The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, taking place from April 30 to May 5 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, is hosting a discussion panel led by a 22-year-old media student who is trying to kindle interest in the Arabic language and culture. Nissmah Roshdy, from Egypt, is presenting a series of animated films and poetry which are a part of her graduation project at the School of Applied Sciences and Arts of the German University of Cairo. She will be presenting her discussion together with two poets, Ghayath Almadhoun and Marie Silkeberg, on May 3 at 8.15 pm.
Language and Culture
The idea behind the project is helping the audience understand poetry by means of pictures and moving characters. Her previous animations include a representation of The Dice Player, by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, which can be found online. Roshdy explains that she chose this author because of his rich use of the language, full of similes and metaphors. She firmly believes that this can help draw the attention of the younger generations and help them fall in love with their mother tongue, something which has been affected by the era of globalisation.
According to Roshdy, the Internet and social media has brought the Arab world closer to the Western world, which is in itself a very positive cultural change but can affect Arabic linguistic capabilities unless something is done to revert the current trends. Nowadays, the young ones are having troubles using their own language, which leads to a loss of the Arabic culture altogether. The trick lies in learning how to be open to other cultures and customs without losing their own, states Roshdy.
The Abu Dhabi Book Fair
The Abu Dhabi Book Fair plays a key role in the literary world of the Middle East and North Africa and it encompasses a group of 1025 exhibitors from 50 different countries. The Book Fair invites publishing professionals with a progressive and peaceful mind, as it makes cultural understanding and exchange one of its main aims.