Arab Invasion at American Publishing Event

Arab Invasion at American Publishing Event

For the first time in its history, America’s biggest publishing event has dedicated its efforts to promoting Arab literature. Book Expo America (BEA) 2009, held this week in New York, featured more than 600 representatives from the Muslim world, and also introduced more than 300 Arab-language children’s books to the North American market.

“This is the first time that BEA brings such a large regional focus to its attendees, and we are delighted that it will bring Arab books, publishers, booksellers and authors in such significant numbers to New York”, commented Lance Fensterman, Vice President and Show Director for BEA.

H.E Amr Moussa, General Secretary of the Arab League, was in attendance to launch the event, which featured publishers from 8 Arab countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the UAE (with Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah) showcasing their portfolio of novels and children’s books. The show programme included a series of debates and discussions about Arabian book culture and publishing challenges.

The event also featured the global educational initiative “1001 Inventions”, which celebrates the exceptional advances in science, technology and culture made by Muslim civilisation during the European “dark ages”. The 1001 Inventions project has its roots in academia and works to highlight the thousand years of under-recognised advancement which led to the European Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and the modern digital Age.

Professor Salim Al-Hassani is Chief Editor of the 1001 Inventions book and chairman of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation, UK. He explained: “We are a non-political and non-religious initiative dedicated to increasing awareness of the scientific advancements made during the 1000 year period inaccurately labelled ‘the Dark Ages of Europe.’ We’re here to share with the American people the cultural roots of modern science as a vital tool for resolving problems of social cohesion and world diplomacy. Recognising and appreciating the early contributions and inventions by pioneers from all over the world including from Arabia, North Africa, Turkey, China and India will increase understanding and cross-cultural appreciation between. societies.”

The book, 1001 Inventions, highlights the scientific achievements from the Muslim world which form the basis of our modern technological age, such as inventions in the fields of robotics, engineering , physics, medicine, chemistry, astronomy and mathematics. Other Muslim cultural phenomena, such as coffee drinking and the three course meal, are also alive and well in North America, which is why Prof. Al-Hassani believes “New York is the perfect place to create a new space for dialogue using the diverse cultural roots of science as one of the instruments for social cohesion and world peace”

Further information is available at or by visiting, which are the world’s leading online sources for Muslim heritage information.

About BookExpo America

• BEA is North America’s largest gathering of book trade professionals, typically attracting between 20,000 – 30,000 visitors.
• Book industry professionals who attend BEA include: booksellers; book distributors; marketing and publicity professionals; editors, agents; scouts. BEA is also attended by assorted film and TV professionals and is covered widely by the media for the attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the event itself.
• The show occupies approximately 175,000 – 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, not including conference sessions, autographing or the Rights Center.
• Approximately 1000 authors participate in BEA, and there are over 1500 exhibitors at BEA.
• There are approximately 75 educational conference sessions offered at BEA.

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