The kick-off for the 34th edition of the International Book Fair of Tunis was given on Friday at the Kram Exhibition Centre in the presence of the Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohamed Zine El Abidine and his Algerian counterpart Azzedine Mihoubi.
At the opening ceremony, Director General of the 34th edition of the International Book Fair, Chokri Mabkhout, focused in his address on the importance of the book and its role in the development of knowledge. The book remains a tool for thinking about human causes despite technological advances.
For his part, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mohamed Zine El-Abidine, said that the International Book Fair of Tunis is an opportunity to celebrate the book as a source of knowledge and stimulation of the imagination, saying that the book fair reflects the dedication of the principle of diversity and freedom.
The Algerian Minister of Culture commended the presence of Algeria as guest of honour at the 34th edition of the Tunis International Book Fair by announcing that Algeria will organise, late April the Tunisian cultural days.
During the opening ceremony, a mosaic painting of the Roman poet Virgil was offered to the Algerian Minister of Culture.
Tunisian writers and intellectuals were also honoured at the ceremony, including the novelist Souad Guellouz, the novelists Nafla Dhab and Mahmoud Belaid, the Tunisian novelist living in France Habib Sellami and the poet Moncef Mezghani.
Arab writers were also honoured. They are Palestinian novelist Yahya Khalaf, Moroccan Ahmed Al Madini and Iraqi Mohsen Jassem Al Moussawi.
In a statement to the TAP agency, Chokri Mabkhout said a tribute will be paid to Algerian authors Waciny Laredj and Amine Zaoui.
This new edition is marked by the participation of 775 publishers representing 32 Arab and foreign countries including 126 Tunisian publishers. With regard to the exhibitors, their number reaches 259 representing 25 countries, in addition to 111 Tunisian exhibitors.
More than 80 cultural activities and animations will be on the agenda of this 34th edition, part of which is reserved for children and youth.
Russia will be the guest of honour of the youth section of the Fair which will also see the participation of 12 Arab and foreign countries.
The cultural programme dedicated to children and youth will be marked by the organisation of a new competition "We read to be more beautiful" for girls from 14 to 18 years.