The Sharjah Book Authority’s (SBA) stand at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has become a destination for hundreds of literary professionals and visitors, who’ve showed great eagerness to know more about SBA’s projects and its recently announced cultural initiatives that have sparked the interest of experts in the book and publishing industry in the region and the world.
The participation is the SBA’s first appearance at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre until Wednesday.
SBA has jurisdiction over a number of landmark cultural projects in Sharjah, most notably the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) Translation Grant, and the joint conference with the American Library Association. All public libraries in Sharjah fall under the scope of the Authority, which is currently engaged in the establishment of the Sharjah Book City, the first publishing free zone in the world.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SBA Chairman, said: “The Abu Dhabi Book Fair’s celebration of its silver jubilee this year coincides with the announcement of the approaching Sharjah Book City launch, which was revealed two weeks ago. This reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and his outstanding leadership in driving the Emirate of Sharjah into a choice destination of writers, poets, intellectuals and all lovers of the written word. This is also why we have focused, through our participation, on promoting the first city of its kind – which will be an ideal hub to establish and develop businesses related to the publishing sector.”
Al Ameri revealed that the SBA is preparing for a special rendition of the 34th annual Sharjah International Book Fair, which will take place from November 4 – 14, 2015. The first edition to be organised by the SBA after its official launch, the Authority will shine the spotlight on the participation of the largest number of leading international publishing houses thus far to attract new countries, which echoes the SBA’s commitment to promote intercultural understanding and knowledge between people and consolidate international peace through books.
He added that the SBA will continue its steady strides to turn the book into an attractive and competitive cultural product, affirming its belief that advanced people are those who read and benefit from literature in their march for development in various fields.
SBA representatives conducted numerous meetings with heads of regional and international publishing associations visiting the fair, in addition to representatives of leading international publishing houses.
They also held brief meetings with a number of professionals in the publishing industry who are interested in exploring potential avenues in the Sharjah Book City and other initiatives, projects, exhibitions and festivals held under the umbrella of the Authority.
Apart from promoting the Sharjah Book City, the SBA collected applications for the upcoming SIBF and answered queries by publishers and translators about the translation grant offered by the book authority, especially by new publishers who are participating in the Abu Dhabi Book Fair for the very first time.
The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) was established in December 2014 by an Emiri decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
It is tasked with encouraging investment in creative industries and providing a platform for knowledge and intellectual exchange among people from different countries and cultures.
The SBA also aims to develop the printing and publishing sector and support the significant role of writers and their influence in spreading awareness of technological advancements and the availability of various sources of information.
The authority assumes the responsibility of enhancing the Emirate’s status on the regional and international level to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural sector in general, and the publishing, printing, translation, documentation and children’s book sector in particular.