Sharjah International Book Fair to begin on November 1

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Visitors at Sharjah International Book Fair
Visitors at Sharjah International Book Fair

Sharjah - The 11-day event, which will be held under the theme 'A World inside My Book', will feature more than 2,600 events.

By Afkar Abdullah

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Published: Wed 4 Oct 2017, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 4 Oct 2017, 11:41 PM

More than 1.5 million Titles from 1,650 publishing houses of  60 countries will be on display at the 36th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) which runs from November 1-11 at Expo Centre Sharjah.
The 11-day event, which will be held under the theme 'A World inside My Book', will feature more than 2,600 events attended by 393 guests from 48 countries.

Addressing a Press conference on Wednesday, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, director-general of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and chairman of the SIBF, said that this year's edition of the world's third largest book fair will spread across 14,625 square metres.
He highlighted the prestigious stature enjoyed by the SIBF on the global literary arena after it had become an integrated cultural project inspired by the vision of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
"The SIBF has turned into an all-inclusive cultural project, with books and associated initiatives constituting its primary focus. It serves as a beacon of knowledge that brings together publishers, authors, book enthusiasts and internationally-acclaimed guests in a shared passion for literature and culture," he said.

New participating nations
Al Ameri gave a detailed presentation of the book fair's programme of events, its distinguished guests and its new initiatives. He said that its theme 'A World inside My Book' exemplifies the book's value as the core source of knowledge that has the power to open windows into new worlds. He pointed out that the fair attracts new countries every year, with South Korea, Bangladesh and Denmark being the first-time participants this year.

Cultural programmes, activities

The SIBF's calendar of events spans across several programmes, including the Cultural Programme, which will encompass 300 events and feature 158 guests from 39 countries; the Cultural Café that includes 33 activities involving 60 guests from 11 countries and the Intellectual Programme, which will host 98 guests from 28 countries participating in 267 events. The most extensive of the programmes on offer at this year's edition is the Kids' Programme, which will see 1,632 activities presented by 44 guests from 20 countries; including the UK, Kuwait, Poland, Jordan, Australia, Moldova, Russia, India, Bahrain, Iceland, Mongolia, Syria, Italy and Ukraine.
Al Ameri highlighted that the Cookery Corner will see 72 events with 12 guests from nine countries, including India, the UK, Morocco, Sweden and Thailand. He also drew attention to The Social Media Station, which will have 33 activities and workshops involving a galaxy of social media influencers who will be addressing topical cultural, media and social issues.

Future zone

"For the first time ever, the SIBF is allocating a special pavilion titled 'The Future Zone' in Hall 1 that will bring together 10 leading companies specialised in digital books to showcase their experiences and latest publications. These companies will be providing high quality services to readers, including search and purchasing services," said  Al Ameri.
He also highlighted a smart application that allows visitors and exhibitors to know all the details of this year's edition, its events, dates, the hall in which they are being held and other information.
The SBA has selected the UK as the Country of Honour as part of the UK-UAE 2017 initiative that exemplifies the deep-rooted historical ties that bind the two countries together. A series of activities will be held to demonstrate the depth of British culture and its literary, intellectual and artistic icons.

Prominent personalities

Al Ameri revealed an impressive list of prominent Arab cultural and literary luminaries who he said will be enriching the SIBF 2017 with their presence and input. They include Syrian artist Ghassan Masoud, Algerian novelist Waciny Laredj, Palestinian poet and novelist Ibrahim Nasrallah, Saudi writer Abdo Khal and Jordanian novelist Jamal Naji.
He pointed out that other notable authors from the Arab world will include Omani poet and writer Saif Al Rahbi, Kuwaiti writer Dr Taleb Al Rifai, Egyptian novelist Ahmed Murad, Kuwaiti novelist Saud Al Sanousi, Saudi novelist Dr Mohammed Hassan Alwan, Egyptian critic Thuraya Al Osaili, Libyan writer Najwa Bin Shatwan, Moroccan novelist Abdul Kareem Jowaiti, Iraqi author Sinan Antoin and Tunisian novelist Kamal Al Riahi.
Al Ameri noted that a distinguished list of renowned personalities from outside the Arab region will also be attending SIBF 2017, including former Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram, American author of children's and young adult fiction Peter Lerangis, American writer and novelist Victoria Christopher; French writer Julien Columeau, Indian photographer and filmmaker Ryan Lobo, Filipino poet and novelist Edgar Samar; Indian writer Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin, British writer and historian Peter Frankopan, Indian writer Vikas Swarup, Pakistani author and journalist Mohammed Hanif, American scientist and author Lisa Genova and Jamaican poet Lorna Goodison.

 UK-UAE Creative Collaboration

Hannah Henderson, head of UK-UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration, British Council,UK representative, said: "I am delighted that the UK will be this year the inaugural Guest of Honour at the SIBF and I am honoured to be here on behalf of the many entities involved to present the programme to you today. The UK Guest of Honour programme is a highlight of the UK-UAE Year of Creative Collaboration - a year-long bilateral celebration of the UK and UAE's longstanding relationship, exploring the intersection of heritage, contemporary culture and innovation."
 Mohammed Khalaf, director-general of the Sharjah Media Corporation, said it will ensure comprehensive coverage of the fair's events and activities on its TV stations, radio channels and social media. 

Library conference and professional programme

A presentation was made on the details of the fourth edition of the ALA Library Conference, which is organised annually by the Sharjah Book Authority in partnership with the American Library Association and runs from November 7-9. The event will see 26 activities featuring 300 experts, including staff from university, public, school, government and private libraries from around the world. Twenty-two local, regional and international speakers will use the event to examine a wide range of important topics related to the library sector.
The seventh edition of the Professional Programme will be held on October 29 in collaboration with the Centre for Publishing at New York University. Each year, the programme witnesses widespread participation from publishers who attend a series of seminars and training workshops dealing with various topics related to the publishing industry. The event allows participants to familiarise themselves with the latest practices in the field so that they can better benefit from the growth of the industry and deal with its anticipated challenges.
Business meetings that will take place on October 30-31 at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry will bring together publishers, translation rights professionals and industry experts from more than 60 countries. The programme features matchmaking and networking sessions to connect participants with Arab and international publishing professionals and facilitates the conclusion of rights agreements. It offers participants the chance to benefit from the SIBF Translation Grant, a $300,000 fund for rights agreements made during the programme.

Inside the book fair

Cultural programmes: 300 events featuring 158 guests from 39 countries
Cultural Café: 333 activities involving 60 guests from 11 countries
Intellectual programmes: 267 events participated by 98 guests from 28 countries
Children's programmes: 1,632 activities by 44 guests from 20 countries
Cookery corner: 72 events with 12 guests from nine countries
Social media station: 33 activities and workshops involving social media influencers
The future zone: 10 leading companies specialised in digital books will showcase their experiences and latest publications
afkarali@khaleejtimes.com
 



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