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SBA forges closer ties with publishers at London Book Fair
April 12, 2018
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LONDON: Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has held a series of meetings with a range of international cultural institutions and leading publishers during its participation at London Book Fair 2018, to discuss ways of cementing cooperation and explore potential business opportunities.

The meetings also touched on mechanisms for publishers to join the Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) and the emirate’s preparations for the upcoming edition of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which is held annually in November with the participation of more than 1,600 publishing houses from all over the world.

The meetings were held on the fringe of SBA’s participation in the 47th edition of London Book Fair, which concluded on Thursday, featuring 25,000 publishing professionals from 118 countries, with the Baltic countries being celebrated as the Guest of Honour. Three internationally acclaimed writers from Baltic countries were honoured. They are Cristina Sabalia (Lithuania), Nora Ikstena (Latvia) and Mihkel Mutt (Estonia).

SBA organised a reception at its stand in the presence of Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and President of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), and a number of representatives of cultural institutions, and Arab and foreign publishers, authors and intellectuals.

During the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2018, the organisers of the event praised the immense efforts spearheaded by the UAE and Sharjah in particular, to develop the landscape of creative industries in the Middle East. The award management also acknowledged that that the UAE was ranked second in winning the fair’s Excellence Awards, preceded by the Unites States, since the inception of the award in 2014 until 2017, where its initiatives and activities won four awards, two of which were for the Emirate of Sharjah.

It also praised outstanding efforts being made by Sharjah in terms of initiatives and projects, especially the impressive achievements by the Sharjah International Book Fair, which has established a highly recognised reputation as the third largest book fair in the world, and become a creative arena for intercultural exchange and a platform for dialogue with authors, artists and publishers from all corners of the globe.

Leading the SBA delegation, the authority’s Chairman Ahmed Al Ameri met with several leading publishers and heads of cultural institutions, foremost of which is John Ingram, CEO of Ingram Content Group, where they discussed a range of publishing topics of mutual interest as well as future plans for cooperation within the Sharjah Publishing City.

Highlighting the importance of such meetings with representatives of cultural institutions, Al Ameri said: "SBA has set a host of goals to achieve in the short and long run. Activating and strengthening channels of communication with various international cultural events is one of the fundamentals in SBA’s philosophy of work. Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, SBA’s vision is exemplified in considering books as the main source of knowledge and a window for dialogue with different cultures and civilisations in the universe."

He added that Sharjah is representing Arab culture at all cultural forums across the world, an approach which is in line with its vision that goes beyond local and GCC boundaries to the greater world as an ambassador of the Arab-Islamic culture.

Al Ameri highlighted that SBA is pushing ahead with its initiatives and activities that serve Sharjah’s cultural experience and its endeavours to create a knowledge-based community and invest in creative industries.

Established in December 2014, Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is dedicated to encouraging investment in creative industries and offering a platform for knowledge and intellectual exchange between people from different civilisations and cultures.

SBA strives to highlight the significant role of writers and their influence in promoting community awareness in view of technological advances and diversity of knowledge sources. It also aims to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural affair in general, and the publishing, printing, translation, documentation and children’s books in particular.


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