SIBF now open: Young UAE students among first visitors at world's largest book fair

With 2,213 publishers from 95 countries participating, visitors to the 41st edition of the SIBF are spoilt for choice

By Lamya Tawfik

Published: Wed 2 Nov 2022, 5:40 PM

Last updated: Wed 2 Nov 2022, 6:23 PM

With the world's largest book fair now open in Sharjah, a familiar scene took over the emirate's Expo Centre on Wednesday: Schoolchildren bustling about — all excited to trawl through hundreds and thousands of books.

Wearing their uniforms, the students from elementary, intermediate and secondary schools filed into the centre's halls as they followed their teachers.

“My favourite subject in school is history so I’m going to buy some historical novels. I love old stories,” said Sumaya Abdulrazzaq, a ninth-grade student from Al Ola Private School.

Her classmate, Khadijah Abbas, was looking for comic books. “I love to draw anime and I love fiction so I think I’m going to buy manga stories,” she said, adding that she’s also thinking of checking out some of the workshops. Her friend Mariam Mousa said she loves cooking books.

With 2,213 publishers from 95 countries participating, visitors to the 41st edition of the book fair are spoilt for choice.

In one aisle, fourth-grade students from Buds Public School were seen browsing through the titles at a stall. They were accompanied by their science teacher Ayesha Sultana.

“This is the first time that I accompany my students to the fair and it’s a lot of fun for everyone. I can see that they are enjoying themselves. We spend at least 15 minutes in every stall and I’m helping them select their books,” she said.

Coming to the fair is a great experience because of the huge selection of books on display, Sultana said. “My students are avid readers and they love books with brain teasers, puzzles, and other scientific activity books. They also love adventure stories and I know they learn a lot of good values from the stories they read."

At the activity corner of the fair, a group of young students from the Second of December School attended a mask-making workshop with the Italian theatre company Teatro Verde.

At the end of their session, the students happily flaunted their mask characters – some scary and others lovable. “My puppet’s name is Ali,” said Yousef Ameer, before improvising a story with his puppet friend.

The Sharjah International Book Fair will run from November 2 to 13.


More news from