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Authors, Publishers Dub RIBF 2022 as ‘Icon’ of Arab Book Fairs

Authors, Publishers Dub RIBF 2022 as ‘Icon’ of Arab Book Fairs

Thursday, 6 October, 2022 - 08:45
The Riyadh International Book Fair (RIBF) 2022 has become an important and remarkable cultural phenomenon (Photo Credit: Ali Al Dhaheri)

The Riyadh International Book Fair (RIBF) 2022, which ends this Saturday, has witnessed remarkable participation by a wide array of publishing houses from different countries as it continues to serve as a hub for local, Arab, and foreign publishers.

Asharq Al-Awsat surveyed several publishing house owners, authors, and visitors, all of whom had agreed that the book festival represents a cultural phenomenon and an icon of Arab exhibitions.

“The first feature that gives book fairs their value is the wide spaces and high ceilings through which knowledge moves, and this is what I saw at the RIBF,” Saudi author Omaima al-Khamis told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The Culture Ministry, in organizing the exhibition, follows that sharp yet delicate path that separates the profound, astonishing, authentic cultural production that is inspired by the spirit of humanity, and the vulgar, ridiculous consumer product that is subject to the laws of the market,” she explained.

Saudi lawyer, writer, author, and publisher Muhammad Al-Mushawah labeled the RIBF as iconic.

“The RIBF is an icon of Arab exhibitions and has produced numerous publications in its days,” said Al-Mushawah.

Al-Mushawah shed light on the festival attracting many visitors and enjoying a great purchasing power. He also spoke of the organizers’ efforts to continuously develop the RIBF.

“Those who organize this exhibition are undoubtedly making great efforts to present the exhibition in a proper way, and every year we notice and witness important and comprehensive developmental changes for the exhibition,” Al-Mushawah told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“Saudis are known to be an audience of devoted readers and critics. These qualities are rarely found in many of the audiences visiting exhibitions,” he added, praising the distinguished nature of the Saudi reader and the present audience at the RIBF.

A main aim of the festival is to promote and develop a shared passion for reading in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the book fair hosts a huge variety of cultural programs like meet-and-greets with writers, poets and intellectuals from all over the region.

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