The 11-day event will see participating publishing houses on-site welcome visitors.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Carrying the theme, ‘The World Reads from Sharjah’, the 39th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) to be held from Nov.4-14, will continue to spread the joy of reading and capture imaginations as it gears up to host hundreds of Arab and international publishers.
One of the top three book fairs in the world, SIBF has for the first time in its history, adopted a unique online-offline hybrid programming that promises to deliver a memorable mix of literary and cultural activities.
SBA has stressed that the new format of the fair has audience safety at the forefront, and fully adheres to global health and safety protocols in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. SIBF’s cultural programme adopts a fully digital format while publishers will make a physical appearance at the Expo Centre Sharjah, so that book lovers across the nation can continue to enjoy the in-person experience of sifting through and buying books this year.
The 11-day event will see participating publishing houses on-site welcome visitors including children, youth, adults, and industry professionals looking to buy new titles and explore new genres of literature.
The SIBF 2020 theme is inspired by Sharjah’s leading position as an incubator of Arab culture and a creative hub that attracts intellectuals, writers and artists to meet and share experiences. In selecting the theme, SBA has affirmed that Sharjah is still welcoming literary leaders, readers, knowledge seekers and learners from across the world.
Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), said: “SIBF is a major event on the global publishing industry calendar, and our decision to host an exceptional edition this year despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic is aimed at benefiting both readers as well as local, regional and global publishing markets.”
He added: “We believe that cultural activities must not stop even in challenging circumstances as enriching people’s lives through reading, literacy and knowledge is a key driver for social development and prosperity. SBA’s commitment to Sharjah’s cultural legacy is in line with the vision of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to build a bright present and promising future for the young generations by fostering knowledge and broadening their horizons through reading.”
Al Ameri said: “In keeping with our mission of promoting culture and creativity, SBA will deploy the latest technologies in visual communication to successfully host all its virtual events, activities and discussions. By providing a new experience for our audience, we want to reiterate that Sharjah is committed to being a true beacon of culture and knowledge.”
The Chairman confirmed that SBA is employing the highest international health and safety standards on the exhibition site, and that its preventative protocols to ensure the safety of participants and visitors includes organised visits at specific times during the course of the 11-day event.The full details of the upcoming edition of SIBF will be revealed at a press conference later this month.
The generous gesture of the Ruler of Sharjah comes this year as a much-needed contribution to sustain the book publishing industry as it was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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