Sharjah Ruler in Madrid, to attend LIBER Book Fair - GulfToday

Sharjah Ruler in Madrid, to attend LIBER Book Fair


Sheikh Sultan arrived on Monday in Madrid on an official visit that would last for several days.

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, arrived on Monday in Madrid on an official visit that would last for several days.

During the visit, Sheikh Sultan will meet His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, visit several academic and governmental institutions, and attend the opening of LIBER International Book Fair where Sharjah is the “Guest of Honour” for this year’s edition.

This visit comes in line with Sheikh Sultan’s keenness on fostering mutual relations between the Emirate of Sharjah and the Kingdom of Spain in all aspects especially in culture and arts.

Receiving the Ruler of Sharjah at Torrejón Airport were Majid Al Suwaidi, UAE Ambassador to Spain; Caridad Batalla Junco, Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain; Sara Ghazi Al-Mahri, head of Economic, Political and Media Affairs at the UAE Embassy; and Ali Al Marzouqi, Charge D’Affaires at the UAE embassy.

Accompanying Sheikh Sultan are Abdullah Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of Sharjah Department of Culture; Engineer Ali Bin Shaheen Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Directorate of Public Works; Ahmed Bin Rakad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority; Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Al Musallam, Chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage; Ali Ibrahim Al Marri, Head of Dr Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies (Al Darah); and Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of Sharjah Government Media Bureau.

Spain has bestowed a prestigious new cultural honour upon Sharjah. The LIBER International Book Fair, which returns to Madrid from 9 - 11 October to celebrate its 37th year, will host Sharjah as Guest of Honour.    

Organised by IFEMA and promoted by the Spanish Association of Publishers Guilds (FGEE), the fair will be witnessing the participation of 11,200 professional visitors, 458 companies, over 300 journalists and media outlets, and 51 countries.

Sharjah was awarded the honour by IFEMA during a press conference in Madrid yesterday, attended by Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), Majid Al Suwaidi, UAE Ambassador to Spain; Eduardo López-Puertas, Director General, IFEMA; and Miguel Barrero, President, Federation of Publishers Guilds of Spain (FGEE).

As LIBER’s guest of honour, Sharjah will be continuing its efforts to promote cultural and literary exchange with the Spanish and international communities. This is in less than a month since the emirate wrapped up a grand cultural showcase at Moscow International Book Fair 2019, where it participated as the fair’s first-ever Arab ‘Guest City’.  

At the press event, IFEMA stated that Sharjah’s selection was made to highlight its pioneering role in preserving and promoting local culture, and supporting and developing the Emirati book industry, especially because LIBER this year will be the largest international event for books in Spanish.  

They also underlined that they wanted to learn from the experiences of Sharjah as it celebrates its yearlong status as World Book Capital 2019, the Unesco honour that was first awarded to Madrid in 2001. IFEMA also underlined that they want to shine light on the pioneering role and the cultural leadership of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, whose efforts in the past 47 years have rooted Sharjah’s presence on not just the regional, but also the global cultural stage.

Sharjah’s grand pavilion will be seen at LIBER this time and will be buzzing with a diversity literary, intellectual and creative activities, where the emirate’s leading entities in publishing and education will showcase the UAE’s long heritage as well as Sharjah’s current efforts to develop a culture of reading at home and its committed efforts to take the region’s culture around the world.

During his keynote address at the press conference, Al Ameri said that geographical boundaries remain unchanged, but knowledge has the power to bridge gaps between nations. “Through its presence, Sharjah will be recreating UAE’s flourishing creative cultural landscape for our Spanish and European audience.

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