Look: Rare photos, articles of UAE from the 1970s on display at Sharjah book fair

Dar Al Helal is considered one of the oldest press institutions in Egypt and the Arab world

By Husna Murad

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Photos: M. Sajjad
Photos: M. Sajjad

Published: Tue 7 Nov 2023, 5:40 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Nov 2023, 10:41 PM

Amid new book releases and the wonders of tech, Egyptian foundation Dar Al Helal is displaying rare vintage magazines at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). The collection features the UAE dating back to the 1970s and includes pictures and articles found only in old print.

“We used to travel to the Emirates and write about the Emirates for our magazine. This one here is only about Dubai,” said Ehaab, spokesperson for Dar Al Helal at SIBF.

With yellowed pages kept in pristine condition, one of the magazines covers Dubai soon after the foundation of the UAE in 1971. Rare pictures of the city, before its technological advancements, and pictures of prominent figures are seen as recorded for an Egyptian audience.

Articles of young people painting portraits of the UAE’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and pictures of the then rulers of the Emirates are found in the magazine.

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“Usually, young people buy from us but (we have some senior customers, too). We hope to sell mostly to collectors,” said Ehaab. Valued by the rarity of the print and its year of publication, the magazine is a treasured part of Arabic history.

Starting from Dh200, Dar Al Helal’s collection at SIBF ranges from children’s magazines from 1929 to even older newspapers published in Egypt.

Also featured in the magazines are the beginnings of some famous Arab businesses.

A collage of photographs of Arab celebrities also decorates one of the walls of the booth. The weathered photographs include legends of the Arab world including Egyptian artist and singer Abdel Halim Hafez.

Dar Al Helal is considered one of the oldest press institutions in Egypt and the Arab world with the first article published by novelist Georgy Zidan in 1892. Now owned by the Egyptian government, the foundation has a rich history of printing Arabic news during the Second World War.

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