Starbucks has collaborated with the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission — as its literary partner — to launch Books and Beans, a cultural initiative that brings together local literary Saudi talent with the community to encourage dialogue and exchange. The initiative hosted the first of its bimonthly events on June 28 in the Starbucks Reserve Boulevard Store in Riyadh.
Members of the literary community and cultural friends of Starbucks and the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission were treated to an evening with multi-award-winning Saudi author Dr. Badriyah Al-Bishr, among other columnists, novelists and writers. An audience of aspiring authors and book lovers discussed the challenges and rewards of becoming a writer in today’s competitive literary world.
The initiative forms part of Starbucks’s wider mission to support the Ministry of Culture in fostering talent and growth in the arts and culture sectors throughout the Kingdom.
Andy Holmes, president of Starbucks at Alshaya Group, said: “Coffee has always had a deep and meaningful connection to literature. At Starbucks, we bring people in the literary world together to discuss, debate, and exchange ideas. Our partnership with the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission is something we’re incredibly proud of, and we look forward to bringing more Saudi authors and writers to our stores to help support such a worthwhile community.”
“We thank the ministry for its support and congratulate Dr. Badriyah Al-Bishr on opening our first event with such vigor and excitement,” he added.
Speaking at the event, special guest speaker Al-Bishr said: “The level of writing talent in the Arab world is something worth celebrating and discussing. Platforms such as Books and Beans allow that to happen. I am humbled to have been invited, to meet so many passionate readers and writers, and to be able to discuss such an important art form with such a rich history here in the Kingdom. I wish to thank Starbucks and the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission for inviting me and I look forward to seeing what comes next.”
Books and Beans will host its second event in September, where Starbucks hopes to further celebrate established and emerging literary talents and continue spotlighting the importance of artistic dialogue in the Kingdom.