RIYADH: An exhibition showcasing Saudi culture attracted more than 5,400 visitors while on display in the French capital Paris.
The two-week Saudi Culture Exhibition, organized by the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission, featured subject matter ranging from fashion to philosophy.
It included a photographic exhibition by the late French researcher Thierry Mauger, who extensively documented aspects of culture and life in southern Saudi Arabia during the 1980s and 1990s through his photo books.
A display of rare manuscripts was presented in a collaboration between the Libraries Commission, King Abdulaziz Public Library, and King Fahd National Library, as well as exhibits of archaeological reproductions and models of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom.
In addition, the event introduced the Tarjim initiative — that aims to bring Arabic texts to the world — a philosophy conference, and an interactive presentation of the main Vision 2030 projects.
Twelve seminars and panel discussions, seven poetry evenings, 10 screened short films and documentaries, and four heritage and culture performances involving Saudi writers, novelists, and experts in fashion, culinary arts, architecture, and history, were held as part of the exhibition event.
The seminars covered areas such as the significance of Saudi novels in the French cultural scene, characters in Saudi and French literature, the building of a creative economy, the future of the local fashion industry, preserving the heritage of the culinary arts through cook books, and Arabic and French language translations.
In line with the Year of Arabic Poetry, the program also featured poetry nights spotlighting Saudi poets such as Jassim Al-Sahih, Haider Al-Abdullah, and Abdul Latif bin Youssef.
French publishing house Assouline hosted a book launch for “Makkah: The Holy City of Islam” by Meraj Nawab Mirza, a historian and geographer at Umm Al-Qura University. The book includes photos by French photographer Laziz Hamani.
A second book, “Al-Madinah: The City of the Prophet,” by Taneedeb Al-Faydi, was also featured.
Seven short films were shown at the exhibition from the Daw’ Film Competition, a platform that champions emerging filmmakers. Movies included “Old School” by Alaa Faddan, “Street 105” by Abdulrahman Al-Jandal, “Pool” by Reema Al-Majid, “Video Tape Exchanged” by Maha Sa’ati, “Salique” by Afnan Bayan, and “A Monster from the Sky” by Maryam Khayyat.