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Sharjah: Cultural cooperation between Sharjah and several Italian cultural entities has been strengthened following a bilateral meeting between Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and a high-level delegation from Italy.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SBA chairman, received Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, and Prof. Ida Zilio-Grandi, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Abu Dhabi, at the SBA headquarters recently to discuss the participation of Italian publishers at the upcoming Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2020), Translation Grant, and the Publishers Conference organised by SBA.

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Al Ameri offered the delegation an insight into the array of potential opportunities for cultural exchange these events provide. The meeting also talked about Sharjah’s preparations and cultural agenda for Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2021, which the emirate will attend as guest of honour.

Creative and cultural events

The Italian delegation was briefed on the various creative and cultural events organised annually by SBA, including SIBF - the largest literary event of its kind in the Middle East and one of the top three book fairs in the world. SBA also discussed the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival and highlighted the accomplishments of Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ) in supporting both Arab and global publishers.

Al Ameri said: “Sharjah was guest of honour at Turin International Book Fair last year, which is one of the most important cultural events in Europe. Our participation opened the doors to cultural entities of Sharjah and Italy for greater bilateral cooperation opportunities in many fields, and was a platform for Emirati intellectuals to meet their Italian counterparts.”

Partnership

Ambassador Lener added: “Culture plays a prominent role in strengthening our relationship with the emirate of Sharjah and (we) seek to further bolster this partnership through promoting activities related to education and books.

“We look forward to greater Italian presence and participation in the events held and organised by Sharjah, and we will also initiate plans to organise cultural events in the emirate,” he continued.