MIDDLE EAST

Sharjah Book Fair and Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Sharjah International Book Fair and the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi have thrilled us in the UAE. The Book Fair displays publications, which delve into the details of those who are flawed. It gives them wings and allows them to fly toward the sun.

The exhibition is thus a real place for creative men who are fond of words. Meanwhile, the Louvre museum brought us the most significant works of art and historical artifacts from the Louvre in Paris.

In order to live, books and art are as important as food and water. The museum displays works of art that speak our absolute souls while the fair has books that provide us with unlimited entertainment. Everyone has said that the Sharjah International Book Fair is beautifully organized. Some said writers imitate Najib Mahfouz in terms of their number of publications.

However, they forgot that Mahfouz did not exhaust himself with attending readings and he did not compete with others to talk about literature. He read, contemplated and wrote. He settled with what’s little to produce a lot.

I wish they’d take notice of author J. D. Salinger who wrote the famous book The Catcher in the Rye, which is considered as one of the 100 most important books. The Catcher in the Rye is studied in universities due to its depth and millions of copies have been sold across the world.

It is such a celebration to open the museum with paintings that have inspired great artists for centuries and they’ve tried to interpret her looks

Reem Al-Kamali

Constructive books

So have creative people here saved their energy and wrote constructive books instead of writing plenty of books with weak content? The act of producing literature is not measured by numbers or by the long autobiography published on Wikipedia.

Some also criticized the Louvre Abu Dhabi and said it displays the art of strangers and expresses others and not us. This is quite surprising. Doesn’t art draw our consciousness and form our ideas? Shall we also categorize art and place it within certain geographic limits?

As visitors, isn’t it enough to see this tolerant and open culture that gives us the chance to reformulate our inner selves? Take Edouard Manet’s painting The Gypsy, which is displayed at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, as an example. It expresses poverty and contempt and reflects pain.

There is also Leonardo da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronniere painting, which is that of a young woman wearing red velvet and seriously looking at us. It is such a celebration to open the museum with paintings that have inspired great artists for centuries as they’ve tried to interpret her looks. Look at her well.

Maybe you will come up with new theories about her now that she’s become a guest in our country. Is her look mysterious, sad, angry or blameful? We do not know but it’s enough that she’s passing with her mysterious beauty in our country.

We are witnessing a creative birth that differs from our visions thanks to this new museum.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Reem Al-Kamali is an Emirati author and journalist based in the UAE who specializes in history and literature. Her twitter handle is @reemalkamali.

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Last Update: Thursday, 9 November 2017 KSA 14:17 - GMT 11:17
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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