140 publishing houses set for Sharjah book fair

140 publishing houses set for Sharjah book fair
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority and Director of Sharjah International book Fair, during the announcement of 35th edition of SIBF at Expo Centre in Sharjah - Photo by M.Sajjad

The attendees outlined the importance of the event, which this year is being held under the theme 'Read More.'


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Tue 11 Oct 2016, 4:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Oct 2016, 10:34 AM

This year's Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) will see the participation of 1,420 publishing houses from 60 countries, with more than 1.5 million books on display throughout its 11 days. event and the
The details of the 35th edition of the region's foremost literary  world's third largest book fair, which takes place from November 2-12 in Sharjah, were revealed at a press conference held at the Sharjah Expo Centre on Monday by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the organisers of the annual activity.

Taking place in a tent similar to the one that hosted the first editions of SIBF three-and-a-half decades ago, the conference participants included the organisers and sponsors of SIBF; including Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA; Abdulaziz Taryam, CEO Advisor and General Manager of Etisalat Northern Emirates; Khalid Al Midfa, Director General of Sharjah Media Corporation, along with a number of local and Arab media representatives and publishers.
The attendees outlined the importance of the event, which this year is being held under the theme 'Read More.' 
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, was keen to highlight the illustrious history of the fair, revealing how it had grown to become such a popular event that it now takes up 25,000 square feet of Sharjah Expo Centre. He stressed how this popularity stemmed from passion.
"There is no word that reflects the history of SIBF better than the word 'passion.' The passion of His Highness Shaikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has led us to inaugurating the 35th edition of SIBF. The forthcoming event will celebrate the array of Arab cultural and literary achievements that have made the fair a preeminent feature in the story of our nation's progress."
Addressing the press , Al Ameri highlighted for the forthcoming edition of SIBF were that there would be 88,0000 new titles being exhibited at the fair. He revealed that the UAE had the lion's share of participating publishing houses, with 205 taking part, followed by: Egypt with 163, Lebanon and India with 110 each, the UK with 79, Syria with 66, the US with 63 and KSA with 61.
He also revealed details of the Professional Programme Business Meetings, a precursor event that takes place over from October 30-November 1.
The programme's three days will feature a training course for Arab publishers held in collaboration with the Center for Publishing at the New York University, discussion panels on issues that concern the publishing industry and business meetings that bring together international publishing rights professionals for the buying and selling of rights.
Activities at SIBF 
Al Ameri explained that visitors to SIBF 2016 will be able to enjoy more than 1,417 activities that cover the spectrum of arts, entertainment, education, culture and creativity.
These include the Social Media Station, Cultural Programme, Cultural Café, and the Cookery Corner Programme. Younger members of the family will be well catered for with the Kid's Programme, which includes the Beijing Circus, the educational musical show 'Sesame,' the 'Addams Family' performances and the 'Digital Magician' entertainment shows.
Shedding light on the Social Media Station, Al Ameri said;
"A group of renowned social media stars will participate at the 35th edition of SIBF to discuss a number of cultural, social and media issues, as well as explain their relationships with their fans and followers through social media sites and how it is possible to use these sites to promote reading, culture and dialogue."
Detailing a new initiative for SIBF 2016, Al Ameri commented;
"For the first time ever SIBF will hold an interactive activity under the title 'Read for Me.' This feature utilises special kiosks that are equipped with sound recording systems. Visitors to the fair can choose a book to read and their audio recordings will be sent to centres for specially-abled persons and to nursing homes. The activity has an important humanitarian component aimed at encouraging people to take responsibility towards their society and to participate actively in community initiatives."
Al Ameri explained that this year's SIBF will host the third edition of the annual joint conference between the SIBF and the American Library Association (ALA), which takes place November 8-10.
The SIBF/ALA conference will see the participation of more than 400 experts and librarians from academic, public, private and school libraries from across the region, the USA and other countries.
The programme features more than 22 expert speakers, including Julie Todaro, the 17th President of the ALA 2016 and Miguel A. Figueroa, head of the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries.
Guests at SIBF
Al Ameri also revealed the list of 228 specially invited guests at SIBF, which includes an array of luminaries from the Arab world, as well as stars from further afield.
Representing the Gulf States will be the UAE's Sheikha Maysoon Al Qasimi, poet, novelist and conceptual artist, author of 'Ryhana' (Rayhana) and 'Loloaa Fi Fami' (A Pearl in My Mouth). Attending from KSA will be poet and writer Dr. Mohammad Al Muqrin, author of 'Maleekat Al Tohr' (Queen of Purity), 'Onshoddat Al Khareef' (Song of Autumn) and 'Ahdath Al Lail' (The Latest Nights). From Kuwait, SIBF will welcome Sheikh Majed Al Sabah, an influential social media personality and Talib Al-Refaie, one of the founders of Kuwait's National Council for Culture, Art and Letters and author of 'Dhel Al Shams' (The Shadow of the Sun), 'Raihat AL Bahr' (Scent of the Sea), and 'Al Thawob' (The Dress).
Attending from Egypt will be interviewer and television presenter Mofeed Fawzy, author of 'Asmaa Lamiaa' (Leading Names); Youssef El Husseiny, journalist and television presenter; novelist Mohammed Rabie, author of 'Otared' (Mercury) and 'Aam Al Tenneen' (Year of the Dragon) and Ezzat Al Alaili, one of the country's best known cinema stars.
Flying the flag for the Levant region at SIBF 2016 are two literary personalities; poet and novelist Charbel Dagher, author of 'Al Qasida Leman Yashtaheeha' (The Poem for Those Who Desire It) and 'Walimat Qamar' (Moons Banquet) and novelist George Yaraq, whose 'Hares Al Mawta' (The Guard of the Dead) was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. From Palestine, SIBF will welcome novelist Ibrahim Nasrallah, purveyor of Palestinian comedy in his novels that include 'Zaman Al Khoyool Al Baidaa' (Time of White Horses) and 'Tefl Al Memhat' (Eraser Child). Also attending from Palestine will be writer Mahmoud Shuqair, author of 'Morour Khatif' (Quick Passage) and 'Al Quds Wahidaton Honak' (Jerusalem Alone There) and novelist Rabai al-Madhoun, recipient of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), also known the Arabic Booker Prize, for his novel 'Masaaer' (Destinies).
Travelling from Syria to share their cultural and literary achievements at SIBF 2016 will be novelist Mahmoud Hasan Al-Jasim, author of 'Nozooh Maryam' (Mary's Journey) and 'Ghofranaki Ommi' (Forgive Me Mother) and novelist Shahla Ujaily, winner of the Jordan State Award for Literature and short-listed nominee for IPAF.
Representing the continent of Africa at SIBF 2016 will be Moroccan poet and novelist Abdennour Muzeen, author of 'Barq wa Shathaia' (Lightning and Fragments) and novelist Tareq Bakari, whose 'Nomedia' (Numedia) won the Morocco Book Award in 2016 and was short-listed for IPAF.
Algerian luminaries will include writer and novelist Ahlam Mosteghanemi, author of the renowned trilogy 'Thakert Al Jassad' (Memory of the Flesh), 'Fawda Al Hawas' (The Chaos of Senses) and 'Aber Sareer' (Bed Hopper) and novelist Dr. Waciny Laredj, recipient of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature and IPAF winner.
From Sudan, SIBF 2016 will host journalist and novelist Hamid Al Nazir, author of 'Nubuat Al Saqqa' (The Prophesy of the Water Carrier).
Guests attending SIBF 2016 from outside the region include five from the US; novelist Cassandra Clare, author of 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones;' director and best-selling thriller author Eric Van Lustbader who has written 10 Bourne novels, novelist Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of 'I Will Be There;' journalist and writer Claudia Gray, author of the 'Star Wars' series and activist and novelist Sister Souljah.
Visiting all the way from Australia will be novelist and screenwriter Graeme Simsion, whose book 'The Rosie Project' has sold more than a million copies in over forty countries around the world.
Expected to popular with the UAE's large Indian community at SIBF 2016 will be a number of guests from India, including Kailash Satyarthi, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014; renowned actress Shilpa Shetty and actors Arshad Warsi, Shatrughan Sinha, Gopi Kallayi and M. T. Vasudevan Nair. Also attending from India will be businessman and billionaire Mukesh, author and activist Dr. Shashi Tharoor and novelist Chetan Bhagat.
Unesco to be guest of honour
Wrapping up the press conference, Al Ameri highlighted the important role of the United Nation's body UNESCO, which is this year's SIBF Guest of Honour, with the organisation selected in view of its work towards promoting culture and heritage across the world ever since its establishment in 1945. afkarali@khaleejtimes.com

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