By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, February 10, 2012
Organized in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, the 18th edition of the International Exhibition of Publishing and Book was launched on Thursday. It will be held in the economic capital Casablanca from now until February 19. Prince Moulay Rachid inaugurated the event and paid a special visit to the stand of Saudi Arabia, the 2012 SIEL honorary guest.
The Casablanca book fair encompasses a broad spectrum of the publishing industry. It remains an exclusive opportunity for publishers to reinvigorate the publishing business. The Casablanca book fair is also a platform of exchange among intellectuals from different cultures and of different perspectives. It has grown considerably in size and importance in recent years. According to the OFEC (The Office of Fairs and Exhibitions in Casablanca) more than 750 exhibitors are taking part in this vibrant event.
The 2012 Casablanca book fair has distinctively laid the ground-work for sustainable partnerships between publishing houses and cultural institutions. This year’s edition is marked by the participation of European institutions congregated under the banner of the EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture), which includes the most influential institutions in language teaching and cultural exchange, namely Goethe-Institute (Germany), British Council (United Kingdom), Instituto Camões (Portugal) and Istituto Italiano di Cultura (Italy).
The four institutes will be grouped in the same location. These European institutes have worked jointly to design a diverse and appealing program garnished with several activities ranging from mini-language classes, language workshops, public readings to discussions and debates. Obviously, the EUNIC has adopted a participatory approach for this year by engaging visitors in interactive activities.
The EUNIC is a network that endeavors to promote cultural and linguistic diversity among Europeans countries as well as to consolidate dialogue and cooperation with non-European countries. The British Council will inaugurate the EUNIC’s vibrant program with an introductory course to the English language on Friday February 10th from 10 am to 1pm. The British Council visitors will also be giving readings from the book Plays from the Arab World by the voice of two promising Moroccan playwrights Jaouad Essounani and Kamal Khalladi whose plays were performed in the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2008.
In partnership with the Goethe Institute, the German writer Markus Kneer will present his book “Der Mensch: Zeuge Gottes: Entwurf einer islamischen Anthropologie” on Saturday February 11th from 10 to 1pm. Keer is a Catholic priest who has undertaken interfaith dialogue with Muslims. He pursued studies in Islam and philosophy at Munster University.
The Italian author and cartoonist Manuele Fior who received the “Fauve d’Or” prize at the Angoulême Festival is expected to present his works and drawings on Monday February 13 from 3:30 to 8 pm. The discussion is organized by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.
The Portugese Instituto Camoes will also offer its visitors autographs by the famous writer Goncalo M. Tavares, with the presence of his Arabic translator Mr. Said Benabdlouahed and the editor Mr. Hozal from 3 to 4 in the afternoon on Saturday February 18. A versatile artist, Mr. Tavares is a poet, a writer and a university teacher. He has received several prestigious literature awards, namely the prize of the weekly magazine Expresso for his book Senhor Valéry, the poetry revelation prize of the Portuguese association of writers and the Grand prize for his tale Camilo Castelo Branco. Parallel to the discussion sessions, visitors will be offered a series of free introductory courses to English, German, Portuguese and Italian.
The Casablanca book exhibition is an opportunity to pay homage to that silent companion bubbling with a large and colorful spectrum of voices: The Book. Resting in a wooden shelf, or swinging inside a dangling handbag or warmly wrapped within the folds of pockets, the book remains, despite the appeal of new information technology, a loyal ally against loneliness and a lantern enlightening the dark lanes of ignorance.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
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