The Casablanca International Publishing and Book Fair 2016 better known in French as the Salon International de l’Edition et du Livre (SIEL) happened from 12-22 February in Morocco’s capital city.
The festival, which runs under the patronage of King Mohammed VI, included a rich and diversified program with the participation of 650 publishers from 44 countries. The festival guest of honour was the United Arab Emirates.
Prizes were handed in the categories of humanities, social sciences, and literary, linguistic and artistic studies as well as the translation prize. The most prestigious of these was the Global Alarcanah Poetry Prize which this year went to German poet Volker Braun.
Some of the featured authors at the festival led by Moroccan Writer’s Union President Abdul Rahim Al Allam included Réda Dalil who is famous for his award winning debut novel The Job. There was also Taha Adnan who has published three collections of poetry in Arabic and one in French entitled Transparences (L’Arbre à Paroles, Belgium, 2006). Also featuring was award-winning Iraqi novelist, essayist, poet, scriptwriter and journalist who has written ten novels, winning 5 Arabic literary awards Ali Bader.
Apart from the writers there was also the first rights hub which brought together publishers and agents for discussions of Arabic, African and francophone literature.
The next generation of readers were brought in on the fun with students from schools and their teachers are working on different projects, writing and art plastic, in collaboration with the authors invited to attend. You know that this was an amazing opportunity for children as for their teachers to meet the authors, illustrators and to participate in lots of animations.