HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), recently met HE Valentina Setta, Consul General of Italy in Dubai and Northern Emirates, to explore avenues of cultural collaboration, with a specific focus on strengthening Italian presence at the upcoming edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) 2018.
Learning about SBA’s most important annual cultural events like SIBF and the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), the HE Consul General of Italy discussed how to use these prominent platforms to showcase more publishers and cultural foundations from Italy.
Al Ameri also highlighted the role of the newly-opened Sharjah Publishing City (SPC), the first-of-its-kind publishing free zone in the world offering diverse investment options and premium services to publishing professionals and businesses worldwide.
HE Ahmed Al Ameri said: “We are delighted to receive the Italian officials as such exchanges are paramount to promoting greater cultural cooperation and expanding partnerships with government and private institutions around the world. This reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, which encourages us to open up to international experiences and further develop Sharjah’s cultural sphere, as well as contributes to enhancing cross-cultural communication between different cultures.”
Al Ameri stressed that through promoting potential investment opportunities and services offered by the SPC among Italian publishers, who occupy a major share of the European books trade, SBA is aiming to spread the word across the European book market to establish their businesses at SPC.
HE Valentina Setta commended SBA’s efforts in developing the UAE’s publishing landscape through their strong support to publishers, authors, translators and illustrators. She also commended SBA’s regular visibility at Italian book fairs and cultural events, such as the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and Turin International Book Fair, in particular. She stressed that these participations and exchanges between Italy and the UAE, initiated by the SBA, have offered tremendous impetus to cross-cultural communication between Arab and European cultures.
Consul General of Italy noted that the growing regional and international prominence of Sharjah’s book fair, and its success in attracting important publishing houses, literary personalities and a massive visitor turnout are reasons for Italy’s growing interest in using it as a platform for showcasing its private as well as public entities dedicated to books and culture. She emphasised that SIBF will not only offer them the opportunity to reach out to the Italian community residing in the UAE and the region, but also help promote the rich Italian culture to a new and diverse audience.
Founded in December 2014, the Sharjah Book Authority is dedicated to encouraging and expanding investment in creative industries. It offers a platform for knowledge and intellectual and cultural exchange between people from different civilisations and cultures.
The SBA seeks to highlight the significant role of books and their impact on promoting community awareness in view of technological advances and diversity of knowledge sources. It also aims to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural sector in general, and the publishing, printing, translation, documentation and children’s books in particular.
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