I have always wondered whether there is a significant difference between the types of food we usually eat and the type of people we always meet. Both can pose a serious risk to our health, which led me to see what am I exposing myself to and what my body and mind are absorbing.
The idea behind this observation is meaningful, and we have to feed our brains with rich information through books because even minds crave the goodness of knowledge.
One of my favorite things about books is the resulting state of mind after reading. It is like finding a means of reshaping all the wrongdoings one has been through in reality. Have you ever started reading a book and only noticed soon after the transformation process that happens as you go through it, which is only truly felt after finishing it?
In my opinion, reading is what separates the best from the rest. Readers have profound insights, extensive knowledge and unique perspectives; you have to experience and go through different points of view. But the problem sometimes lies in ending up with an intimate understanding of things and people around us, to the extent that we can overanalyze every word and behavior in some instances. Still, this may not necessarily cause us pain; it can help give us a higher sense of perspective.
I guarantee that whoever reads regularly does not stand too long on the ruins, but on the contrary, will spend little time on them and end up turning the page.
The opening of the Riyadh International Book Fair, under the patronage of King Salman, and Iraq as a guest of honor, has seen the event become a significant hit with book lovers everywhere. People from all over the Kingdom are flocking to the book fair and walking through its many corridors searching for new material.
This event will cover 16 cultural projects under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture’s Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission. There are also a lot of activities such as cultural seminaries, poetry evenings and festivals, interactive lectures, and workshops covering various topics like art, reading, writing, publishing and translation.
The exciting thing about this year’s fair is the participation of many of our local intellectuals, who have chosen to release their books at the event, empowering other writers and poets to follow suit.
We need similar awareness-raising initiatives to emphasize the importance of reading and owning books, which begins at home with family.
We must admire the decision of our leadership to include Iraq at this exhibit, considering the themes of diversity and the endless amount of educational and cultural exchange that can come out of it. Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif’s diplomacy with Iraq also shows the diligent and friendly partnership between the two countries and the interest of the Kingdom in enhancing relations at all levels.
We hope to witness such intellectual and development programs all over the Kingdom in the coming years, further promoting the Kingdom’s position culturally, and making it a beacon of Arabic and Islamic culture.
Our writers, publishers and publishing houses worked tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic. New topics emerged and were published, and with the support of readers, more content was created and supported by all. With a surge of visitors and customers at the Riyadh International Book Fair, the success of the event will further support our local authors and content creators, entice international authors and publishing houses to visit the Kingdom, and explore opportunities that will further elevate intellectual content.
• Noor A. Al-Naboud is a writer and insurance expert. Twitter handle: @moionlynoor