With the holiday season still in full swing, Saudi Arabia has just launched the fourth edition of The Jeddah International Book Fair, the Kingdom’s second-largest book fair (its bigger sibling being the Riyadh International Book Fair). The Fair was inaugurated in the last weeks of December 2018 by the Emir of Mecca Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and will remain open to all until January 5, 2019.
This year’s edition has around 400 publishing houses from 40 countries participating, such as Mexico, the United States, Sudan, Pakistan, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and the EU. The 10-day event has been designed to cater to people of all ages, with the overall arching theme this year being “Tolerance and Peace.”
According to Arab News, Prince Khaled, who was accompanied by Prince Turki Al-Faisal and Media Minister Awwad Al-Awwad, thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support in making another edition of this event a reality. He also took the opportunity to emphasize how the event “is a means of teaching and learning at the same time.”
Al-Awwad went on to say that with “this edition seeing more than 180,000 book titles and many publishers, we are hopeful that it will attract record numbers of visitors […] [The fair] is one of the most important and best events in Saudi Arabia” for showcasing the Kingdom’s cultural and educational diversity.”
For this year’s Jeddah International Book Fair, significant emphasis was placed in highlighting Saudi Arabia’s rich literary and cultural heritage. For instance, 29 aisles were named after prominent Saudi Arabian cultural and literary personalities, in recognition of their contributions, and the venue was designed to look like a traditional tent, reflecting both the country’s heritage and originality.