Sharjah: His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, met French President Francois Hollande on Thursday during his visit to the 37th Paris international Book Fair, PIBF 2017.
During the meeting attended by Shaikha Budoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, the French President selected Sharjah as the guest of honour for PIBF in 2018.
The Sharjah Ruler and Hollande discussed issues of mutual interest, focusing on the role of culture, support for the publishing industry, and heritage preservation.
In this context, the French President underlined the strong relations between France and the UAE, noting that Sharjah’s presence at the PIBF further promotes these ties.
Highlighting Shaikh Sultan’s huge efforts in promoting the publishing sector, Hollande added, “The book is the real heritage of all nations and we have to preserve and promote it.”
Shaikh Sultan thanked Hollande for selecting Sharjah as the guest of honour for the 38th edition of PIBF next year, valuing the mutual and historical co-operation between various French cultural institutions and the Emirate of Sharjah, which has led to highlighting Sharjah’s experience in the field, and resulted in an exchange of expertise between France and Europe at large.
Shaikh Sultan noted that the Arab presence and participation at PIBF was rather poor and that Sharjah would work on supporting and enhancing the Arab participation that would fit and honour the Arab culture.
Shaikh Sultan also spoke about some of his upcoming publications which outline the real relationship between France and the Arab Gulf countries.
Shaikh Sultan presented to Hollande a French copy of his book ‘Hadeeth Al Thakira.’
During his visit, Shaikh Sultan toured various pavilions starting with Sharjah’s stand represented by the Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, where he was briefed by Ahmad Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of SBA, on the authority’s participation in the book fair.
The SBA’s participation reflects Shaikh Sultan’s directives to build and extend bridges of communication between Arab and Islamic cultures and Western cultures.
At the SBA’s pavilion, Shaikh Sultan received several ambassadors, publishers, intellectuals, thought leaders and media persons. Shaikh Sultan, accompanied by Shaikha Budoor and the Sharjah cultural and media delegation, toured other Arab pavilions taking part at PIBF.
Shaikh Sultan was accompanied by several officials, chief editors of Emirati newspapers, thought leaders, literary figures, researchers and publishers.