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Sharjah Maintains Strong Presence On World Cultural Scene

Participations at the Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, in the international cultural events have increased the UAE’s presence in the Arab, Gulf and international cultural landscape and shed light on the cultural scene in the country in general, and the emirate of Sharjah in particular.

SBA stressed Sharjah’s keenness to participate in key cultural events worldwide, pointing out that it contributes to strengthening cultural understanding through active dialogue, in addition to promoting Emirati and Arab culture and its achievements.

Through its engagement at more than 40 major book fairs and cultural events over the year, the SBA is seeking to promote the emirate's cultural and intellectual programmes and initiatives such as the Sharjah International Book Fair and Sharjah Children's Reading Festival as well as other coveted cultural awards.

Visitors to the SBA's pavilion at these gathering are introduced to its latest projects including the Sharjah Publishing City - the world’s very first publishing Free Zone offering those in the book industry the opportunity to capitalize on tax free privileges while benefiting from being a wholly independently owned and operated company - and the first Middle Eastern distribution company to cover the whole Arab and African market.

Thanks to the relentless efforts by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the emirate of Sharjah has become a centre of gravity for many Arab and international cultural programmes, projects and initiatives.HH is the driving force behind the emirate's significant cultural influence within the UAE and beyond.

In recognition of Sharjah's cultural contributions to the promotion of civilisational interaction and cross-cultural communication locally and globally, the emirate has been chosen as a guest of honour in several global events. Sharjah has been selected as Special Guest City at the 38th edition of the Paris International Book Fair 2018 (Salon Livre Paris) and Guests of Honour in the 25th Sao Paulo Book Fair 2018; the 27th New Delhi World Book Fair 2019; and the Turin International Book Fair (May 2019).

SBA participated in the 48th edition of the London Book Fair, LBF, from 12th to 14th March, 2019, where it showcased Sharjah’s cultural project and key initiatives aimed at enhancing the local publishing industry, and its efforts to celebrate Emirati literature at international book fairs.

The authority organised a series of meetings with a host of British and international intellectuals and publishing professionals at its pavilion, and shed light on the emirate’s key cultural events such as the Sharjah International Book Fair, and Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, whose 11th edition is coming up in April.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said :"Through all our local and international participation, we present Sharjah’s unique cultural journey that has flourished and expanded beyond the Gulf to establish itself as a global hub. Here in London, which is the publishing capital of the world, we are keen to introduce British and international publishers, as well as book experts to Sharjah’s efforts in growing our local and regional publishing sector, and its specific efforts to boost up the new translations movement, which will offer a much-needed impetus to cross-cultural exchange and the convergence of European and Arab cultures.'' Also, The Sharjah World Book Capital Office,SWBC Office, organised a special reception at the LBF to shed light on Sharjah’s key cultural achievements and how these efforts drove the emirate’s election as the 19th World Book Capital City a global title launched by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation,UNESCO, in 2001.

Attendees were introduced to Sharjah’s most significant cultural achievements and were taken through the 365-day cultural programme that SWBC Office has designed to celebrate the prestigious title, under the unique theme ‘Open Books. Open Minds’.

The year-long celebrations, starting April 23, 2019, will be held across different locations in Sharjah and will engage all segments of the UAE community as well as Emirati, Arab and international literary figures and intellectuals, in a series of book-themed events and activities.

SWBC Office has set an interactive platform to promote one of this year’s planned initiatives Mobile Beach Libraries which will be established in cooperation with Sharjah Investment and Development Authority,Shurooq, Sharjah Ladies Club,SLC, Knowledge Without Borders,KwB, and Sharjah Municipality.

Amani Al Ali, Director of Sharjah World Book Capital Office, said: "Through our participation at LBF, we have been able to introduce European and global communities to Sharjah’s cultural accomplishments over the past 40 years and its ongoing efforts to promote the beauty of the authentic Emirati and Arab culture."

She added, "Our participation serves as a bridge that connects us to international cultural entities, publishers, authors, intellectuals and academia. It contributes to enhancing mutual collaboration for future cultural programmes and events."

Sharjah Book Authority was launched in 2014 with a mandate includes enhancing investment in creative industries, building a platform for culture and knowledge exchange between people of the world, highlighting the importance of books in today's multimedia world, and supporting the children's book industry.

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