received the two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while all presenters, participants, and visitors above 12 years of age must demonstrate a negative PCR test result taken no more than 48 hours previously through the Al Hosn smartphone app.

Visitors temperatures will be checked at the entrance and social distancing will be maintained throughout the venue. Visitor numbers inside the exhibition halls and exhibitors pavilions will also be limited to avoid overcrowding.