x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Abu Dhabi Book Fair: From Arab poets to Swedish noir

The 10th-century Arab poet Al Mutanabbi takes centre stage as part of this year's Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which will also host Kristina Ohlsson, a crime fiction author from Sweden.

The Arab poet Abu at-Tayyib Al Mutanabbi has been named the Focus Personality of this year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority (TCA), the event returns for its 24th edition from April 30 to May 5 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (Adnec).

In a press conference held yesterday, TCA’s executive director of the National Library Division, Dr Ali Bin Tamim, hailed the 10th-century poet as an example of “the originality of Arabic poetry”.

“Many literary studies consider Al Mutanabbi to be the greatest Arab poet of all time for his unparalleled eloquence, which enabled him to produce the best poetry of wisdom, philosophy and life,” he said.

“He is still present in the region’s daily life and is a source of inspiration through his poetry, his ambitious and energetic personality and comprehensive view of the world.”

Moving away from previous events where cultural personalities were celebrated in special sessions, Bin Tamim said Al Mutanabbi’s literary history will be celebrated throughout the book fair.

A Majlis Al Mutanabbi (Al Mutanabbi Assembly) programme will be designed to host daily panel discussions and workshops by leading international scholars.

A special pavilion will be erected to celebrate Al Mutanabbi, featuring a library of his poetry collections including copies translated in English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has also declared Sweden as this year’s Country of Honour.

Fans of the country’s flourishing crime-fiction genre are in for a treat with the popular crime author Kristina Ohlsson making her way to the capital.

“She will come to discuss Swedish noir and how the country, despite its small population, has become so internationally renowned with its novels,” said Pia Roed, the counsellor and deputy head of mission for the UAE’s Swedish Embassy.

“The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is an important event. It has a great audience with a wide variety of people. We want people to know more about Sweden and this is an opportunity for people to get a taste of it.”

• For more details, visit www.adbookfair.com

sasaeed@thenational.ae