Sharjah Book Fair Is Here, and Its Time for Literary Shopping!

Published November 1st, 2018 - 09:42 GMT
The 11-day cultural extravaganza, organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) at the Expo Centre, Sharjah, will conclude on November 10. (Shutterstock)
The 11-day cultural extravaganza, organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) at the Expo Centre, Sharjah, will conclude on November 10. (Shutterstock)

The 37th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) was inaugurated on Wednesday by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme council and Ruler of Sharjah.  

The 11-day cultural extravaganza, organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) at the Expo Centre, Sharjah, will conclude on November 10.

The opening  ceremony was attended by Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, and chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation; and Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, as well as top officials of the Sharjah Government.

Dr Sheikh Sultan said Sharjah has achieved the objectives of its cultural movement that started in 1979, when the emirate decided to focus on culture rather than start  constructing concrete buildings. This festival of culture will complete 40 years in 2019.

He welcomed Japan as the guest of honour of this year's book fair. "We extend our hand to those distant countries from which we draw some of their heritage. Perhaps, it will take our hand to progress and development."

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Ahmed Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), highlighted the international acclaim the SIBF has earned since its establishment.

"The SIBF has become an intellectual and cultural extravaganza that draws international interest. It is a celebration of the Emirati and Arab cultures and a message from Sharjah and the UAE to the world about the beauty of the language of the mind, intellectual thought, art and aesthetics, and how it brings all of us together on one stage.

"The SIBF is sending a message in golden letters. A message written in different languages by people of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, who share the love of words that can unite humanity in one place where there is no room except for the good."

Al Ameri concluded his remarks with a glowing tribute to the Sharjah Ruler. He said: "His Highness Sheikh Sultan has always regarded knowledge as a foundation of development and sustainability, and a nation's strength and prestige. He is a leader of the strongest intellect and great compassion who views the book as a window to our past, present and future."

During the opening ceremony, Dr Sheikh Sultan also honoured Azzeldine Mihoubi, Algeria's Minister of Culture, as the Cultural Personality of the year. Mihoubi is selected for his contribution to enriching the Arab and Islamic culture and for his remarkable efforts in journalism.

A POEM FOR THE 'CROWN OF SHARJAH'

At the end of his inaugural speech at the Sharjah International Book Fair, Dr Sheikh Sultan thanked Sheikha Jawaher for her continuous efforts to help women and the youth fight incurable diseases. He gifted her the title 'Crown of Sharjah' and recited a poem of the same title, in which he praised his wife and called her the owner of a big heart.

In a statement, Sheikha Jawaher thanked Dr Sheikh Sultan for bestowing the honour on her amid an esteemed Arab and international cultural gathering. "Our collective work to create a better society stems from a deep-seated responsibility towards our local community and humanity as a whole. The fruits that we reap today are due to the hard work we put in whenever we embark on a new humanitarian project. Our message would not have travelled around the world if we did not have a unified vision and a mission that keeps us focused on our humanitarian efforts," she said.

"I dedicate this honour to our teams on the ground, who work diligently and drive our mission with the full confidence and belief that our work is aimed at providing better conditions for humankind," added Sheikha Jawaher.

Sharjah is the World Book Capital 2019

Sharjah has been named the World Book Capital for 2019 by Unesco for its efforts to make reading available to everyone, it was announced on the sidelines of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) on Wednesday.

The year-long celebrations will start on April 23, 2019, on World Book and Copyright Day.

Ahmed Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and SIBF, told Khaleej Times that Sharjah received such recognition for its efforts in fostering a culture of reading not just in the emirate, but the whole country.

One of the initiatives that contributed to the achievement was the launch of Sharjah Publishing City, a space entirely dedicated to publishing and printing. It will be the first place of its kind in the region, specifically developed to meet the needs of companies and institutions operating in the publishing field.


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