The 10-day long event includes science and art activity workshops for children and opportunities to meet writers, artists, and sportspeople.
Rabat – Princess Lalla Hasna inaugurated the 26th annual International Publishing and Book Fair (SIEL) in Casablanca on Thursday, February 6.
The fair will run from February 6 to 26 and pays special tribute to Mauritania as the guest of honor.
Lalla Hasna, the younger sister of King Mohammed VI, visited several of the fair’s 267 exhibits. Along with Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports Hassan Abyaba, she toured exhibits by Morrocan government departments, including the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture (IRCAM), and the Culture Department, reports the state-run Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
Minister Abyaba gave a speech to open the fair, saying the occasion is a chance to celebrate Morocco’s cultural neighborhood and global values.
Publishing houses from guest of honor Mauritania will display the country’s cultural “pearls” and recent publications, Abyaba said. The charge d’affaires of the Mauritanian embassy in Rabat, Mohamed Mouloud Mohamed Salim, and the secretary general of the Mauritanian minister of culture, Ahmed Ould Abba Ould Said Ahmed, represented their country at the inauguration ceremony.
Lalla Hasna visited the Mauritanian exhibit as well as stands portraying the works of other countries, such as the Cervantes Institute, the French Institute, an American stand, the Chinese People and Tangel Publishing House, and a Saudi Arabian stand.
The fair boasts 703 exhibitors, of which 267 are direct exhibitors and 436 are indirect exhibitors. While the focus of the 2020 SIEL fair is on Mauritania, participating exhibits come from all over the world and are displaying more than 100,000 works. In addition to exhibits, the event will offer visitors seminars, poetic evenings, and presentations of recently-published books.
In his speech, Abyaba noted that his culture ministry designed the fair to show the spirit of the Constitution in regard to diversity of language and culture.
Organizers also plan to posthumously honor certain “creators and researchers” during the fair, according to MAP.
The 10-day long event will also have activities for children: Scientific and artsy workshops and opportunities to meet writers, artists, and sportspeople.