Sharjah Book Fair an eternal attraction - GulfToday

Sharjah Book Fair an eternal attraction


A large number of people attend the Sharjah International Book Fair every year.

Perhaps no other event on the Sharjah calendar attracts so much attention, enthusiasm and eagerness as the Sharjah International Book Fair does. The annual cultural event attracts thousands to its stalls, including visitors from far and wide. The organisers have been doing this with a great deal of intensity and commitment — for decades.

This year is special, because it is launching its 40th edition. And on display are a staggering 15 million titles from over 1,500 publishers the world over. The book fair is being held under the theme ‘There’s always a right book’ from November 3 – 13 at Expo Centre Sharjah. There will be 1.3 million unique titles from around the world, including 110,000 which will be making their SIBF debut. Held under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, SIBF 2021 will bring together 85 writers, artists, creatives from 22 countries, and present 970 events, including cultural sessions, shows, performances, seminars and workshops. This year, the book signing corner will feature local and foreign authors who will be signing their books for fans covering a variety of genres including poetry, fiction, history, literary criticism, translations, cookbooks, children’s literature, arts, legal research, archaeology among others.

Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, said that the continuing success of SIBF was not only a reaffirmation of its core belief that books are the foundation for knowledge, but also serves to advance the publishing sector regionally and internationally.

The event is at the core of a vibrant global cultural movement as it hosts diverse activities that bring together distinguished intellectuals and authors from around the world.

He said: “The international event provides a great impetus to the publishing sector and brings authors and publishing professionals closer to their readers. It also aligns with the vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, to build a bright present and promising future for individuals, especially young genetrations, by fostering knowledge through Sharjah’s comprehensive cultural project.”

He pointed out that the 40th edition will offer publishers from over 38 countries a leading platform to showcase titles in various languages and genres. At the same time, owing to its status as one of the top three book fairs in the world, SIBF 2021 will also bring invaluable opportunities to emerging startups in the industry to showcase their works and network.

This year, Egypt tops the list of countries participating in SIBF with 295 publishers, followed by 250 from the UAE, 138 from the UK, 112 from Lebanon, 93 from Syria and 76 from Jordan.

India is participating with 87 publishers, followed by US with 48, 26 from Italy, 16 each from Canada and Brazil, 14 from Spain, and 12 each from Mexico and France. Nine countries will debut in SIBF, including Colombia, South Sudan, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Books have a way of cementing bonds between various cultures. And the Frankfurt Book Fair does just that.

The connection between the Arab and German literary scenes is deep-rooted and continues to grow significantly. The event fosters cultural exchange and promotes Arabic language and literature to larger and more diverse audiences.

In the lead-up to the book fair, IPA President Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi and the CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse, Juergen Boos, will lead an insightful and informative chat . The dialogue will see Al Qasimi present the overarching vision of the InSPIRe Plan, details of which are being formulated by the IPA Taskforce based on feedback they continue to receive from Charter signatories, on ways the IPA can foster industry-wide cooperation.

Books have an eternal appeal. As the English writer Samuel Johnson said, “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

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