Running July 5-18, Saudi Arabia’s Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission will be live with a series of wide-ranging cultural discussions using Ministry of Culture social media channels.
Last year Arab News reported on Saudi Arabia’s expanded cultural initiatives – see the report on YouTube here – and in February of this year the KSA Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission was formed, under the leadership of Mohammed Hasan Alwan, himself a published author with a BSc in computer information systems so unsurprisingly comfortable with using technology to further the interests of the Saudi publishing sector.
Critic Dr Abdullah Al Ghazhami was the first guest, July 5, talking with journalist Mohammed Al Tumaihi about ‘The Efficiency of the Reader’ and related topics, including factors affecting the reader’s effectiveness, the recipient’s ability to recycle literary text, the act of reading in literary criticism, the writer’s role in productivity, effectiveness of reading and the ability of the reader in representation and assimilation.
On July 6 novelist Dr Wasini Al Araj was interviewed by Dr Zainab Al Khudairy about the magic of narration and the various stages in the emergence of a novelist.
July 7 is the turn of author Mohamed Reda Nasrallah, discussing the memory of culture, including the Saudi cultural identity and the role that cultural media played in the intellectual development of society. He also shared his personal experience with the giants of literature and thought in the Arab world.
July 9: Arab calligraphy. Ibrahim Al Arafie will be interviewed on the spirituality of Arabic calligraphy, hosted by Nisreen Al Turki.
July 10: Cultural critic Ali Al Amim in a session titles Something of Criticism, Something of History’, offers glimpses of Saudi cultural.
July 11: poet Sultan Al Sabhan will talk about poetry and its arts.
July 12, historian Dr Saad Al Rashid will talk about ‘Antiquities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Through the Ages’.
July 13: Dr Arwa Khamis and Amine Ibrahim will present ideas on ‘Creating Imagination in Children.’
July 14: Poet Abdullatif Bin Youssef will talk about ‘The Poetry Engineering’ and the pillars of building a poem.
July 15, novelist Zainab Hefni will talk about the rituals of writing, the life cycle of the text and its relationship to reality under the title ‘The Life of Writing’
July 16: Novelist Hawraa Al Nadawi will talk about the poetry of the narrative text and the role of diaspora literature in documenting the Arab experience.
July 17: ‘Translation and the Thresholds of Text’, is the topic, with translator Dr Walid Belhaysh Al Omari.
July 18: the topic is ‘Traditional Culture and Folklore’, with social thinker and historian Dr Saad Al Suwayyan who will be taking part in a discussion on the cultural identity and signs of folklore in literary works, and the importance of multiple sources of culture in a civilization.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, the meetings are,
part of the efforts of the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission to build bridges of communication between intellectuals and the public, enrich the local cultural scene with qualitative cultural meetings, and enhance the cultural dialogue.