HAVANA (CUBA)-Cuba’s President, Miguel Diaz-Canel and Culture Minister, Azzedine Mihoubi, on Thursday, inaugurated the 28th edition of the Havana International Book Fair, in which Algeria partakes as a guest of honour.
The Algerian singer Abdellah Menai accompanied by a Cuban pianist enthralled the audience at the opening ceremony, enhanced by the presence of Cuban Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso Grau, the Ambassador of Algeria to Cuba, M’hamed Achache and several Cuban leaders and intellectuals.
On this occasion, the Cuban Minister of Culture said that relations between his country and Algeria “are distinguished, fraternal and placed above all economic interest”.
These relations are “especially reflected by the friendship binding Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika to Raul and the late Fidel Castro …..”, said Mr. Alpidio Alonso Grau who hailed, in this context, “the defense by Algeria of the Cuban cause in international fora and its fight against the embargo imposed on Cuba “.
For his part, the president of the Cuban Book Institute and the organizing committee of the fair, Juan Rodriguez Cabrera, considered that the presence of Algeria as guest of honor at the International Book Fair of Havana, “testifies to the strong and historic relations of cooperation” existing between the two countries and which “encompasses different areas, including cultural one”.
For his part, the Minister of Culture, Azzedine Mihoubi affirmed that Algeria and Cuba “are linked by historical relations that go back to the struggles waged by their respective peoples for freedom and dignity and are also linked by a (…) unalterable friendship over the years.
Algeria is taking part in Havana International Book Fair as a guest of honor, for the first time at an international book fair in Latin America. This fair will see the participation of Algerian writers, like the academician, Abdellah Hammadi and the novelist Maissa Bey who will host two conferences on the history and present of Algerian literature and women’s literature “.
The Director of the National Office of Copyright and Neighboring Rights (ONDA), Sami Bencheikh El Hocine will also host a conference, while the Director of Books and Public Reading at the Ministry of Culture, Djamel Foughali will give an address on the reality of publishing.
On the sidelines of the literary event, an exhibition of photographs on heritage, history, architecture and nature in Algeria will be organized, in addition to the screening of four Algerian films, namely; “Yema” by Djamila Sahraoui “Until the end of time” by Yasmine Chouikh, “Fragrance of Algiers” by Rachid Belhadj and “Zabana” by Saïd Ould Khelifa, subtitled in Spanish at the expense of the Cuban Ministry of Culture.
The Cuban Ministry of Culture also pledged to translate 21 titles of renowned Algerian writers, like; Merzak Bektache and Djilali Khellas.
Under the theme “Algerian evening”, a musical concert of the Cuban Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Amine Kouider, conductor of the Opera Symphony Orchestra of Algiers, will also be on the agenda of this cultural rendez-vous.
As part of the participation of Algeria in this fair, Mr. Mihoubi will sign with his Cuban counterpart a cultural exchange program for a period of three years (2019-2021), focusing on the activities of cultural cooperation between the two countries in the fields of art, literature, music, cinema and heritage.
In addition to Algeria, this event will see the participation of 120 exhibitors and more than 350 writers and book professionals representing 42 other countries, like Mexico, Argentina, Chile and the United States, according to the Cuban press.
During this 28th edition, a tribute will be paid to the Cuban novelist, critic and journalist, Eduardo Heras Leon, winner of National Prize of Cuban Literature in 2014, in addition to the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution and the 500th anniversary of Havana.
Flagship annual event in Cuba, the 2017 edition of this event had drained “2 million visitors”.
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