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Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation Hosts Noted Emirati Writers At Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

Marks Successful Participation at Event with Announcements of New Initiatives and Conclusive Deals

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation today announced it hosted well known composer and Emirati writers Sultan Ismail Al Zaabi and Ali Al Abdan during its participation at the 19th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. A book-signing ceremony served as the highlight of this session that saw the two authors interacting with a large number of avid literary lovers in the UAE and signing their books ’When a Woman Aspires’ and The New Century’ respectively. The Foundation also hosted Swedish author Henning Mankell who signed the Arabic copy of his two novels - ‘The Secret of Fire’ and ‘A Bridge to the Stars’, as part of its objective to expose new generations to a variety of education and cultural domains around the world. During the four-day book fair that drew to a close today at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the Foundation marked a successful participation through the launch of new projects and initiatives, while spotlighting the Dubai International Children’s Book Festival scheduled for February 2010. Ali Al Shaali, Director of Publishing - Culture Sector at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, said : ”The Foundation has fully leveraged its participation at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the biggest cultural and educational platform in this part of the world, to raise awareness on our accomplishments and programmes in the academic and culture spheres. ”In addition to hosting renowned authors and writers from across the global literary landscape, we also had the privilege to welcome and witness the book signing ceremony of the noted Emirati writers Sultan Al Zaabi and Ali Al Abdaan.” ’When a Woman Aspires’ talks about one of the most important issues not only in the Emirati society but throughout the Gulf region, The setting of the novel revolves around an energetic, smart, persistent and ambitious Emirati woman seeking success. However, the woman’s ambition clashes with the ideologies of others around her, largely those of men who believe that a woman belongs to her home rather than the workplace. ’New Era’ addresses the development of diverse forms of art and literature in the UAE. It analyses the UAE’s larger vision of emerging as one of the region’s hubs for the arts and culture through critically appraising the large-scale projects that are currently being pioneered. During its participation at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the Foundation launched a series of initiatives including an online Arab Library, the first integrated electronic portal providing easy access to printed material for the average reader in the Arab world. The e-library gateway features more than 1,194 books for 4081 men of letter, 500 book reviews, and seven different dictionaries. The Foundation also launched the ’10 books in 1’ initiative, with the aim of transferring knowledge to the new generations and exposing them to a wide spectrum of information and cultural domains. The Foundation’s activities at the book festival included an open discussion with specialized publishing houses for children’s novels, in addition to dedicated storytelling activities for young adults. The Foundation pursues an ambitious multi-pronged strategy to establish communication links with various individuals and organisations in culture across the world through participation in key international events. The strategy also concurs with its overall objective to promote knowledge-based societies across the Arab world. The Foundation’s Tarjem programme launched in 2008, aims to enrich the Arabic library through the translation of 1,000 books within three years.

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