The Emirati Book Fair has highlighted the nation’s rich literary history.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has launched a new programme to nurture new and emerging Emirati talents in the novel-writing, theatre, and poetry fields. The creative writing programme will offer a series of specialised workshops and long-term training based on modern methodologies geared towards advancing the participants’ writing skills and overall creative approach.
The programme was announced by the Authority to mark conclusion of the first edition of the three-day Emirati Book Fair (EBF 2019).
Through a year-long commitment to the programme, participants will undergo several stages of training and follow-up sessions, which will help them polish their writing capacities and explore untapped creative potential.
The first and foundational phase of the programme titled ‘Creative Reading’ will equip writers with relevant knowledge by developing their reading skills, and in the process, unlock new worlds of information specific to their fields. This phase has been introduced to the programme following SBA’s belief that creative reading is central to the creative writing process.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, and the successful conclusion of the first edition of fair, SBA Chairman Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri reiterated the Authority’s keenness to continually and effectively support the UAE’s local creative movement by training and empowering the new generations entering the field.
“We strive at SBA to activate every effort, which will ensure the advancement of the UAE’s cultural scene. Integral to achieving this goal is offering Emirati talents a nurturing environment in which they will be able to realise their creative aspirations and truly unleash their unique literary potential. It is through their contributions that the local and regional cultural scene will continue to grow and flourish.
“The Emirati Book Fair has shined a spotlight on local creative talents and the nation’s rich literary history. The event successfully portrayed a beautiful image of the UAE’s cultural scene. Names in the UAE’s literary landscape have made unparalleled contributions, and celebrating the past achievements of our citizens is an important way to guarantee the march towards a bright future for local culture.” the chairman said.
The Emirati Book Fair has set a national and regional record for bringing the largest number of local authors under one roof, with 160 Emirati authors signing their works for their fans and book lovers.
The Emirati Writers Museum took Emirati Book Fair (EBF 2019) visitors on a journey into the lives of an illustrious series of local writers, poets, novelists and historians who have laid the foundation of the UAE’s literary and cultural landscape.
The museum was designed in cooperation with the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage, to shed light on the lives of critically acclaimed Emirati authors like Al Majidi bin Dhaher, Hameed Al Shamsi, Salem Al Owais, to name a few. It showcased their personal items and the tools they used to write their poems and books, such as the as ink containers and quills, pens and manuscripts.
The Museum included a collection of poems, novels and articles in addition to recorded audio archives, which painted a lucid picture of the creative process followed by these writers and intellectuals. This unique offering at the book fair is being regarded by the UAE’s literary circles as an exceptional effort by organisers to preserve and showcase the nation’s literary heritage to modern-day cultural enthusiasts, especially the youth.
In another section of the book fair, more than 80 pages of inspiring content written by the Sharjah Ruler were on display, along with the works of UAE poets. The pages served as a true testament to the way creative Emiratis worked in the early days and gave visitors a chance to see their handwriting and analyse their techniques.
The book fair included panel discussions that brought together Emirati intellectuals who shed light on many cultural topics.
The heart of this new initiative seeks to bring books and the culture of reading into people’s homes,
All exhibition spaces were sold out since the fair’s organisers opened registration this February, which testifies both the cultural and market appeal of this 11-day event.
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