The Arab Culture Association’s Second Annual Book Fair 2020
The Arab Culture Association hosted its second annual Book Fair in July- August of 2020, which included thousands of titles in Arabic from Palestine and the Arab World all in one place. The book fair took place at ACA’s headquarters in Haifa, with the option of online ordering with delivery by mail. The topics ranged from literature, sciences, and arts for all ages and backgrounds. Activities included virtual symposiums, lectures, and discussion panels.
The first day, July 23rd, started with an opening lecture by Dr. Elyas Attallah, a member of the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic, titled “Lectures in Editing”, in addition to an online movie preview of “Returning to Haifa” by Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, directed by Qasem in partnership with the Palestinian Film Institute.
On the second day, musician Majd Shiti gave a live Oud performance. This was followed by a virtual book discussion in partnership with the Institute for Palestine Studies of Artist Nabil Anani’s memoirs “Going into the Light”, who was interviewed by Artist Radi Shehada, and writer Ali Muwasi. The day ended with a virtual book launch of writer Raji Bathish’s novel “Apartment in Bassi Street” published by the Arab Institute for Research and Publishing in Beirut, interviewed by writer Bakriya Muwasi.
On Saturday, July 25th, 2 virtual symposiums were hosted: the first with Palestinian writer Mohammad AlAsaad about his novel “Children of the Dew”, moderated by journalist Sa’ed Najem, and the second was a discussion panel over Dr. Azmi Bishara’s book “Trump Netanyahu Deal” published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. The Panel included writer Anton Shalhat, researcher Maeen Taher and Ali Habiballah.
A reading panel and discussion for a group of young Palestinian writers was hosted virtually, the young writers included: Ali Qadri, Mahmoud Abu AlAreesha, Misan Hamdan, Mai Kaloti, Rafat Amna Jamal, Jadal AlQasem, Yehya Ashour, and Amir Hamad. Poet Asmaa Azaiza facilitated the panel. All events were hosted virtually on Facebook Live in compliance with social distancing instructions.
The book fair included thousands of titles that could be ordered online from a list created in order to encourage readers while taking into consideration restrictions due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. The titles covered various topics published in Palestine and the Arab World, such as political sciences, anthropology, history, philosophy, media and culture studies, international relations, the Palestinian cause, Israel and Israeli society, memories, scientific magazines, fiction, poetry, and short stories in Arabic or translated to Arabic. In addition, a section was dedicated to children and young adult literature.