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Sharjah International Book Fair 2014 #SIBF14 connects visitors with social media activists

The 33rd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which will kick off Wednesday, 5th of November, will host for the third consecutive year a number of famous social media activists, to talk about their experience and how they use social networking sites to express their issues and promote their products, in addition to discussing significant social and cultural topics.

The list of prominent figures participating in the social networking platform includes His Excellency Major General and Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police Humaid Mohamed Al Hadidi, HE Major General Khamis Matar Al Muzainah, Deputy Commander General of Dubai Police , and Princess Ameera Al Taweel.

Other renowned figures expected at the fair include the team of the TV programme “Leesh La2”, Egyptian preacher Mustafa Hosny, international chef Manuella Kjeilen, presenter Abdullah Ismail, activist Ayyoub Yousuf, Dr Naif Al Mutawa, and Khalid Al Ahmed.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Director of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), said, “The social networking platform saw considerable interest by visitors in the last two years, and also received extensive coverage on social networking sites and media due to the engagement of renowned and influential figures in discussions.

He added that tweets on the SIBF twitter account were viewed by more than 85 million people around the world with its hashtag #SIBF13 was one of the top trending during its 11-day event last year, in addition to the increasing number of its followers on other social media accounts.

Al Ameri added that SIBF always seeks to develop its activities and utilise new means and advanced technologies in the dissemination of culture, encouraging interaction and networking with educators through various channels of communication, which would help enrich the UAE’s cultural and social scene and promote dialogue among users of these sites and channels.

He went on to say that the SIBF will live stream some of this year’s major activities on its official channel on YouTube, such as the opening ceremony, the session of internationally acclaimed author Dan Brown, and other events that will be announced later.”

The social networking platform will kick off on Wednesday, November 5, with Saudi Princess and businesswoman Ameer Al Taweel will talk about various challenges facing women and her suggestions to overcome them as well as the role of social media in tackling women’s issues, while celebrity chef Manuela Kjeilen, one of the most famous and successful chefs in Scandinavia, will speak on Thursday, November 6, about her experience and how she promoted her business on Instagram where she has more than a million followers from all over the world.

Egyptian Islamic preacher Mustafa Hosny will be the guest on the social media station on Saturday, November 8, to spotlight a number of life topics associated with religious values that reflect the moderation and tolerance of Islam. On Sunday, 9 November, SIBF visitors will meet Emirati activists Abdullah Ismael and Ayyoub Yousuf, who will focus on the use of the Arabic language in social media.

Following the great success attained by the Saudi TV program “Laish La”, the four TV hosts, namely Ibrahim Saleh, Firas Baqna, Adel Radwan, and Moayed Al Thaqafi, will speak about their story of success on YouTube, on Monday, 10 November. They will also talk about how they managed to become famous TV hosts on the screens of the Arab world’s major TV channels.

Talented Emirati girl Taim Al Falasi, the first Emirati to have her own internet radio channel, and presenter of the popular programme ‘Taim Shaw’, will appear to SIBF visitors on Wednesday, November 12, to talk about the idea of the video blog or ‘vlog’.

Visitors’ interaction with the social media platform will increase on Thursday, November 13, when His Excellency Major General Humaid Mohamed Al Hadidi, and HE Major General Khamis Matar Al Muzainah, will connect with people via live talk about cybercrime and how to avoid irregularities arising from the misuse of the Internet and social networking sites. They will also speak about the consequential penalties of the misuse of online sites, and how to file a complaint to security authorities in the event of any abuse by these sites.

On Friday, 14 November, Dr Naif Al Mutawa, the creator of the Muslim superhero comic series “The 99”, will speak about the success story of his comic-book series and “The 99” cartoon series and the impact of social media on promoting new projects and business and how to utilise social media in developing businesses.

The social media platform will conclude on Saturday, 15 November, with Khalid Al Ahmed, Jordanian activist on social media, who will discuss with visitors the ways of using social networking sites in self- branding.

A number of social media influencers will cover SIBF activities through their accounts followed by hundreds of thousands of people. Social media activists include artist Khalid Al Alohi who has over 100,000 followers on Instagram, Mathayel Al Ali, who has more than 190,000 followers, and Khalifa Al Kaabi who posts his videos on Instagram and has more than 370,000 followers.
Other influential figures in social media expected at the fair include Adnan Hemaid, member of the popular animated TV series “Shaabiat AlCartoon” who has 30,000 followers on Instagram, and illustrator Ali Aloush, who is followed by over 10,000 people on Instagram.