The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, has concluded its successful inaugural participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair, held from 20th – 24th October in Frankfurt, Germany.

Under the theme ‘Re:Connect’, the premier literary and publishing event marked its 73rd edition with a physical fair that attracted a large audiences, a welcome return after last year’s virtual event.

During the Fair, the Centre signed key agreements, such as a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Leipzig, and organise a number of special events – including the Abu Dhabi Translation Conference, held on the sidelines of the fair, a series of book signings at the Centre’s pavilion, as well as several sessions hosted by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

The Centre’s MoU with the University of Leipzig, Germany’s second-oldest university, will foster exchange of cultural and linguistic experiences, publishing of research projects on Arabic language and literature, and production of scientific reports on the state of the Arabic language. The agreement enables the two entities to leverage each other’s research and academic expertise and organise joint projects to promote the use of Arabic among students and researchers. It also aims to position the Arabic language as a language for creative, academic and scientific content.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said, “Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s first participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair is a continuation of our commitment to making meaningful contributions to high-profile regional and international cultural events, which enables us to both promote the Centre and the Arabic language, and forge powerful connections and partnerships with our peers around the world.”

The Arabic Language Centre also showcased the latest publications under its flagship ‘Kalima’ Project for Translation, which include German literary works translated into Arabic. The Centre signed additional bilateral agreements to acquire copyrights from international publishing houses and translate their works into Arabic from English, French, German, Spanish, and many other languages.

Saeed Hamdan Al Tuneiji, Director of the Creative Content Department at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said, “The Frankfurt Book Fair is a major annual event and one of the foremost literary and publishing initiatives in the world. Our participation at the fair provided us with a powerful promotional platform, offering tremendous opportunities to enhance bilateral collaborations and strengthen partnerships.”

The Arabic Language Centre’s Sheikh Zayed Book Award also participated in the fair, with a dedicated platform in the Centre’s pavilion where three interactive discussions were held, tackling several topics of interest for authors and publishers.

The first discussion, ‘Untapped Potential of Arabic Literature’, explored the reasons why the works of many leading Arab writers have yet to reach international audiences. The second session, ‘Publishing Arabic Books – Opportunities and Challenges’, explored the obstacles preventing the spread of Arabic literature in Western markets, the titles and topics that most interest international readers, and strategies to promote Arabic literature abroad. The third and final discussion, ‘It’s Only a Children’s Book: The Complexity of the Supposedly Simple’, took a deeper look into the importance of supporting authors of children’s literature to develop their skills.

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