sibf file pic supplied-1694013968200
File photo of a previous edition of SIBF Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The chairperson of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, has affirmed that Sharjah is solidifying its status as a global cultural hub.

She also noted that the emirate’s cultural platforms such as the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) advance communication between nations. These statements were made on the occasion of the announcement of the Republic of South Korea as Guest of Honour at the upcoming 42nd edition of SIBF, which will be held from November 1 to 12 at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The South Korean pavilion at SIBF 2023 will present a cultural programme of activities and events that reflect the aesthetics and diversity of the Korean culture, which is particularly popular amongst the youth. Through panel discussions, workshops, culinary demonstrations, and artistic performances, visitors will have the chance to learn about the history, civilisation and arts of South Korea. The pavilion will also host several authors and cultural figures from South Korea who will share their experiences and perspectives with the audience.

South Korea’s nomination for the emirate’s biggest cultural event is poised to celebrate the centuries-old Korean culture and heritage, as well as familiarise SIBF’s guests and visitors with the latest developments in their cultural, literary and creative landscape. The ways in which South Korea has modernised its cultural landscape by being rooted in its past has garnered attention and popularity across the Arab region and the world.

The country’s selection as SIBF’s GoH for the upcoming edition also further solidifies the long-standing cultural ties between Sharjah and South Korea, which celebrated the emirate as their Guest of Honour at the 65th edition of the Seoul International Book Fair in June.

Commenting on SIBF’s global cultural importance, Sheikha Bodour said: “Thanks to the guidance of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, SIBF has established itself as an exemplary Arab accomplishment, and we are elevating its role to enrich global culture. It has served as a platform for publishers, book industry professionals, and libraries to flourish, build partnerships, and strengthen relationships with their target audience. Moreover, the event has broadened the horizons for newer developments in Arab culture, enabling it to reach broader segments of society.”

Sheikha Badour Al Qasimi
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi Image Credit: Supplied

SBA CEO Ahmed bin Rakad Al Ameri said: “Celebrating the cultural experience of South Korea embodies the vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, which has transformed the emirate into a prominent hub of culture and education in the region and around the world. SIBF is designed on [Sheikh Sultan’s] belief that books and knowledge create the strongest and most sustainable foundations for long-standing cultural dialogue between nations and peoples. It also opens new avenues for partnerships and collaboration between the UAE’s and Arab world’s knowledge market with their global counterparts.”

Ahmed bin Rakad Al Ameri

He added: “This November, South Korean culture, history, customs and practices, and their scientific and technological advancements will meet Emirati culture’s authentic Arab values, rich history, and heritage. This represents an opportunity for the public, publishers, library owners, and book institutions to directly engage with a distinguished culture of the far east.

“SIBF serves as a platform to strengthen their connections with local and global markets. At the same time, our Guest of Honour programme has served as an ideal gateway for new cultural accomplishments like the establishment of institutes, signing of partnerships, and the launching of initiatives over the past years that brought Sharjah and the UAE closer to nations worldwide.”

About SIBF

SIBF is considered one of the most prominent cultural events in the region and the world. Each year, it attracts millions of book and culture enthusiasts, facilitating the buying and selling of publishing rights between publishers and authors and supporting the region’s book industry. In 2022, the book fair brought together more than 2,213 publishers from 95 countries alongside 150 writers and thinkers from 57 countries. Over the course of 12 days, it featured 1,500 cultural, artistic, and entertainment events, and for the second year in a row, it earned the title of the largest book fair in the world in the sale and purchase of publishing rights.