The Daily Star has a very interesting overview of how the Frankfurt Book Fair is being talked about in the Arab media.
Many arguments have been raised that the representation of the Arab world at the fair will be too one-sided – but in contradictory ways. Some believe that there will too much work presented from Egypt; Some pundits think the fair will be too biased towards the Gulf, while others do not; And some believe representation from the Arab World will be too political, while others believe it will not be political enough.
Another interesting bit in the article: Contrary to earlier reports, Morocco will in fact be represented, but has organized its own program separate from the main body, which is organized by the Arab League.
On the German side, however, organizers have been impressed by the diversity and quantity of the Arab program. While most countries seem to be represented adequately enough, the decision by Lebanon, Kuwait and Morocco might have been for the better. Lebanon and Morocco, in particular, almost seem to be over-represented at the fair.
Germany is a big publishing market (the article says it puts out 80,000 titles a year) and this article is really whetting my appetite. I’m very curious as to what will happen–which titles will end up being translated and which will be ignored, etc.