The “First Children’s Book Festival” kicked off Wednesday in Istanbul, Turkey, organized by the “International Association of Arab Book Publishers” and in cooperation with the “Children’s Book Publishers Association”.
The festival is held under the slogan “The child reads, then thinks and discovers,” with the participation of about 50 publishing houses from many countries.
The exhibition continues until February 5, and includes more than 15,000 books in the scientific, historical, religious, entertainment, and areas of developing children’s skills.
On the sidelines of the festival, cultural and entertainment activities will be held for children.
The President of the International Association of Arabic Book Publishers, Mahdi Al-Jumaili, said in his opening speech that the festival is like a new baby joining the Istanbul International Arab Book Fair, the Gaziantep Arab Book Fair and other cultural festivals.
Al-Jumaili promised that “the festival will develop in the future and will contribute to the enrichment and support of the Arab community and its assistance in raising the new youth.”
He added, “These ideas are to support the Arab family and culture, support the nation’s causes, and contribute to creating a generation that plays the role assigned to it.”
Al-Jumaili stressed that the publishing profession is not a profession of selling books and competing to sell the largest number of them, but rather it is producing useful books for generations, expressing his hope that these events will have an impact on generations in the future.
For his part, the media official of the festival, Kamal bin Jaafar, stated that “the festival is attended by more than 50 Arab and Turkish publishing houses, and it is the first of its kind within the framework of the projects of the International Association of Arab Book Publishers.”
He explained that the festival “is open to the Arab and Turkish communities alike, as the Arabic language is taught in Turkish schools in the high schools of imams and preachers.”
According to Bin Jaafar, seminars and intellectual lectures will be held on the sidelines of the festival, which will deal with issues of the Arab child, Arab culture, and the psychological and behavioral aspects of the child. The festival will also include intellectual and cultural competitions for children, in addition to entertainment activities.
He also stressed that the main goal of organizing this event is to consolidate the Arab identity and make the Arab child close to his culture and heritage, in addition to introducing the Turkish child to Arab culture.
Ahmed Affal, one of the publishers participating in the exhibition, explained that they “specialize in selling Turkish books to non-native speakers.”
He pointed out that they have “more than 50 publications for teaching the Turkish language to foreigners, in addition to educational curricula that address all levels.”