The 36th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) will run from November 1-11 at Expo Centre Sharjah.
More than 1.5 million titles will be on display throughout the 11-day celebration of literature, knowledge and culture.
The theme of this year’s edition of the world third largest book fair will be ‘A World Inside My Book,’ and it will host 1,650 exhibitors from 60 countries, spread across 14,625 square metres and feature 393 guests from 48 countries who will take part in more than 2,600 events.
Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the organisers of the annual event, made the disclosure during a press conference held on Wednesday at Sharjah Public Library.
The conference was attended by HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA; HE Mohammed Khalaf, Director General of Sharjah Media Corporation (SIBF’s official media partner) and HE Mohammed Al Omaimi, acting General Manager of Etisalat Northern Emirates (official sponsor), and Hannah Henderson, Head of UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration, British Council.
Al Ameri said “SIBF has turned into an all-inclusive cultural project, with books and associated initiatives constituting its primary focus. SIBF serves as a beacon of knowledge that brings together publishers, authors, book enthusiasts and internationally-acclaimed guests in a shared passion for literature and culture.”
“The theme ‘A World inside My Book’ exemplifies the book’s value as the core source of knowledge that has the power to open windows into new worlds. He pointed out that the fair attracts new countries every year, with South Korea, Bangladesh and Denmark first-time participants this year.
Revealing the new initiatives during SIBF this year: “For the first time ever, SIBF is allocating a special pavilion titled ‘The Future Zone’ in Hall 1 that will bring together 10 leading companies specialised in digital books to showcase their experiences and latest publications. These companies will be providing high quality services to readers, including search and purchasing services”.
Regarding SIBF’s Country of Honour, Al Ameri said: “SBA has selected the UK as the Country of Honour at the 36th edition of SIBF as part of the UK-UAE 2017 initiative that exemplifies the deep-rooted historical ties that bind the two countries together. A series of activities will be held to demonstrate the depth of British culture and its literary, intellectual and artistic icons.”
He pointed out that other notable authors from the Arab world attending SIBF 2017 will include Omani poet and writer Saif Al Rahbi, Kuwaiti writer Dr. Taleb Al Rifai, Egyptian novelist Ahmed Murad, Kuwaiti novelist Saud Al Sanousi, Saudi novelist Dr. Mohammed Hassan Alwan, Egyptian critic Thuraya Al Osaili, Libyan writer Najwa Bin Shatwan, Moroccan novelist Abdul Kareem Jowaiti, Iraqi author Sinan Antoin and Tunisian novelist Kamal Al Riahi.
Al Ameri noted that a distinguished list of renowned personalities from outside the Arab region will also be attending SIBF 2017, including former Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram, American author of children’s and young adult fiction Peter Lerangis, American writer and novelist Victoria Christopher; French writer Julien Columeau, Indian photographer and filmmaker Ryan Lobo, Filipino poet and novelist Edgar Samar; Indian writer Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin, British writer and historian Peter Frankopan, Indian writer Vikas Swarup, Pakistani author and journalist Mohammed Hanif, American scientist and author Lisa Genova and Jamaican poet Lorna Goodison.
Commenting on his organisation’s role at SIBF 2017, HE Mohammed Khalaf said: “For the 28th consecutive year, Sharjah Media Corporation is a key sponsor of SIBF and will ensure comprehensive coverage of the fair’s events and activities on its TV stations, radio channels and social media platforms. SMC’s continuous sponsorship of SIBF is a testament of its firm belief in the importance of providing Arab viewers with a direct media service that keeps them updated and well-informed about this momentous cultural event hosted annually by Sharjah.”
UK representative Hannah Henderson said: “I’m delighted that the United Kingdom will be this year the inaugural Guest of Honour at the Sharjah International Book Fair and I’m honoured to be here on behalf of the many entities involved to present the programme to you today. The UK Guest of Honour programme is a highlight of the UK/UAE Year of Creative Collaboration – a year-long bilateral celebration of the UK and UAE’s longstanding relationship, exploring the intersection of heritage, contemporary culture and innovation.”
During the conference, a presentation was made on the details of the fourth edition of the ALA Library Conference, which is organised annually by SBA in partnership with the American Library Association and runs from November 7-9. The event will see 26 activities featuring 300 experts, including staff from university, public, school, government and private libraries from around the world. Twenty-two local, regional and international speakers will use the event to examine a wide range of important topics related to the library sector.