Aladdin Books Attract Attention at Casablanca International Book Fair
The eighteenth annual International Book Fair of Casablanca – the flagship cultural event in this historic North African metropolis - took place from February 9 to 19, with some 700 Moroccan and foreign publishers representing 44 countries exhibiting their books.
For the first time, the Arabic translations of some of the classic books on the Holocaust, such as “"The Diary" of Anne Frank, "If This Is a Man" by Primo Levi, “I am the last Jew” by Chil Rajchman, and Claude Lanzmann's Shoah were among the books on display at the fair and drew the attention of many visitors.
A large number of students, teachers and book enthusiasts showed a real curiosity and interest to read these books. Visiting the stand of the publishing house La Croisée des Chemins, where the books were on display, Badiaa Mellouk, a high school teacher from Rabat, said a book like The Diary of Anne Frank has a universal message for all humanity. Balghiat Mohamed, an economics student at the University of Mohammadiya, said he had heard about Primo Levi, but it was the first time he was seeing his masterpiece, and was pleasantly surprised to find it in Arabic. Mikomba Aristides from Cameroon who is doing postgraduate studies in Morocco, spent a long time leafing through the books of the Aladdin Library. Visibly moved by the testimonies, he posited that if Africans had read such books about what happened to Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, maybe the genocide in Rwanda would have been avoided.
The first exhibition of the books of the Library Aladin in a major book fair in the Arab world was certainly a promising start.