By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai ...Seventy-four-year-old Ashok Soota imparts entrepreneurship advice to youngsters at book fair He’s known as the ‘age-defying entrepreneur.’ After serving in senior positions in India’s IT industry for over 30 years, Ashok Soota went on to become co-founder and executive chairman of ‘Happiest Minds Technologies.’ Students from across schools in the UAE gathered to take some entrepreneurship lessons from the business start-up star during his appearance at the 36th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) on Monday. Turning 75 this month, Soota was greeted with a cheerful rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ by a hall full of aspiring young entrepreneurs who had gathered to hear the IT veteran speak about his new book and to find out more about his secret for success mantra. “My book ‘Entrepreneurship Simplified: From Idea to IPO’ is a tool for anyone who is planning on starting their own business. In the forthcoming years it...
By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai ...Second phase of literary initiative to be rolled out in 2018 1001 Titles – an initiative by the Sharjah-based Knowledge with Borders (KwB) – dedicated to supporting the publication of original Arabic language books by UAE-based publishers, announced the successful completion of the first phase. Over two years since it was launched in 2016, the project has published 1,001 first-edition Arabic titles that represent a variety of subjects and genres. The announcement was made at the ‘1001 Titles’ pavilion at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2017), which is currently celebrating its 36th edition at Expo Centre Sharjah. Majd Al Shehhi, Manager of the ‘1001 Titles’ initiative, said: “At 1001 Titles, we continually work towards furthering the cultural and intellectual achievements of the emirate of Sharjah. Thanks to the unparalleled support of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, the first phase of the initiative has been a big success where we...
By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai The 36th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which runs until next Saturday, has marked a new record of attracting 728,000 visitors in five days, highlighting the fair’s unique characteristics and exceptional spectrum of events and activities which attracts more and more visitors and book lovers each year. HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), said that SIBF is already the world’s third largest book fair, but per capita that figure is even more impressive. He pointed out that SIBF has a significant cultural and intellectual impact on creating a knowledge-based society and promoting Sharjah’s role in enhancing dialogue and multicultural communication across the world. Al Ameri added that SIBF prides itself on being one of the most visited events in the UAE and the region, underscoring the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme...
By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai ...Junk robots spark kids’ imaginations A new generation of scientists, physicists and electronic engineers are being given the perfect start on their journeys to a professional ICT career at a Sharjah International Book Fair workshop. The ‘Adventures in Coding’ sessions teach children from 7-11 years old how to understand basic computer codes and the cause and effects of following instructions and giving directions. For children up to 13 years old, the theory turns into practice, using hardware and circuitry to turn on lights and buzzers and control movement with everyday household junk items such as empty water bottles, old shoe boxes and broken toys. As the little engineers advance in their knowledge, the workshop is more appropriate for children up to 16 years old, who use microcontrollers – the brain of a robot. They work as teams to make sensors that can judge distance, and even carry out simple...
By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai ...Jury highlighted the high quality of the winners, suggesting their potential for translation into other languages The jury of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by Etisalat Group, came together for a panel discussion at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2017) to highlight the importance of such an award in supporting new developments in the field of Arabic children’s literature and elevating the standard of work produced for children and young adults over the past years. Dr. Yasmine Motawy, Senior Instructor at the Department of Rhetoric and Composition at the American University in Cairo; Tamer Said, Director-General of Kalimat Group; Mertxe Paris, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Mosaics Llibres publishing house; and Iraqi author and artist Intelaq Mohammed Ali, unanimously advocated for the need of the award to facilitate the popularity of books and...

SIBF 2017 Celebrates UAE Flag Day

By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai School children waving UAE national flags, people wearing ‘I Love UAE’ accessories and patriotic songs playing in the background… it could only mean one thing – UAE Flag Day spirit was in full swing on the second day of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). Uniting Emiratis, residents, visitors and guests at the fair, the celebration of the UAE’s red, green, white and black standard was a visual and aural delight. SIBF 2017, the annual celebration of books, literature and culture, donned a patriotic look to celebrate the occasion. Various authorities and organisations with a presence at the fair marked the day with activities and flag hoisting ceremonies at different locations throughout its halls, with the visitors taking part with patriotic fervour. Younger visitors collected flags and sweets that were being distributed at the pavilions and made the most of on-the-spot face-painting, poem recitation and opportunities to sing.
By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai ...The longest serving editor in British Vogue history talks about the100-year journey of the world’s fashion bible  Despite being American, the British edition of one of the fashion world’s most iconic magazines, Vogue, has seemed to have captured the imagination of the discerning reader more strongly since it was launched in the autumn of 1916, when the magazines could no longer be brought into the UK from the US due to the constraints of the First World War. At the centre of the magazine’s success for 25 years until June 2017 was Alexandra Shulman, who took the helm of Vogue in 1992, presiding over a circulation increase to 200,000 and a higher profile for the publication. Conde Nast International launched Vogue Arabia in the latter half of 2016, and Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2017) invited her to give this part of the world an insight into how a magazine like...
By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai ...Youngsters gather to listen to Asia’s best-known quiz master at 36th edition of world’s third largest book fair At what had to be one of the most vibrant and engaging events held at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), teenagers and school kids gathered to listen to Asia’s best-known quiz master, Derek O’Brien. Known for hosting India’s longest running game show, ‘The Bournvita Quiz Contest,’ O’Brien has so far authored more than 50 works, including quiz and reference books. O’Brien was a guest at the 36th edition of SIBF to participate in a session to discuss his latest book and first political title: ‘Inside Parliament: The Views from the Front Row,’ a collection of essays on the Indian Parliament. O’Brien, who is a member of parliament in the Rajya Sabh and is also Penguin India’s highest selling reference author, took questions from the audiences on a myriad of...

Trump Begins Asia Tour

United States President Donald Trump heads to Japan on the first stop of his five-nation tour of Asia on Saturday, looking to present a united front with the Japanese against North Korea as tensions run high over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests. Trump, who is on a 12-day trip, is to speak to US and Japanese forces at Yokota air base shortly after arriving in Japan on Sunday and looked to stress the importance of the alliance to regional security. Ballistic missile tests by North Korea and its sixth and largest nuclear test, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, have exacerbated the most critical international challenge of Trump’s presidency. Aerial drills conducted over South Korea by two US strategic bombers have raised tensions in recent days. In a display of golf diplomacy, Trump is to play a round of golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two leaders also played together...
By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Dubai The Watercolour Art Workshop at Sharjah International Book Fair, taking place at the Expo Centre Sharjah until 11 November, has proved to be a favourite among all ages and abilities where participants are discovering their talents – some hidden and some abundantly clear. Professional artist Aisha AlKetbi shares her love and experience of watercolours with the would-be Turners and Van Goghs, who find her passion infectious. Aisha says: “We have students ranging from six to sixty-six years old and they have all found a new avenue for their creativity. Many of the younger ones have drafted some wonderful digital art but when they see real colours and feel real brushstrokes, it is a totally different experience. It is a sentiment that Aisha echoes: “The most important thing you can do is to learn to see. Even before you pick up a brush, go out into the world and...