Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has selected the great Arab poet, Abu at-Tyayyeb Al Mutanabbi, as focus personality for the 24th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) which will run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from April 30 – May 5.
The announcement came at a press conference where Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Executive Director of the National Library Division at TCA Abu Dhabi, revealed the new approach for the region’s fastest- growing book fair.
“TCA Abu Dhabi constantly reviews this annual event to establish a solid foundation for the emirate’s cultural scene that delivers enhanced creativity and greater appeal to the fair. The Authority has decided to initiate a new tradition at the fair, starting this year, which will see the event celebrate prominent cultural personalities giving them named, headline status. In addition part of the fair’s cultural programme will be dedicated to discuss the headline personality’s influence, legacy, and works in special seminars to shed more light on our writers and intellectuals who carried the torch of knowledge and lit the way for future generations,” said bin Tamim.
Dr. bin Tamim also pointed out that: “Old and modern history is teeming with names of great innovators who contributed to shaping the consciousness of successive generations, and worked towards crystallizing Arab thought to give it cultural value amongst world nations. They also contributed to shaping the different dimensions of the human character. Their through processes are a great source of pride for us, and we have a responsibility to pass this rich heritage to our next generations by making this heritage available and open for discussion, dialogue, and rereading.”
Bin Tamim explained that Abu at-Tyayyeb Al Mutanabbi - a great poet who lived in the fourth century AH - is still present in the region’s daily life and is a source of inspiration through his poetry and through his ambitious, energetic personality and comprehensive view of the world. 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.
The 24th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will highlight Al Mutanabbi’s personality as an inspirer, through a special dedicated pavilion at the fair which will feature an international library of Al Mutanabbi’s literature, poetry collections and dissertations written about him in Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish and other languages.
Moreover, ‘Majlis Al Mutanabbi’ (Al Mutanabbi Assembly) will host daily lectures and seminars which will revisit the poet’s life, such as discovering the poet’s home in Aleppo and the project of turning it into a museum. The Assembly will also feature ‘Wahat Al Mutanabbi’ (Al Mutanabbi’s Oasis) – a dedicated website which include everything related to Al Mutanabbi’s poetry and information, supported by dozens of old and modern expositions. The truth of Mujiz Ahmad, one of Al Mutanabbi’s expositions attributed to Abu Al Alaa Al Maarri, will also be revealed, and in an attempt to understand the reasons that made a 10th-century Arab poet influence late 18th-century poets in India. Al Mutnabbi’s influence on other cultures will further be discussed through Shifaa Al Alil, which was put together in India in 1782, and tackled Al Mutanabbi’s poetry.
An art exhibition inspired by Al Mutanabbi’s poetry and personality will be held throughout the fair with prominent artists presenting different artistic visions of the poet and his inspirational works.