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The Institut français supports the Beirut Books festival (19 to 30 October 2022)

Beirut will host its first Francophone literary festival from 19 to 30 October 2022. The Institut français of Lebanon invites the Lebanese public to (re)discover French literature through more than a hundred events combining writers, guests and performing artists. Together, they are taking over the city and the country's cultural venues and aim to restore Beirut's position as the book capital of the Arab world, four years after its last major literary event. 

Updated on 18/09/2023

2 min

One hundred French-speaking authors expected

More than 90 leading authors of French-language literature from around the world will be in attendance. The members of the Académie Goncourt (Didier Decoin, Philippe Claudel, Paule Constant et Emmanuelle Laurens) will be joined by Fawzia Zouari, Fabien Toulmé, Marie Darrieussecq, Clara Dupont-Monod, Serge Bloch and Ryoko Sekiguchi. They will converse with numerous Lebanese authors such as Charif Majdalani, Diane Mazloum, Sabyl Ghoussoub and Hyam Yared and will join forces with renowned directors, musicians, philosophers and cartoonists to make this festival a rich and innovative event where literature in all its forms dialogues with other arts. 

Unmissable events with innovative formats

The festival will be marked by several major literary events, including the deliberation of the members of the Goncourt Academy who will announce, from Beirut, the four finalists for the Prix Goncourt 2022. A symposium dedicated to translation will bring together the French academician and philosopher Barbara Cassin and the Senegalese author Souleymane Bachir Diagne. Numerous debates and literary cafés will also invite authors to discuss the themes that run through contemporary literature, ranging from exile to memory and including issues of democracy and feminism in Lebanon. 

In addition to these unmissable highlights, there will be exclusive events: exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, performances and readings. Lamia Ziadé will exhibit her drawings at the Dar el Nimer gallery. Michel Ocelot will present his latest film, "Le Pharaon, le sauvage, et la princesse". Authors and actors Nico and Bruno will present the theatrical adaptation of Fabcaro's comic masterpiece Zaï Zaï Zaï at the Monnot theatre and the Al Madina theatre in Hamra will host one of the highlights of the festival with authors Charles Berberian and Mazen Kerbaj

A programme conceived as a promenade through Beirut and the other major cities of Lebanon

Together, the invited authors and artists will take over forty cultural venues in Beirut and the rest of the country. The festival will follow a route through the Lebanese capital, moving each day to an iconic neighbourhood. It will pass through Gemmayze, Mar Mikhael, Hamra, Mathaf and Monnot and will end with two days of festivities at the campus of the Institut français of Lebanon in Beirut on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October. 

Events will be held in parallel in many Lebanese cities. Cultural venues in Tripoli, Saida, Baalbek, Jounieh and Tibnine will be honoured by our guests with exhibitions, concerts, readings and debates. Through the branches of the Institut français of Lebanon, schools and cultural institutions of the country, it is a vast programme of nearly 100 events designed to allow the greatest number of people to enjoy the festival and to reconnect with literature. 

A resolutely international and Francophone festival

Beirut Books is a festival with a strong international focus, and will welcome more than 18 nationalities among its guests. Algeria, Togo, Japan and Senegal will be represented alongside Canadian, Swiss and Belgian delegations. Well-known international literary events will join the programme: Québec en Toutes Lettres, Québec BD, the Chambéry First Novel Festival, Lyon BD Festival, Pasaporta. The Parliament of Francophone Women Writers and the International House of Writers in Beirut will also be in attendance. Many events will be translated simultaneously into French and Arabic, to facilitate access to as many people as possible! 

A nationwide quarter of an hour for reading: all of Lebanon reads together!

To celebrate the importance of reading and to show our attachment to books, the Institut français of Lebanon and all its partners are launching a simultaneous "quarter of an hour of reading" throughout Lebanon, on Monday 24 October 2022 at 11:18 AM. On that day, everyone is invited, if they can, to stop and read a few pages of a book of their choice for fifteen minutes. On Monday 24 October, all of Lebanon will read! 

L'institut français, LAB