Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri and Vladimir V. Grigoriev greet each other during the meeting. WAM
The Emirate of Sharjah has been declared the 'Special Guest of Honour' at the upcoming Moscow International Book Fair, to be held from Sept.4 to Sept.8.
This is the first time in the history of the fair that the guest of honour title has been awarded, recognising the emirate's decades-long cultural efforts.
The announcement was made during a meeting between Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), and Vladimir V. Grigoriev, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication, organisers of the Moscow fair.
Also present were Andrey Gelmiza, General Director, MIBF; Naima Al Musharrkh, Second Secretary, UAE Embassy in Russia; SBA officials and representatives of the Russian Federal Agency for Press, along with Mass Communications officials.
As special guest of honour, Sharjah will serve as the UAE’s and Arab world’s cultural ambassador, introducing visitors from Russia and other nations to the UAE’s, and the region’s, authentic culture, arts, heritage, and knowledge-based traditions, as well as recent accomplishments, through a series of seminars, events and workshops at the Sharjah Pavilion.
Praising Sharjah’s selection as special guest of honour at the Moscow International Book Fair, Al Ameri said, "This is a great honour and a valuable addition to the recent cultural achievements attained by Sharjah. Celebrating Sharjah on the MIBF platform reflects the long-term vision and keenness of both the UAE and Russia to establish bridges of communication with other world cultures. We believe culture binds nations and people together, and promotes tolerance and understanding."
For his part, Vladimir V. Grigoriev said, "We are proud to host Sharjah, as a special guest of honour at MIBF this year, which is the same year that the world is celebrating the emirate as the Unesco World Book Capital. Sharjah will be our window, not only to Emirati, but Arab culture.
“The book fair will be a great platform for promoting cultural exchange and cooperation between our two countries."
"There are half a billion people native Arabic speakers in the world, and we are very interested in the language and the culture that birthed it. Today, Muslims account for 20 per cent of the Russian community, where 50 cultures live underneath the diverse Russian culture," he concluded.
The hybrid offline – online model of SIBF 2020 themed ‘The World Reads from Sharjah’ and organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), offered 1,024 publishers from 73 nations a much-needed opportunity to showcase millions of titles including 80,000 new releases to a physical audience of 382,000 people who visited the book fair.
The cultural programme features illustrator/writer seminars, workshops, reading and matchmaking sessions that will highlight the conscientious contributions made to the sphere of children’s literature by the UAE and the Arab region.
Valid from April to June 2020, the free access will offer global readers more than six million eBooks and electronic resources in more than 10 languages.
While over two million visitors graced the fair, the last eleven days saw the power of the written word rise to glorious heights. Specifically, in the very year that Sharjah is the Book Capital of the World.
The threatened evictions fueled protests and clashes in the runup to last month's 11-day Gaza war and pose a test for Israel's new governing coalition, which includes three pro-settler parties but is hoping to sideline the Palestinian issue to avoid internal divisions.
Since the army seized power on Feb. 1 and removed the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, the security forces have put down protests opposing military rule.
As it continued with a declining trend of coronavirus infection, the country reported 1,167 deaths. This is the fifth consecutive day in the last two months when the toll has been below the 2,000-mark, data from the health ministry showed.