The Ministers of Culture of Serbia and Morocco, Vladan Vukosavljevic and Mohamed El Araz, opened a stand of Morocco, honorary guest of the largest literary event in the region at the 63rd International Belgrade Book Fair tonight.
Vukosavljevic said that this is the first time that the honorary guest of the Book Fair in Belgrade is the country of the Arabian speaking area.
“This is the first opportunity to meet the audience in this region with literature from North Africa, which has donated many writers, poets, historiographers, biographers, novelists, drama writers, who may not be so familiar to the European continent, but they talk about topics that we all recognize as important and common – social responsibility, conflict of cultures, conflicts and colonialism, the position of women, religion, Islam, (calligraphy) art, “said Vukosavljevic.
He noted that some of these writers were the bearers of prestigious awards, such as French “Gonkur” or “Honorary Legion” or were shortlisted for the Nobel Prize for Literature, such as Tahar Ben Zellun, who will be the guest of the Fair a book.
“For every writer, the most prestigious award is to conquer the thoughts and hearts of readers. I believe that the conditions have been met to make the rich heritage of Moroccan literary thought, as well as the work of contemporary creators, a new reading audience, eager to get acquainted with the rich culture and history of the Kingdom of Morocco,” Vukosavljevic pointed out .
He also mentioned the three-year Cooperation Program between Serbia and Morocco, signed in May, which, in his words, provides a legal framework for more dynamic future cooperation.
“I believe that in a couple of years, the book of the writers of both countries, in translation from Arabic into Serbian and vice versa, will be significant, to the satisfaction of readers in both countries,” Vukosavljevic stressed.
El Araz said that the fact that Morocco is the first Arab country to be the honorary guest of the Belgrade Book Fair is an honor not only for the Kingdom of Morocco, but also for the Arab culture to which Morocco makes a vital contribution.
“This honor draws on one cultural responsibility and obliges the Ministry of Culture and Communication to fulfill it through a diversified program,” the minister said.
El Araz has confirmed Morocco’s strong endeavor to promote dialogue between two friendly countries and foster fruitful cultural cooperation, “a dialogue for the benefit of Moroccan and Serbian culture”.
“Participating in this event will allow visitors to familiarize themselves with the richness and diversity of the Kingdom of Morocco culture with Arab, Islamic, Amazigh, Saharan, and Hanjani components, enriched with Andalusian, Hebrew and Mediterranean influences,” the minister said.
El Araz recalled that Morocco, through its long history, had been a link between Africa and Europe, on the one hand, and between East and West, on the other.
“Morocco was and remains open to the cultures of the world and its key issues. Thanks to our friends, Serbian cultural officials, for this cultural celebration, which we consider to testify about the solidity and excellence of cultural dialogue between our friendly countries,” El Araz said.
At the stand of Morocco by October 28, the most important publishers and institutions will be presented, as well as around 1,000 titles.