Makkah governor inaugurates international book fair

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inaugurates the fourth Jeddah International Book Fair on Wednesday.

:: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inaugurated on Wednesday the fourth Jeddah International Book Fair.

With the participation of 400 publishing houses from 40 countries, families can enjoy the events and activities of the 10-day book fair, whose theme this year is “tolerance and peace.”

Prince Khaled, who was accompanied by Prince Turki Al-Faisal and Media Minister Awwad Al-Awwad, thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support. “Such an event is a means of teaching and learning at the same time,” Prince Khaled said.

Al-Awwad said: “With this edition seeing more than 180,000 book titles and many publishers, we are hopeful that it will attract record numbers of visitors.”

The fair “is one of the most important and best events in Saudi Arabia” for showcasing the Kingdom’s cultural and educational diversity, he added.

Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishal bin Majed, who honored the fair’s sponsors and participating government bodies, said the event “supports the publishing movement in the Kingdom” and reflects Saudis’ interest in books.

The venue was designed in the form of a tent, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s heritage and originality, he added.

The fair’s 29 aisles are named after elite Saudi cultural and literary personalities in recognition of their contributions. The main corridor is named after Prince Khaled.

The media director of the fair, Abdul-Khaliq Al-Zahrani, said the organizing committee has not disapproved any book since all publishers are aware of the criteria and conditions.

“All exhibitions around the world have their own exhibiting rules and standards that publishers respect, and so do we,” he told Arab News.

One recently published book has gone viral on social media and is expected to garner huge interest from visitors.

“Grandson’s Brilliance” compares the crown prince’s qualities and characteristics with those of his late grandfather and Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz.

The author, Majed bin Nassir, says the crown prince has “inherited genius,” citing the Vision 2030 reform plan.

Noor Lattouf, exhibiting for a Tunisian publishing house, told Arab News that this is its second appearance at the fair. Saudis mainly look for books about literature and education, she said.

For the first time, the General Authority for Statistics is participating to provide statistics about the fair, such as the number of visitors and books.

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