Visitors crowd Expo Centre Sharjah on Saturday to take advantage of the huge discounts offered on books on the final day of the Sharjah International Book Fair. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News


If you like Arabic literature, you’re going to love this year’s 11-day celebration of the written word later this month in Sharjah.

A wide slice of Arab literati is expected to take part in the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2018) from October 21-November 10, organisers said on Monday.

The 37th edition of the globally popular literature celebration will host “an elite group of authors and intellectuals from the entirety of the Arab world participating in a variety of cultural events,” at Expo Centre Sharjah, according to the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA).

The upcoming edition of SIBF will offer a rich literary and cultural programme, featuring a vibrant mix of intellectual seminars, discussion panels, reading sessions, poetry evenings, as well as book signing ceremonies that will give book lovers access to the latest Arabic titles in the market.

Organisers said in a statement that “the illustrious guest list for the year includes Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE Minister of State; Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi; Dr Abdullah Mohammad Bel Haif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development; Omar Gobash, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to France; as well as Algerian novelist Ahlam Mosteganemi.

Palestinian-Jordanian novelist Ebrahim Nasrallah, who won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Arabic Booker), is scheduled to attend, as is Egyptian novelist and journalist Ebrahim Issa, who has over 35 books on art, politics, thought, biographies, short stories and novels to his credit. Egyptian writer and photographer Ahmad Murad, whose ‘The Blue Elephant’ was shortlisted for IPAF in 2014; and Kuwaiti writer Dr Talib Al Refai, winner of Kuwaiti State Prize for Literature for Scent of the Sea. are also on the guest list.

Representing home turf in this edition are Emirati novelist and researcher Sultan Al Amimi; actor, director and academic Dr Habib Ghuloom; poet and journalist Shaikha Al Mutairi; lecturer and heritage coach, Badria Obaid Al Hosani; poet and novelist Salha Obaid Ghabesh; poet and journalist Mohammad Al Braiki; writer and researcher Dr Majid Abdullah Bushleibi; writer Eman Al Youssef; poet and writer Adel Khuzam; poet Khulood Al Mualla; poet Talal Salem; poet, writer and heritage researcher Ahmad Mohamnad Obaid; poet and writer Bushra Abdullah; poet Hassan Al Najjar; poet Hamda Khamees; poet and researcher Abdullah Al Hadia; poet Mohammad Al Emadi and poet Huda Al Saadi.

From Saudi Arabia, Osama Bin Mohammad Al Musallam, author of ‘Fear, Orchards of Arabistan, The Epic of the Seven Seas, and Sakhab Al Khaseef (The Glowing Violet); and Mariam Al hamdi, the first Saudi Arabian woman to have established an art and media production house and the first Arabian woman to have produced a feature film on environmental protection; poet Jassem Al Saheeh, winner of the Souk Okaz International Prize for Eloquent Arabic poetry, will make an appearance.

Also from Saudi Arabia are academic and journalist Dr Fahad Bin Abdullah Al Tayash; associate professor at King Saud University and editor-in-chief of Risalat Al Jameah newspaper; journalist Dr Mohammad Al Ghandour, one the most famous Arabic life coaches on YouTube; and critic and academic Dr Maysaa Zuhdi Al Khawaja, assistant professor, Arabic Language Department, faculty of Arts, King Saud University.

From Kuwait, Abdul Wahab Al Sayed Al Refai, the most-loved police fiction and sci-fi novelist in the Gulf; poet and playwright Fawziyah Showaish Al Salem; novelist Zuhair Kareem and media researcher Buthainah Al Naseri, both from Iraq, will be visiting the book fair.

A host of Egyptian intellectuals and writers, including author Midhat Al Adel; Dr Ahmad Amarah, psychology and bioenergy consultant; novelist and Spanish-to-Arabic translator Ahmad Abdul Lateef; novelist and researcher Rasha Adli Mohammad; novelist and drama-playwright Saeed Salem; poet and author Mawra Mamoun and academic translator Sulaiman Al Attar will also participate.

From Sudan, SIBF will host academic sociologist Dr Haidar Ebrahim, Director, Arabic and Sudanese Research Centre and Editor-in-Chief, Kitabat Sudanya (Sudanese Writings) magazine; journalist and renowned poet, Rawda Al Haj, who was selected as the ‘Best Arabic Poetess’ by Poetry News Agency (PNA) in 2008, and has also won the Okaz Poet Award.

Representing Lebanon are writer and novelist, Alawiyah Sobh; and novelist and poet Antoin Al Duwaihi. From Palestine, author and novelist, Dr Al Mutawakel Taha, and Huzama Habayeb, author and storyteller will be joined by Moroccan guests, academic author, Dr Latifa Elbsair, professor at the University of Hassan II Casablanca; critic and researcher Naguib Al Ofi, who teaches literature at Mohammad V University in Rabat.

Joining this illustrious line-up are Dr Razan Ebrahim, professor at the University of Petra, Jordan; novelists Fadi Azzam, Nabeel Sulaiman, and Khalil Suwaileh from Syria; author Amin Al Zawi and Dr Mustafa Fasi from Algeria; author Al Habeeb Al Salmi from Tunisia; and Fawziyah Rasheed from Bahrain.

Guest-list of Arab authors

1-Zaki Nusseibeh

2-Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi

3-Abdullah Bel Haif Al Nuaimi

4-Omar Gobash

5-Ebrahim Nasrallah

6-Ahmad Murad

7-Dr Talib Al Refai

8-Dr Habib Ghuloom

9-Shaikha Al Mutairi

10- Salha Obaid Ghabesh

11-Khulood Al Mualla

12-Mohammad Al Ghandour

13-Abdul Wahab Al Sayed Al Refai

14-Ahmad Amarah

15-Mawra Mamoun

16-Antoin Al Duwaihi

17-Dr Razan Ebrahim

18-Amin Al Zawi

19-Alawiyah Sobh

20-Osama Al-Muslim