Sharjah: Academics, intellectuals and visitors made a beeline for the Sharjah Book Authority’s (SBA) pavilion at Rabat International Book Fair (RIBF) where they sought to explore two books, I Condemn and The Inquisition, written by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
Visitors to the pavilion lauded the efforts of His Highness in documenting the region’s important and decisive historical events in which Arabs and Muslims played a major role, particularly events that document the Arab presence in Andalusia, southern Spain. They noted that His Highness’ vision manifests an interest in documenting Arab and Islamic history and presenting it to readers on the basis of precise scientific research methodologies, highlighting Arab cultural relics in Europe.
An earnest celebration of books
The SBA concluded its participation in the 27th edition of the Rabat International Book Fair, organised by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication under the patronage of King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco. Inaugurated by Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, Morocco’s Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, the 11-day event was an earnest celebration of books, creative thinkers, authors and poets for a world coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister visited the SBA pavilion, where he met Fadel Hussain Bu Seim, director of SBA in the Eastern Region and head of Sharjah’s delegation to the book fair. Bu Seim presented the minister a copy of His Highness The Inquisition. He also met Dr Said Mohammed Al Bar’ami, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the Kingdom of Morocco, and presented him Dr Sheikh Sultan’s The History of Al Ya’ariba in Oman (1623-1747 AD).
‘Nurturing Arab and Emirati culture’
Speaking about the SBA’s participation in the book fair, Bu Seim said: “SBA’s participation in the Rabat International Book Fair stems from the realisation that regional and international cultural events help forge and strengthen cooperation and partnerships with regional and international institutions. Since cultural events witness a huge turnout of visitors from around the world, they bolster efforts to nurture Arab and Emirati culture.”
He added: “The SBA’s participation in regional and international events align with the vision of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi to serve better the emirate’s developmental project. Participating in RIBF 2022 is a clear indicator of Morocco’s important contributions and role in the Arab cultural scene. It is a reinforcement of our bilateral relations and a celebration of our creative expertise. Our journey in support of the Arab literary movement in the African continent began with Algeria. After Morocco, we will visit the Tunis International Book Fair.”
Critique and contemporary thoughts
During the book fair in Rabat, the SBA organised a symposium titled ‘Contemporary Arab Horizons’, which brought together Sultan Al Amimi, chairman of the Board of Directors of Emirates Writers Union, and Mohammed Ait Hanna, Moroccan author and translator. The luminaries discussed several topics including critique and contemporary thoughts on Arab literature.
Al Amimi said: “Sharjah’s active presence in Arab and international book fairs serves as a cultural platform for Emirati and Arab authors to share their ideas with their counterparts from other parts of the world and promotes their publications among readers of all nationalities and cultures.”
SBA’s participation in the Ribat International Book Fair aligns with its efforts aimed at promoting Emirati and Arab culture worldwide and exploring partnerships and cooperation opportunities with regional and global cultural entities.