RIYADH — The long-awaited Riyadh International Book Fair 2021 has kicked off in a colorful ceremony featuring a spectacular drones’ show at the sprawling Riyadh Front here on Thursday evening.
Under the aegis of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan inaugurated the activities of the fair, with the theme of “New Destination, New Chapter.”
Iraqi Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Dr. Hassan Nazim, and Iraq’s Ambassador to the Kingdom Dr. Abdul Sattar Hadi Al-Janabi were among the dignitaries attending the opening ceremony of the fair, of which Iraq is the guest of honor.
Several Iraqi intellectuals and artists will participate in the cultural programs, symposiums and artistic performances.
The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of Saudi, Arab and international leaders and eminent cultural figures, including Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Prince Abdul Rahman Bin Musaed, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority Turki Al-Sheikh, Acting Secretary of King Abdulaziz Darah Dr. Fahd Al-Samary, Egypt’s Minister of Culture Dr. Enas Abdel Dayem, and the CEO of the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission Dr. Muhammad Hassan Alwan.
A galaxy of ambassadors, ministers and cultural officials from several countries also attended the inaugural ceremony.
After opening the event, Minister of Culture Prince Badr, accompanied by other guests, toured the pavilions and facilities of the exhibition, which is considered as the largest book fair in the history of Saudi Arabia, with the participation of more than 1,000 publishing houses from 30 countries around the world.
The exhibition, which will run through from Oct. 1 to 10 will see a number of seminars and qualitative evenings that enrich its comprehensive cultural fiesta. The fair will open for visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 11 pm. The exhibition is being held on an area covering more than 36,000 square meters.
The fair was one of the major Saudi events affected by COVID-19. It was supposed to be held in 2020 but was postponed over pandemics fears. This is the first edition of the fair to be organized by the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture.
On the sidelines of the fair, the commission is organizing the International Publishers Conference on Oct. 4 and 5, which is the first conference of its kind in the Kingdom, apart from workshops to be held by major publishers and leaders of the book industry from around the world.
As part of its activities, the exhibition will host the “Book Talk” event, which will be addressed by prominent thinkers, authors and celebrities, including Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Jordan Belfort, and Chris Garden.
They will share with the audience their inspiring and unique experiences of writing and authoring.
It also hosts workshops, dialogue sessions, training courses, poetry and art evenings, apart from live cooking shows and children’s activities.