Sharjah: Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) on Wednesday announced that Spain is the designated ‘Guest of Honour’ of the 40th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), slated for November this year.
The decision was announced at an official signing ceremony held virtually, attended by Ahmad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA; Antonio Álvarez Barthe, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE; María José Gálvez, Director General for Books, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Spain; and other officials.
With a series of literary dialogues, exhibitions, theatre, music and creative cultural activities, Spain is bringing a varied cultural programme to SIBF 2021.
SIBF, said to be the largest book fair in the region and the one of the top three in the world, is gearing up to welcome a host of Spanish publishers and authors to Sharjah for a “milestone edition”. It will offer visitors as well as the global publishing community “a unique opportunity” to dive deeper Spanish literature and culture, as well as its latest achievements in contemporary publishing.
Boosting cultural exchange
Al Ameri said: “We look forward to celebrating the unique aspects of the Spanish culture here in Sharjah, and look forward to welcoming them as Guest of Honour at SIBF 2021. Through these efforts, we seek to further widen the space for cooperation and dialogue between Emirati and Spanish people, cultural institutions, authors, artists and publishers.”
Ambassador Barthe said: “It is our pleasure to sign this agreement on behalf of the Spanish Government and our Ministry of Culture. We look forward to enhancing the relationship between Sharjah and Spanish cities.”
Gálvez said: “This is a great day for Spain and for our book industry. We look forward to seeing the success it will have for us as a country as well as for our authors and our publishing sector. It is an absolute pleasure to work with SBA, and we look forward to presenting our creativity and exchanging our expertise in the literary sector with all participants of SIBF who will join us from around the world.”