The organisers have also launched a digital platform that will allow people to buy books remotely, and they have created parallel cultural events in all Algerian provinces through the network of public libraries and mobile libraries to coincide with the fair’s events. There will also be competitions for children and young people under the slogan, “The Book on the Street.”
The writer Abla Belamri told Al-Fanar Media that “launching the digital platform and creating cultural activities alongside events suggest this year’s book fair should satisfy Algerian book lovers’ desires.”
Honouring Italy and Algerian Martyrs
The fair’s governor, Muhammad Iqrib, told Al-Fanar Media he was expecting 1,000 exhibitors from 32 Arab and foreign countries at this year’s fair. He is hoping for an increase in Arab participation because of the exemption on paying rent for suites.
Iqrib said the fair will also feature appearances by prominent writers like Ibrahim Nasrallah, a Palestinian who born and brought up in a Jordanian refugee camp, and the Italian novelist Riccardo Nicolai.
Italy was chosen as the guest of honour, Iqrib said, because the country was one of the most prominent supporters of Algeria’s quest for independence from French rule, especially after the Algerian revolution of November 1954. He also praised the “global reputation of Italian publishing houses.”
To mark the fair’s return, the organisers have included events discussing how to adapt to a worldwide emergency like the pandemic. Experts and specialists will take part in the session “Writing in the Time of the Pandemic.” The session will also honour literary and academic figures who have died in the last two years.
There are also plans to honour Algerian writers who were martyred during the French occupation of Algeria, such as Mouloud Ferouan and Ahmed Réda Houhou.
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