ADIBF celebrates UAE founder

ABU DHABI - The 25th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2015), organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) from 7 – 13 May 2015 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC), celebrates the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as this year’s focus personality under the theme “Sheikh Zayed light illuminates the future”. A series of panels and seminars will highlight the rich character of the man who founded the UAE, as part of ADIBF’s Silver Jubilee event.
Last year, ADIBF introduced a new tradition of selecting a key personality, around which part of the parallel cultural programme revolves, highlighting influential Arabic and international figures who have left a powerful impression on culture and human development. In 2014, ADIBF began this tradition by highlighting the cultural heritage of the renowned Arab poet Abu at-Tayyeb Al Mutanabbi.
The lecture programme has been designed this year to reveal important aspects of Sheikh Zayed’s intellectual legacy based on his belief in education and culture as fundamental pillars for building a strong, modern state and developing international relations, as well as his keen interest in the media as the key medium of communication for promoting development.
Several Sheikh Zayed contemporaries will be speaking at the sessions. Rashid Abdulla Al Nuaimi, former UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Zaki Nusseibeh, Advisor at the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs, will be discussing the ‘Beginnings and State Building’. Mohammed Ahmed Al Manhmood, UAE Ambassador, and Hessa Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to Spain, will lead the seminar entitled ‘Sheikh Zayed and International Relations’, while a third seminar will be tracing the emergence of the UAE mass media with speakers Ali Obeid and Hamdi Tamam who lived through the early stages of the UAE ministry of Information during the 1970s.
In addition to poetry evenings with poets Abdulkarim Matouq from the UAE, Raad Bandar from Iraq and Alaa Janeb from Egypt, ADIBF will feature a comprehensive, archival display of Sheikh Zayed’s accomplishments over four decades through a dedicated, multi-section pavilion of specialised visual exhibitions showing newspaper clippings that highlight the major milestones in the life of the late Sheikh Zayed and UAE history in general. Documentaries and rare historical photographs will also be available and important monuments showcased including the Zayed National Museum, still under construction at the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island.
In addition, TCA Abu Dhabi will issue a number of new publications that offer a glimpse into Emirati heritage and a special publication that reviews ADIBF’s history and the details of cultural work at the Cultural Foundation that witnessed ADIBF’s launch and was home Abu Dhabi’s cultural activities.
The region’s fastest-growing book fair, ADIBF attracted more than 1,125 publishing houses last year with more than 100 authors and intellectuals of several nationalities participating in its seminars and discussions. More than 248,000 people visited ADIBF 2014 and sales were up to AED 35 million.
ADIBF was launched by the late Sheikh Zayed in 1981 under the designation of the Islamic Book Fair, which would, in 1986, become the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The first edition was held at the Cultural Foundation before becoming a fixed annual event in 1993, transferring to ADNEC when the Cultural Foundation’s extensive conservation programme began.