ADIBF 2013: Sheikh Zayed Book Award Winners Host Literary Discourse

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The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Image Courtesy:ADIBF
The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Image Courtesy:ADIBF

The Annual Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF  2013) is the most professionally organised, ambitious and fastest growing book fair in the Middle East and North Africa. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, it focuses on giving literary and publishing trendsetters and market leaders a platform to promote the greatest in book titles, e-bookcontent, and digital apps as well as cultural excellence.

“The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is recognised as the region’s most professional book fair and one of the world’s fastest-growing publishing events. We have enhanced the fair’s cultural and professional programmes to include new panel discussions and to highlight different cultural elements this year, such as musical ensembles from GCC countries. This will all further enrich the experience of the tens of thousands expected to visit the event.” — His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA, Abu Dhabi

As ADIBF 2013 gears up to welcome over 200,000 guests to the Annual Cultural Programme, a plethora of literary discourse and seminars have been planned to strengthen the industry’s publishing platform in the MENA region.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) one of the most celebrated cultural event in the Arab Region will be hosting 3 seminars with winners vying for the prestigious award.

Elizabeth Kassab, winner of the Development of Nations Award and author of “Al Fikr Al Arabi Al Mu’aser” (Contemporary Arab Thought) from Lebanon, will join Dr Masoud Daher, Member of the Scientific Committee of the Award to talk about her book and what it means to win the SZBA, and her work on understanding the process of “cultural decolonization” within the Arab context.

In her book, Kassab explores approaches to questions of cultural malaise in the Arab world, about the relationship between cultural crisis and politics in intellectual debate, and finally, endeavors to compare these approaches and debates to related conversations in other post-colonial regions. Contemporary Arab Thought is a work of intellectual history that seeks to understand the process of “cultural decolonization” within the Arab context. This goal is accomplished first through the survey and analysis of major trends and thinkers, and then, through the application of a comparative perspective that brings the Arab world into a conversation with Africa, the United States, Europe, and Latin America.

Fethi Meskini, winner of the Translation Award from Tunisia, will join the discussion with Dr. Khalil Sheikh. Fethi will be discussing his work on translating the most important work of Martin Heidegger, which has profoundly influenced 20th-century philosophy; particularly existentialism, hermeneutics and deconstruction. His work thus has become one of the most important philosophical references to be translated in its entirety to Arabic language. And despite the philosophical composition of the original work, the translator was able to present it in a clear, accurate and sophisticated language, in combination with in-text references and footnotes that defines all terms and expressions in Arabic, English and German. The translator is also a professor of German philosophy with a record of authoured and translated works in European philosophy, especially German. Fethi Meshini has distinguished his work by the style he has adopted to explore Deleuze’s philosophy, which stems from the original works of the philosopher, and then tying it with the other philosophical works preceding his own, starting from Greek works through the Middle Ages and Renaissance until the present time.

The final seminar, which takes place on Sunday April 28th, will be a discussion between Adil Hadjami, winner of the Young Author Award from Morocco, and Dr. Mohammed Bennis. Adil won his award for his book ‘Falsafat Jeel Deleuze’ (Deleuze philosophy on Existentialism and Difference), examining the life and work of the French Philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925 – 1995) and the origins of his philosophy. In Falasfat Jeel Deleuze, Hadjami unveils Deuleuze’s core interpretations and tracks its historical timelines. Adil Hadjami is a professor of German philosophy with a record of authored and translated works in European philosophy. His work is acknowledged with high regards as the Arabic library is in dire need for such scientific resources, which are expected to be a core reference for all Arab scholars of philosophy.

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