Sharjah: The winners of the 34th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) were announced on Saturday.

The SIBF, which will be held from November 4-14 at the Expo Centre includes awards for an Emirati Book, Best Arabic Book, and Best International Book, in addition to the Sharjah Publisher Recognition Award.

Palestine-based Dar Al Jundi won the Best Arab Publisher Award, while the Best International Publisher Award went to India’s National Book Trust. Emirati writer Hareb Al Daheri won the Best Emirati Book by an Emirati creative writer for his novel Ascension to Heaven released by the Emirati Writers Union, while Dr Ebrahim Abdullah Ghuloom won the Best Emirati Academic Book Award for his book The Theatre of the Original Issue-Intellectual Structure in the Theatre of Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, released by Lebanon-based Al Intishar Al Arabi Foundation.

The SIBF bestowed the Best Emirati Translated Book Award for Art in the UAE, prepared and written by the Abu Dhabi Culture and Art Group, and released by Motivate Publishing in Dubai, while author Ali Abu Al Rish won the Best Emirati Printed Book about the UAE for his book Western-Bird with Eight Wings, released by Hamalil Publishing House in Abu Dhabi.

The Sharjah Award for the Best Arabic Novel went to Zeyad Ahmad Mahafza for his novel Prisoners of Darkness, published by Dar Fadaat Publishing House in Jordan, while writer Soraya Khan won the Best international Fiction Book for her novel City of Spies, published by Aleph Book Publishing.

Author Glenn Greenwald won the Best International Non-Fiction Book Award for his book “No Place To Hide”, published by Macmillan Publishers.

Ahmad Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and director of SIBF, said, “The SBA has always been eager to honour creative writers and outstanding publishing houses that enrich libraries with best titles in the UAE and beyond. This annual tradition is in line with the vision of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who inspires all creative individuals to give more and help make a positive impact on their society.”

Al Ameri said the awards given by the SIBF are an acknowledgement of individual talent and an appreciation of sincere efforts made by those who work dedicatedly to make the book a prominent feature in people’s lives. He says this is because communities who are well-read evolve faster and better than those who are deprived of reading and have no access to books and sources of knowledge. Al Ameri added that the jury of the SIBF awards has exerted considerable effort in selecting the most distinctive works and bestow the recognition they deserve.

The winners of the SIBF 2015 awards will be honoured during the opening ceremony of the Sharjah International Book Fair, which will be held on Wednesday in the presence of a large number of official figures, cultural personalities and intellectuals as well as media representatives from all over the world.

The SIBF 2015 is scheduled to feature some prominent international figures, including John McCarthy, who was held hostage for over five years in Lebanon; Durjoy Datta, a novelist and entrepreneur who writes for television and films; K. Satchidanandan, a Malayalam poet, and Vairamuthu, a Tamil poet.