About the Guest of Honor project

NORLA wants to help ensure that the breadth of Norwegian literature reaches its readers worldwide. We hope that the meeting between literature from Norway and Arab readers at the Cairo International Book Fair will bring more knowledge about the Arab cultural world back to Norway.

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Through the project, we want to spark the joy of reading and show the importance of reading for children of all ages. We will facilitate new contacts in a market where Norwegian literature has significant potential and provide a meeting point for Norwegian literary agents to meet Egyptian publishers. We aim to strengthen the supply of translators from Norwegian to Arabic and stimulate dialogue between the Norwegian and Arabic public.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs works closely with NORLA to create greater opportunities for Norwegian literature internationally. As the Guest of Honor at the Cairo Book Fair, we have a unique opportunity to introduce Norwegian authors to an Arab-speaking audience. In these turbulent times, cultural interaction and dialogue may contribute to building bridges and creating understanding”, says Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“Books in translation bring different parts of the world closer together. They allow us to expand our understanding about each other and gain new experiences. Literature has the unique ability to bridge cultures, strengthen people, communities, and cooperation across borders. This is the message that has been accompanying us through this project”, says Margit Walsø, director of NORLA.

“All of our arrangements at the book fair aim to showcase the distinctive qualities of Norwegian children’s and young person’s literature, while at the same time gaining insight into Egyptian reading culture. Being a national educational and knowledge center for children’s and young people’s literature, this is valuable knowledge – both professionally stimulating and important from the perspective of cultural and literary development”, says Nisrin Maktabi-Barkouki, Director of the Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books.

NORLA and our partners – the Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books (NBI), the Munch Museum (MUNCH), and the Norwegian Embassy in Cairo – are grateful for the invitation to be Guest of Honor at the Book Fair in Cairo 2024.

The project is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.