Riyadh book fair opens with Bahrain as guest of honor 

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Riyadh International Book Fair opened at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center with Bahrain being welcomed as this year’s guest of honor. (AN photo/Iqbal Hossain)
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Riyadh International Book Fair opened at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center with Bahrain being welcomed as this year’s guest of honor. (AN photo/Iqbal Hossain)
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Riyadh International Book Fair opened at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center with Bahrain being welcomed as this year’s guest of honor. (AN photo/Iqbal Hossain)
Updated 14 March 2019
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Riyadh book fair opens with Bahrain as guest of honor 

  • The ceremony was attended by Bahrain’s Minister of Culture Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa
  • The fair will also host 200 cultural events

RIYADH: The Riyadh International Book Fair 2019, one of the region’s largest cultural events, opened at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center on Wednesday night.

Open to the public from Thursday, the 10-day event will run on the theme “The Book is the Gate of the Future.”

The deputy culture minister, Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, gave the opening address, highlighting the importance of books for promoting Arab culture.

The ceremony was attended by Bahrain’s Minister of Culture Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, who praised the “deep-rooted ties established over the years” between the two kingdoms, and the importance of book fairs as platforms to showcase culture and talent.

Fayez and Khalifa presented prizes to a number of different authors and Saudi filmakers, as well as lead tributes to the life of the late Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, the Saudi politician, diplomat, poet and novelist who died in 2010.

A Bahraini pavilion will host 13 cultural events including poetry nights, seminars and children’s programs over the course of the fair. In total, more than 900 global publishing houses are set to participate, with 500,000 books and publications on display, and up to a million visitors expected to attend.

The fair will also host 200 cultural events sponsored by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in partnership with Saudi Aramco. They will include 62 seminars and cultural lectures, theater performances, interactive workshops and educational films.

Discounts on books of up to 70 percent are expected to tempt more bibliophiles to attend, as well as disability access and three signing stages, hosting 267 authors.

The fair has become a gathering point for readers, authors, and local and regional publishing houses. It provides a cultural bridge between the Arab and wider worlds, and a networking platform for publishers, writers, scholars and academic institutions. It will host a vast display of important works on Islam, history, medicine, law, science, technology and the media, as well as biographies, non-fiction and novels in Arabic, English, French, Turkish, Urdu and Spanish.


Plans afoot to expand teaching of Chinese in Saudi Arabia

Updated 2 min 24 sec ago
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Plans afoot to expand teaching of Chinese in Saudi Arabia

  • Move to set up language learning in various stages of education in Saudi Arabia
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education launched the “Teaching Chinese Language in Education” workshop at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh on Saturday.
It was attended by the Chinese ambassador to the Kingdom, officials from the Chinese Embassy, presidents of Saudi universities and education officials in the Kingdom.
Saudi Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh said that the inclusion of the Chinese language in the various stages of education in the Kingdom stemmed from the desire to diversify the language tools in education, based on the strategic and economic importance of the Chinese language now and in the future.
He also stressed the importance of having a clear plan to qualify a number of teachers in intensive programs for up to a year to teach Chinese for the target stages, which could include selected schools from the secondary level in different regions in the first three years.
“There is a plan for numerical expansion, based on the requirements and expansion of the intermediate educational stage,” he said. “This expansion should be accompanied by training a number of teachers in programs developed in cooperation with the Chinese side for a year and with the department of external education to qualify teachers to teach Chinese.”
King Saud University reviewed the experience of teaching the Chinese language in the workshop, indicating that it started to introduce Chinese in 2010, and has graduated 35 students so far. They are currently working in the ministries of foreign affairs, media and a number of military sectors. They were used in translation programs, accompanying Chinese delegations, and during the pilgrimage seasons.
“When we say China or the Chinese economy is expected to be the primary economy (in the world) in eight years, this means establishing a strong relationship with this economy based on the common interests of the two countries,” Al-Asheikh said.
He said that the overall strategic goal of teaching Chinese was to make it the third language parallel to English and with the same level of horizontal and vertical spread in the two education systems.
Al-Asheikh expressed his optimism about the strategic direction of increasing cooperation between the Kingdom and China as great economies and civilizations.