Di Mays Ibrahim Mustafa da Jordantimes.com del 10 settembre 2022
Si è conclusa la 21ima edizione della Fiera internazionale del libro di Amman. Ecco com’è andata.
21ST AMMAN INT’L BOOK FAIR CONCLUDES
The 21st edition of the Amman International Book Fair concluded on Saturday, featuring 400 Arab and international publishing houses from 22 countries.
Held under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah the Second, the fair kicked off on September 1 at Mecca Mall’s Jordan International Exhibition Centre.
This edition’s cultural figure was Walid Saif, a renowned Palestinian-Jordanian author, critic, researcher and academic recognised for his cultural contributions.
On the last day of the book fair, some visitors and participants spoke with the Jordan Times about their experiences.
Dania Abdallah, a representative of a local publishing house, said that the fair’s timing affected the number of visitors.
“Schools from all over the Kingdom usually bring their students to the fair. However, this edition aligned with the first week of the new school year, which lead to a lower turnout,” Abdallah told The Jordan Times.
She added that the number of visitors saw a slight increase on the fair’s last day.
Ahmad, a representative of an Egyptian publishing house who preferred to go by his first name only, said that this was a “difficult” year.
“I believe our sales dropped by 50 per cent from last year’s edition,” he told The Jordan Times.
Ahmad saw that the low turnout “might” have been because people are accustomed to the previous location at the Amman International Exhibition for Cars on airport road.
Mohammad, a representative of a local publishing house who also preferred to go by his first name only, had a different view.
He pointed out that in previous years, the fair’s visitors were “serious” readers who came specifically to shop for books, while this year, they were mostly passersby who were shopping at the mall.
“I think this might be a positive aspect of the change in location because it attracted people who do not usually come to this type of event,” Mohammad told The Jordan Times, adding that his sales are looking well.
Rima Abed, a mother of two six-year-old twins, who has made it a habit to come to the fair every year, noted her preference for this edition’s location.
“I love that they separated the adults’ section from that of children. It made it easier for me to find what I am looking for,” she told The Jordan Times.
“I am sure that I’ll come out of here with a great collection of books for my kids,” Abed continued.
Subhi Bikawi, 70, who was seen roaming the exhibition while carrying a bag with over 10 books inside, noted that the size of the exhibition gave him “so many options with too little time”.
“The diversity of the displayed books gives one the chance to find some rare treasures,” he told The Jordan Times.
Kamel Shaweesh, a theatre student at the University of Jordan, said that he only shops for books from the Amman Book Fair.
“It’s like an annual festival which I celebrate,” the 21-year-old, who’s leaving the fair with over 20 books, told The Jordan Times.
Shaweesh also described the yearly fair as “a cultural focal point”, bringing to light some “great” works of Arab literature.
Twenty-year-old Buthaina Mohammad noted that her experience at the annual fair is always “unique”.
“I particularly liked this edition’s location; it’s bigger, air-conditioned and closer to where I live,” she told the Jordan Times.
The book fair also involved seminars, dialogues, poetry readings, storytelling sessions and theatre shows, among other cultural activities directed towards adults and children.