General picture of Sharjah 2-1669302844875
The Sharjah pavilion at the Mexican book fair will also host various activities to introduce the UAE’s unique heritage, arts and music to the visitors. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Sharjah: Recognising its cultural contribution to the world, Sharjah will be feted as the Guest of Honour at the 36th Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), opening on Saturday, November 26, in the Mexican city of Guadalajara.

The Sharjah pavilion at the Mexican book fair will also host various activities to introduce the UAE’s unique heritage, arts and music to the visitors.

Abdullah Mohammed Al Owais, chairman of the Sharjah Department of Culture, said: “The Department will organise an ‘Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition’ in collaboration with the University of Guadalajara in addition to an art workshop. We will also showcase the department’s publications and magazines in various cultural fields.”

For his part, Sultan Al Amimi, Chairman of the Emirates Writers Union, said Sharjah’s participation at FIL, which runs until December 4, “provides a unique opportunity for knowledge and cultural exchange.”

“It is also an opportunity to showcase Emirati and Arab literary works to their global counterparts, in line with the vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah,” he added.

Emirati heritage

Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam, chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, said: “Our agenda includes a seminar on inscriptions and its significance on the Emirati heritage, in addition to folk art shows performed by the Sharjah National Band, where female artisans will showcase traditional and heritage crafts. Our latest publications, available in various languages, will also be presented at the book fair.”

Prof. Dr Hamid Majoul Al Nuaimi, director of the University of Sharjah (UoS), added UoS will conduct meetings with the University of Guadalajara, Universidad de Guanajuato, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, to build partnerships in various fields including teaching Arabic, medicine, engineering, space, archaeology.

Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, director general of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, said the authority will cover live the events of the book fair, in addition to special segments on Sharjah’s activities, as well as conduct interviews with Arab and Mexican authors and intellectuals.

Diverse agenda

Marwa Al Aqroubi, director of the House of Wisdom, noted: “A diverse agenda of cultural activities will mark our participation at the 36th Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL). This includes the launch of the Spanish version of ‘Folktales Reimagined’ exhibition in partnership with the UAE Board on Books for Young People. We are also showcasing rare and valuable books donated by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah to the House of Wisdom.”

Rashid Al Kous, executive director of the Emirates Publishers Association, added: “We will bolster the presence of Emirati authors at one of the world’s most important book fairs to ensure the placement of local Arab titles in libraries worldwide.

Rights of authors and publishers

Dr. Alyazia Khalifa, president of the Emirates Reprographic Rights Management Association (ERRA), said they will highlight efforts to safeguard the rights of authors and publishers.

Muhannad Hussein Bu Saida, director of Al Qasimi Publications, added: “During our participation in the book fair, we will highlight the works of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah that conveys his key messages and cultural vision with the people of Latin America.”

Issa Youssef, director of the Archaeology Department at Sharjah Archaeology Authority (SAA), said: “We will highlight the rich history of Sharjah. We will also organise a seminar on Mleiha archaeological site, and showcase replicas of 19 relics including ivory combs, bronze tools and other antiquities dating back to different historical periods of the emirate at the MUSA Museum of the Arts at the University of Guadalajara.”

The Sharjah Museums Authority will likewise showcase a selection of unique artefacts from its museums, including ornaments, pottery, incense burners and paintings that shine light on the UAE’s history and Islamic civilisation.