Egyptian literature and culture enriches book fair in Istanbul

Egyptian literature and culture enriches book fair in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Egyptian literature and culture enriches book fair in Istanbul

The fair hosted Egyptian Culture minister Emad Ebu-Gazi (L) and Turkey’s Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay (R). AA photo

This year’s TÜYAP Book Fair once again kicks off at Büyükçekmece’s fair area. While this year the main focus is Egypt and its literature, the fair also hosts lots of publishing house from all over the world. The events at the TÜYAP Book Fair fair also focuses on Egypt’s cultural heritage

Egypt is the country guest of honor at the 30th edition of the Istanbul International Book Fair, which will run between Nov. 12 and 15.

Speaking during the opening of the fair, Egyptian Culture Minister Emad Ebu-Gazi said the ties between Egypt and Turkey should strengthen with the help of culture and arts. “I think Egyptians reading Turkish and watching movies from Turkey and vice versa will bring the two countries closer to each other.”

The book fair is organized by the TÜYAP Fair and Exhibition Organization and is held at the TÜYAP Fair and Convention Center in Büyükçekmece with the participation of more than 600 publishers and NGOs. Twenty-five publishers from Egypt will exhibit thousands of titles in Arabic, Turkish and English. About 500,000 visitors are expected to visit the book fair this year.

A series of Egyptian cultural activities and events will take place at the TÜYAP Fair and Convention Center during the fair. They cover a variety of subjects from cinema to literature and history.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said Turkey aimed to be the exemplary country in terms of publishing. Günay also said Turkey would be the honorary country at the London Book Fair in 2013.

The events include seminars and panel discussions with visiting guest writers from Egypt Gamal Ghitani, Mohammed Salmawy, Ibrahim Aslan and Mai Khaled and poetry readings by poet Ahmed El Shahawy. A panel discussion will be held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Naguib Mahfouz, the only Nobel Laureate in Literature from the Arab world.

In addition, selected movies from the Egyptian cinema screens with Turkish subtitles as part of the Egyptian Cinema Days: “Yacoubian Building,” “A Beginning and an End,” “Al kit-kat” and “Scheherazade Tell Me a Story.” Three Egyptian movies with English subtitles will be screened: “Al-maseer” (Destiny), “Al-Arad” (The Land) and “One-Zero.”

The Nile Folk Music and Dance Troupe performed on opening day. The troupe performed popular music from the Upper Nile and Delta regions.

A photography exhibition of around 80 photos about Egypt’s revolution that began Jan. 25 is also on display at the fair. The exhibition is designed to reflect different stages of the revolution in the form of a tour through the time span of the revolution.

The fair will also include a panel discussion on translation and the history of Egyptian-Turkish relations, a seminar about cooperation between publishers and book fairs in both countries and a speech by the director-general of the Cairo Book Fair.

Egyptian Ambassador to Ankara Abderahman Salaheldin expressed his hope that Egyptian participation in the book fair would help increase cultural cooperation between Egypt and Turkey.

Salaheldin referred to the growing interest on both sides to learn about the culture of the other. “Language has been a major barrier, and we are hoping to give a boost to translation from Turkish into Arabic and vice versa to attain better understanding between the people of these two intertwined cultures. Reading each others’ books and enjoying each others’ movies and music would make us further recognize how close Egyptians and Turks are,” Salaheldin said.