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Paris Book Fair focuses on Moroccan books
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In France, the Paris Maghreb Book Fair got underway, displaying the best of contemporary Moroccan literature. Held in the prestigious rooms of the town hall in the 13th 'arrondissement' of Paris gave the Maghreb region's established and new writers a chance to have their work put on public display.

Despite the bad weather, thousands of people visited the 15th Maghreb Book Fair on the weekend of February 7 and 8. Over the two days, approximately 5000 people strolled through rows of books featuring 150 authors from the region.

This year the fair highlighted Moroccan literature, including the works of some leading authors dedicated to their ancient culture.

Leila Maziane, author, said, "I'm simply happy because it is the first time that I come to this event. It's my first book and it's the first time I've been invited to this fair. I'm also very happy because for the first time this year Morocco and Moroccan literature are the guests of honour, so I'm really happy to be here, to sign my book for all those who love the sea."

The fair also paid tribute to Moroccan author Driss Chraibi, who died in 2007. An author of over 15 books, he was as comfortable writing historical novels as he was penning murder mysteries.

Some authors took the opportunity to hold workshops with fair visitors.

Yasmina Khadra, author, said, "I have met thousands of high school students here in France, but also in Germany, Austria and the United States, so yes I really like them. It's maybe the only way for me to forgive all the mistakes made by adults, and this fractured world we are leaving behind. It is maybe a way for me to say sorry. I try, through my books, to prepare them, not for the worse, but for the best."

The event proved an opportunity for authors to share their views with people all over the world.

(CCTV February 13, 2009)

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