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Amman International Book Fair is set to return to Jordan in September

The Amman International Book Fair will return in September.

The annual event, which had its 2020 programme cancelled because of the pandemic, will run from Wednesday, September 22 to Saturday, October 2 within the halls of Amman International Motor Show.

The news was announced by Jaber Abu Faris, the fair’s director and chairman of the Union of Jordanian Publishers.

In a statement to the Jordanian News Agency (Petra), he said the 20th iteration of the fair will run in cooperation with Jordan’s Ministry of Culture and Greater Amman Municipality.

In addition to stringent safety measures in place, the fair will feature in-person activities, including book signings and panel discussions.

The line-up of visiting authors will be announced closer to the start date and exhibitors are to register their interest through the union’s website.

“The fair is one the most prominent cultural events in the region over the past five years,” said Abu Faris.

“This is whether in terms of the number of participating publishing houses, which exceeds 350, or in terms of participating countries, with more than 30 Arab and foreign countries.”

The news comes after Jordan’s Culture Minister Ali Al Ayed reiterated the ministry’s support for the fair in an April meeting with Abu Faris.

According to Petra, Al Ayed praised the fair’s role in highlighting key Jordanian figures in literature and the arts.

Jordan’s literary luminaries attending the book fair over the years have included the late historian and poet Raouf Abu Jaber, and journalist Amjad Nasser, as well as novelists Ibrahim Al Saafin and Samiha Khreis.

What’s on the agenda?

The Amman International Book Fair will offer a professional and cultural programme of events and discussions.

The former will target those within the regional publishing industry, while the latter is dedicated to the public via discussions featuring award-winning authors and poets.

The fair will also soon announce the country that is being designated as guest of honour. The UAE and Egypt held the title in 2017 and 2018, respectively. It was Tunisia in 2019.

The event’s arrival on the cultural calendar continues the resurgence of the region’s book fairs, as those in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Riyadh, Amman and Muscat were scrapped last year because of the pandemic.

This month sees the Cairo International Book Fair return from Wednesday, June 30 to Thursday, July 15 at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre.

Meanwhile, in March, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan announced on Twitter that the Riyadh International Book Fair will take place from Friday, October 1 to Sunday, October 10.

Both the Abu Dhabi and the Sharjah book fairs ran safe and successful events in May this year and last November, respectively.