The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has recently concluded its participation at the 46th London Book Fair (LBF), which highlighted the Polish cultural influence on Europe, by inviting Poland as the ‘Guest of Honour’. One of the main highlights of the SBA visit was reflected in key meetings and exchanges with top European publishers and book industry experts on the side-lines of the Fair.
The SBA pavilion at LBF was visited by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, HE Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and several diplomats and officials based out of London.
The pavilion became home to dozens of meetings with elite publishers, CEOs of cultural organisations, librarians, researchers and scholars who addressed ways of enhancing collaboration with SBA to promote cultural activities. They also discussed ways of participation at the upcoming Sharjah International Book Fair 2017 (SIBF), and the ALA Library Conference, which is held in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA) on the side-lines of SIBF each year.
SBA used the LBF platform to showcase its key initiatives and annual events, including the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), the Sharjah Children’s Books Illustrations Exhibition (SCBIE), the SIBF’s Translation Grant Fund, as well as the annual awards for authors, illustrators and publishers – recognising literary innovation in creating world-class titles.
“We are here to realise the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah whose keenness for international cultural exchange and developing our nation on a strong foundation of knowledge has put Sharjah on the global cultural and literary map. His Highness’ relentless efforts have been successful in establishing knowledge as a neutral platform for cross-cultural dialogue, the fruits of which we were able to reap here at LBF through a first-hand experience of all European cultures showcased,” said HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairperson of SBA.
“Our participation at LBF enabled us to connect with important global publishers, particularly with British and other European publishers. Poland being this year’s Guest of Honour, we had the opportunity to get to know them better through our interactions with several publishers, authors and intellectuals from the country. We have also extended to the Poles an invitation to partake in SBA’s key initiatives – SIBF and SCRF – as well as experience Sharjah’s and the UAE’s rich cultural heritage,” he added.
Inaugurated in 1971, the London Book Fair is a global cultural marketplace, which brings together international authors and publishers for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of books. Today, it is an important publishing market, and the world’s second largest book fair after Frankfurt. It features books of all subjects and genres including politics, culture, religion, sciences, literature and sports among others. The fair witnesses a large number of deals being signed off between publishers and international book publishing agents.
Established in 2014, Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is dedicated to encouraging investment in creative industries and offering a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people from different countries and cultures. It is also entrusted with emphasising the significant role of writers and their influence in spreading awareness of technological advancement and the availability of various sources of knowledge. SBA aims to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural sector in general and the publishing, printing and translation of children’s books in particular.