1.5 million titles on display in Sharjah Book Fair

A record number of titles, as many as around 1.5 million, will be on display in the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which is to take place between Nov. 4 and 14.
The book fair, a subsidiary of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will host 1,502 publishing houses from 64 countries.
In its 34th edition this year, the fair will host for the first time publishers from Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, Ghana, Macedonia, Mongolia, Peru, Poland and Serbia.
This yearand’s SIBF will include 890 local and Arab publishing houses.
Books in 210 languages will be available for visitors in the fair, which is to be held at the Expo Centre in the city of Sharjah.
Last year, the fair hosted 1,256 publishers from 59 countries, with over 1.4 million titles on display.
The fair, one of the most prestigious in the region, will host, among others, 900 events, including an intellectual program featuring a poetry evening by five internationally acclaimed poets and a seminar called andquotVoice from Around the World,andquot in which four Arab and foreign novelists will discuss the importance of place and culture in their novels.
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, director of the SIBF and the SBA chairman, said in a written statement, and”The Sharjah International Book Fair continues to gain in popularity and play a role in enriching cultural communication, inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.and”
Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah and a member of the UAEand’s supreme council, has continuously strived to transform the emirate into a hub for intercultural communication and knowledge exchange by promoting intercultural dialogue.
Prominent cultural, intellectual and academic personalities who will participate in various programs include renowned Egyptian actor Mohamed Sobhy and Egyptian ambassador and political writer Dr. Mustafa Al Fiqi.
Among the Arab intellectuals who will be part of the fair are Tunisian writer and academic Dr. Shukri Al Mabkhout, who won the Booker Prize 2015 for his novel andquotAl Talyaniandquot (The Italian), and three members of the prize jury, including Saudi critic and intellectual Dr. Saad Al Bazie, Moroccan writer and critic Dr. Mohamed Berrada and Omani poet Saif Al Rahbi.
The list of foreign guests includes Daren Shan, the author of bestselling books in Ireland, British author John McCarthy, and Nigerian writer and Man Booker prizewinner Ben Okri.
For the first time at the SIBF a comic stand has been set up in collaboration with ComicCave, the largest distributor of comic products in the UAE.
The comic stand will include models, magazines, games and gifts, including favorite characters such as Batman, Superman, the Avengers, Halo Kitty, Tan Tan and Japanese Manga, among many others. Other events, including workshops and a variety of shows for children and adults, will also take place at the Comics Stand.
The book fair has been organized annually since its launch in 1982, and aims to promote a love of reading, enrich access to culture and develop the capacity of publishers, as well as support the movement of publishing and translation in the Arab region and the entire world.
The Sharjah International Book Fair won in April the Market Focus Achievement Award, as part of the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, in recognition of the role it played in promoting culture, publishing and market focus.
Sharjah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, announced at the end of April that it would establish the worldand’s first free zone for publishing companies to support the industry, a step which comes as part the emirateand’s efforts to promote culture.
The announcement of the free zone came at a banquet held on the sidelines of the Sharjah Childrenand’s Reading Festival in the city of Sharjah.
The free zone, which is expected to give a sharp boost to cultural activities and publications in the emirate, is the first of its kind in the publishing sector.
Sharjah, which stands out in the UAE with its focus on culture, held the title of Capital of Islamic Culture in 2014.

SOURCE: TODAY”S ZAMAN

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