Launch of Egypt's "Guest of Honour" Programme at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The opening session of the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched the "Guest of Honour" programme, featuring the Arab Republic of Egypt as the first Arab country to receive this honour in the fair's history, in recognition of its literary, cultural, and artistic contributions.

The event was attended by Her Excellency Dr. Nevine El-Kilani, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, His Excellency Sherif Mahmoud Issa, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, Aisha Al Mazrouei, Book Fairs and Events Department Director at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and Dr. Ahmed Bahi El Din, President of the Egyptian General Book Authority.

Her Excellency Dr. Nevine El-Kilani stated that Egypt's selection as the guest of honour for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, along with the selection of Naguib Mahfouz as its focus personality, underscores the deep ties between Egypt and the Emirates. She emphasized the ministry's commitment to showcasing Egypt's rich history, culture, and civilisation at the fair, a sentiment echoed by His Excellency Sherif Mahmoud Issa, who expressed delight at what he termed the grand cultural celebration of 33 years of the fair's evolution culminating in Egypt's honour as the guest of honour and Naguib Mahfouz as a focus personality. He thanked the UAE for hosting Egypt in a manner befitting its history and cultural status, praising the friendship between the leaderships and peoples of the two nations.

Dr. Ahmed Bahi El Din remarked that Egypt's participation as the guest of honour is a milestone in Arab culture, built on the mutual respect and responsibility characterising the relationship between Egypt and the UAE, resulting from their joint efforts during this era of major transformations, emphasising the role of culture as a matter of life and existence.

His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr affirmed that Egypt has always been and remains the foremost guest of honour in Arab culture across all exhibitions held within the UAE, recalling the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may he rest in peace, who was keen to highlight Egypt's civilisational, political, and cultural role, stating: "Sheikh Zayed, may he rest in peace, used to recommend Egypt's excellence and that no honour or progress should be bestowed upon the Arabs except through Egypt; this immortal recommendation remains for the sons of the UAE and its wise leadership”, expressing his pride in Egypt's presence as the guest of honour and stating that the Arab world has looked to Cairo for centuries as the capital of Arab culture.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim expressed his joy at Egypt being the guest of honour at the book fair for the first time, as well as the selection of the focus personality "Naguib Mahfouz" from the same guest country, stating, "We are all present as esteemed guests of the Arab Republic of Egypt”, explaining that the choice of Egypt as the guest of honour in the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the first time for an Arab country, is a tribute to Egypt's historic role on all levels, emphasising that Egypt has been present and influential with its writers and publishing houses since the first edition of the fair, which was inaugurated by the late Zayed bin Sultan, may he rest in peace, who considered Egypt as the essence of Arab culture and presence.

Egypt, as the guest of honour at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this year, participates with a rich cultural programme reflecting its intellectual, cognitive, and civilisational history, embodying the deep fraternal relations between the UAE and Egypt, and reaffirming the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre's commitment to enhancing cultural and intellectual cooperation, as Egypt serves as a beacon of knowledge, culture, and arts, enriching the masses with creative content in various fields.


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