33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair showcases history and tales of ‘Kalila wa Dimna’

33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair showcases history and tales of ‘Kalila wa Dimna’

May 2, 2024

The renowned book was spotlighted as part of the Fair’s Book of the World initiative.

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 2 May 2024 – The renowned literary work ‘Kalila wa Dimna’ by Abdullah Ibn Al-Muqaffa’ is once again making an appearance at the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024) under the Book of the World initiative, spotlighting its narrative, which transcends barriers of time and revolves around the realm of mythical tales and moral lessons suitable for every time and place.

The selection of ‘Kalila wa Dimna’ was not arbitrary; it embodies a noble purpose aimed at social reform. The book belongs to a literary genre called ‘Mirrors for Princes’, which aims to educate future leaders by delivering wisdom through human and animal characters.

The Book of the World initiative is introduced for the first time in the current edition of the Fair, with an aim to strengthen global cultural heritage with one of the most impactful books on human consciousness, selected based on strict critical criteria every year.

In a session titled ‘Kalila wa Dimna: From Manuscripts to Modern Literary Readings’, the Fair discussed details regarding specific aspects of the book and how folklore is employed to support and enhance the values of virtue in the face of vice.

The session was moderated by noted media personality Hassan Alshazli, and brought together Dr. Mohamed Soliman, Head of the Cultural Communication Sector at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria); Ehab Mallah, writer, critic, journalist, and researcher specialising in heritage and cultural history; and Dr. Chahrazad Alarabi, author and specialised researcher.

The three panelists agreed that the Arabic version by Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa’ is the original from which all other translations were derived. They noted that the book continues to pique the curiosity

of theorists as it intersects with different disciplines of knowledge, science, and politics. The book has a pure narrative style, making its interpretation challenging and leading researchers to various valid conclusions, lending the book a sense of continuity.

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