AD book fair highlights Arab heritage, history

ABU DHABI - There is a great emphasis on Arab culture, heritage and history at the ongoing Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), with national and international publishers showcasing new and old titles of great intellectual and informative value.


Silvia Radan

Published: Wed 12 Mar 2008, 8:43 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:42 PM

German publisher Georg Olms is specialising in Arab heritage, mostly from the Gulf area, presenting a rare collection of non-fictional books about all aspects of life in the desert. There are titles on the history of Bedouins in this area, Islam and its people, as well as art books on Arabian horses.

Olms is also presenting two editions of the Caroussel, the magnificent equestrian games played at the courts of Europe. Featuring purebred Arabian horses, the "war" games between the Christian world and Muslim Orient were based on the idea of reconciliation and understanding between these two different cultures, which had fought and inspired each other for thousands of years.

The Caroussel games took place in Stuttgart in 1846, to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince of Wuerttemberg, later to become King Charles I of Wuerttemberg, to the daughter of the Russian czar, the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolajewna. The equestrian festival was recorded in 28 large-sized hand-coloured lithographs, which are now available here, at the Book Fair. The high quality prints on the renowned Fabriano hand-made paper are presented either in a leather box at the cost of Euro 798 (Dh4,302) or in a carton box at the price of Euro 498 (Dh2,685). A trilingual catalogue in German, English and Arabic with the full explanation of the story and the pictures is also included.

The leather-bound presentation was also used by Germany as a state gift, which was offered, among many world personalities, to King Huan Carlos of Spain and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

A local institution and publisher, the Emirates Heritage Club (EHC), is also attracting much attention at the fair this year. Among its 150 titles mainly in Arabic, but a few in English as well, there are eight new books that were recently published.

Mohammed Saif Al Neyadi, general manager of EHC, explained that all the new titles were collections of Nabati poetry from famous Bedouin poets of the Emirates, which the club is dedicated to research and publish.

The eight published poets are Diwan Khalifa Al Jaberi, Diwan bin Fario, Nab Al Amik, Diwan bin Zaal, Diwan bin Hayai, Diwan Al Dahmany, Diwan Ahmed bin Obaid and Diwan bin Mahana.

"They are all very good, but if I were to pick up one, I would recommend Khalifa bin Mohammed bin Mitrif Al Jaberi, a famous poet from Al Ain," Al Neyadi told Khaleej Times.

Among the other titles, there are Islamic books, research on Emirati traditions, some literature and a few art books, including a well-documented photographic album about Shaikh Zayed.

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