Sharjah International Book Fair extends bridges of dialogue at Riyadh Book Fair
The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is continuing its participation in the 8th edition of the Riyadh International Book Fair, being held from 4-14 March 2014, with the participation of 900 publishers from 32 countries, with Spain participating as Guest of Honour in recognition of the strong ties between Arabic and Spanish culture.
The SIBF Management seeks to make the best use of its participation in networking with publishers, authors and readers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and familiarising them with the Sharjah International Book Fair and its upcoming edition, which this year coincides with the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital celebrations.
Last week, Dr Abdulaziz bin Mohiuddin Khoja, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture and Information, inaugurated the Riyadh International Book Fair, titled ‘The Book, An Arch of Civilization’, in the presence of a large gathering of officials, media representatives, intellectuals and people interested in cultural affairs.
In his inaugural speech, Khoja, said, “Cultural diversity and the wide spectrum of ideas and discreet opinions raised at the book fair will help shape people’s thought and consciousness to serve our culture, nation and civilization as the book is an arch of civilization and the symbol of love and solidarity between individuals and peoples.”
Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Director of Sharjah International Book Fair, said, “Our participation in the Riyadh International Book Fair is one of the most important participations this year due to the distinguished cultural relations between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the prominent presence of Saudi publishers at SIBF since its launch 33 years ago. Saudi readers are considered to be some of the most avid readers in the Arab region, known for their love reading and extensive library of print books. There many Saudi entities, apart from publishing houses, that publish books, including universities, research centres, associations and government institutions, which is why we are very keen to strongly participate in the fair, so as to connect with publishers and facilitate their participation in the upcoming SIBF, as well as to communicate with readers and invite them to visit our fair.”
Al Ameri noted that Spain’s presence as the Guest of Honour at the Riyadh Book Fair adds greater importance to the fair, underlining that SIBF has made use of its participation to connect and network with Spanish publishers and speakers to invite them to participate in the Sharjah International Book Fair and familiarise them with the Sharjah Government-supported Translation Grant Fund, launched by SIBF. “Our aim is to encourage Spanish writers and intellectuals to cooperate with us through the translation of their books from Spanish into Arabic and vice versa as a means of promoting cultural understanding, and cross-cultural education between us,” he added.
The SIBF Stand at Riyadh Book Fair has served as a major gathering point of publishers, translators, writers and readers and has seen large scale inquiries with regards to the mechanism of participation in the upcoming edition of SIBF, which will be held from November 5 to 15 this year, as well as about registration in the Professional Programme for publishers.
Al Ameri also referred to the participation of dozens of publishers interested in Arabic and Islamic culture and the translation grant, which aims to encourage the translation of books from and into Arabic to enrich Arab and global culture with new books in knowledge and science that promote networking, religious understanding, and cross-cultural education.
The 8th Riyadh International Book Fair, which takes place at the Riyadh International Exhibition Centre, is being held under the theme: ‘The Book, An Arch of Civilization’, which reflects the importance of books in promoting cultural understanding between people and civilizations across the globe regardless of their different cultures, geographic locations and historical roots.
The Riyadh Book Fair is witnessing the participation of an elite group of intellectuals, authors, literary men, academicians and researchers specialised in programmes and activities held alongside the Book Fair, including intellectual seminars, poetry evenings, and book signings.
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Aliaa Al Ori