Sheikh Sultan and Sheikha Bodour tour the Emirati Book Fair in Al Zahia Area. WAM
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has ordered the allocation of Dhs500,000 grant in support of Emirati Book Fair, which began on Sunday and runs until Tuesday.
The gesture reflects the Sharjah Ruler’s keenness to promote locally-produced literature within the UAE’s book industry by supporting Emirati writers and intellectuals, and ultimately enhancing their presence in libraries.
The debut edition of the book fair sees the participation of 25 Emirati publishing houses, and will host the largest Emirati book-signing ceremony for Emirati writers in the country. It will also offer a platform to a series of panel discussions.
Earlier Dr Sheikh Sultan inaugurated the first Emirati Book Fair, being organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), in cooperation with Emirates Publishers Association.
Held at SBA’s headquarters in Al Zahia Area, the Fair is orgnised as part of Sharjah’s celebration of its selection as World Book Capital 2019.
The event also coincides with the Emirati Book Day announced by the Ruler of Sharjah, which falls on May 26 each year.
Touring the various pavilions of the fair, Sheikh Sultan began with the "Emirati Writers exhibition," which presents more than 80 bright pages written by UAE poets and writers in their own hands, to serve as the testimony of nature of work of those intellectuals of the generation of pioneers.
He also visited the Emirati Writer's Museum, which is held in cooperation with the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage, and sheds light on the life and creativity of leading and contemporary Emirati writers like Al Majidi bin Dhaher, Hamid Al Shamsi, Salem Al Owais and others, through highlighting their achievements and displaying their personal possessions - pens, manuscripts and others.
During his tour, Sharjah Ruler learned about the poetry anthology, diwans, articles and books related to Emirati artists. He listened to explanations about the audio publications, which include creative recordings that were documented as an innovative archive for the pioneers.
At the UAE publishing houses pavilion, Sheikh Sultan was briefed on their publications and the creative titles that contribute to shedding light on the local creative genres by Emirati writers and intellectuals.
The Ruler of Sharjah also received a number of publications from Emirati writers and authors, as well as a commemorative collection issued by Emirates Post, celebrating the selection of Sharjah as the World Book Capital of 2019. The collection includes a number of stamps and postcards bearing the slogan "Open a book .. Open minds", which is an initiative by Emirates Post in an effort to promote the Emirate of Sharjah as book capital.
Twenty-five publishing houses and elite Emirati intellectuals are participating in the Fair, which runs from May 26 to 28.
The event brings together visitors in seminars and discussion panels that host many creative and talented Emirati authors who will highlight various cultural issues as well as cultural and creative seminars led by authors and writers during which they will present their experiences and discuss a number of topics that serve the local writer and play a role in the advancement of knowledge and creativity.
The inauguration ceremony also saw the presence of Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Vice President of the International Publishers Association, IPA; Juma Al Majid; Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mohammed Bin Rashid Library; Abdullah Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of the Department of Culture; Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, SBA; Mohammed Obaid Al Zaabi, Head of Protocol and Hospitality Department; Ali Al Marri, Head of Dr Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies (dara); Dr Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, SIH; Dr Habib Al Sayegh, Secretary-General of the Arab Writers Union and Chairman of Emirates Writers Union; elite of Emirati intellectuals and authors.
Sheikha Bodour said, “This global pandemic is yet another reminder of our shared humanity… We are united by our love for books and reading.”
The 40th Sharjah International Book Fair’s platform engages largest number of publishers and agents with networking, matchmaking and other business interests this year.
In her keynote address at the fair’s Professional Publishers Programme, Sheikha Bodour commended its focus on translations which, she said, can play a key role in boosting global collaboration between publishers and within the arger publishing ecosystem.
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.
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