The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has concluded its highly successful participation in the 43rd London Book Fair, which took place at Earls Court in London from the 8th to the 10th of April.
Represented by Ahmed Al Al Ameri, SIBF Director, and Salim Omar Salim, SIBF Head of Sales and Marketing, SIBF made use of its participation to network with international publishers and other stakeholders in the publishing industry as well as to promote the programme of events for the upcoming Sharjah International Book Fair, including the Fair’s acclaimed Professional Programme, which is set to take place over three days directly preceding the Fair.
In addition to exhibiting at the book fair, SIBF also presented an expert panel discussion focused on furthering collaborative cooperation between publishers in the Arab world and those in the greater publishing community. Titled ‘Sharjah Book Fair 2014: Facilitating Translation Business between the Arab and the International Publishing Communities – Common Cultural Pitfalls and How to Surmount Them’, the discussion was chaired by SIBF Director Ahmed Al Al Ameri and featured Bassam Chebaro of the Lebanese Arab Scientific Publishers, Nermin Molloaglu of Turkey’s Kalem agency, Tamer Said of the UAE’s Kalimat Publishing, Eric Visser of Dutch publishers De Geus, and Jason Bartholomew of Hodder & Stoughton. The panel discussion was also the first opportunity for international rights sellers and buyers to register their interest to attend Sharjah International Book Fair 2014’s Professional Programme.
Speaking during his opening address, Ahmed Al Ameri underlined the importance of translation as a vehicle for driving the creation of cross-cultural understanding, saying, “We believe there are no cultural differences that cannot be overcome with the power of publishing. The more books pass from the Arab world to the Western world and vice versa, the more knowledge and experience we will share, the more understanding we will build, and the better a world we will leave to our children and grandchildren.
This ethos is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who conceived the Sharjah International Book Fair over thirty three years ago, with the aims of promoting literature and learning, boosting the publishing industry within the Emirates, strengthening commercial and educational links with the wider world, exchanging ideas, and preserving the crafts, skills and knowledge that make books so central to civilisation everywhere.”
The panellists then went on to discuss and debate a number of highly relevant topics related to the field of translation, such as the similarities and differences between Arab markets and the rest of the world and the most common misunderstandings by international publishers when they first decide to do business in the Arab world.
The discussion also looked at the standard publishing terms and conditions for Small Arabic publishers and explored issues such as who has the right to negotiate for international rights and how advances work in Arab world and internationally, in addition to comparing the structure of publishing in the Arab world to that which is adhered to internationally and providing a number of extremely valuable tips for publishers and others looking to do business with the Arab and international publishing community.
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Aliaa Al Ori