From the 14th of December to the 24th, the Red Sea port city of Jeddah will play host to the third Jeddah International Book Fair, with China invited for this edition as guest of honor. Around 500 Arab and international publishers from over 40 countries are taking part in the fair, showcasing upcoming works from around the region, as well as the depth and breadth of Saudi literature.
The fair will also act as a platform for up-and-coming writers to connect with publishers, and it includes over 185 book signings, lectures, seminars, poetry recitals, and story-telling sessions.
The opening ceremony was held on the evening of December 13, attended by Jeddah Governor Prince Mishal Bin Majed, Deputy Emir of Makkah Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar, Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad, and other senior officials.
This year’s edition was inaugurated by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah and adviser to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The Prince took the occasion to honor Ibrahim Khafaji, renowned Saudi poet and author of Saudi National Anthem, who passed away late November at the age of 93.
Six prominent Saudis who have made a significant contribution to cultural and literary scene of the Kingdom will also be honored during the event: Dr. Ahmed Al-Dabbayeb, Dr. Abbas Tashkendi, Dr. Yahia Bin Junaid, Professor Abdul Rahman Al-Muammar, Dr. Huda Al-Amoudi, and Khalid Al-Yousif.
“This exhibition reflects the interest shown by our wise government under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman for cultural affairs,” said Minister Al-Awwad, while highlighting the care and attention given by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.
Al-Awwad also pointed out that this year’s book fair will see the staging of cultural events from China, Japan, United States, Turkmenistan, as well as from the European Union.
In addition, the fair will introduce the Colors project, a national program conceptualized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), to promote local artistic talent and tourism mainly through photography.