Sharjah: The second edition of Emirati Book Fair (EBF), organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), in cooperation with Emirates Writers’ Union, will run until April 24 at SBA’s headquarters in Al Zahia.
The book fair, which started on April 21, is open to the public from 9pm-1am daily.
EBF is displaying the works of 970 Emirati writers in one place, thereby spreading Sharjah’s message for advancement of books and reading in the UAE and the region. Readers can browse through thousands of titles by local literary luminaries at the second edition of EBF.
In addition to the latest publications by emerging Emirati writers, visitors can also explore the works of authors known for laying the foundations of the literary scene in the UAE. Highlights at the fair include volumes by writers who established the short story genre in the country and a collection of Nabati poetry by revered Emirati poet Ahmad Al Hammli, first printed in 1976 in India. There are books from multiple genres, including academic books, novels, historical titles and children’s literature.
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of SBA, told Gulf News: “The Emirati Book Fair, which is a first-of-its-kind event, continues the cultural movement led by the emirate of Sharjah under the directives and visions of His highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi.”
He added: “The Ruler of Sharjah launching his new book at the fair carried a great message to all Emirati writers and authors. It is an affirmation that the fair and the emirate of Sharjah are home to every Emirati writer, and that the arrival of the Emirati cultural discourse on Arab and global arenas begins with the vigorous and robust national presence and the fruitful communication with book makers in the emirates.”
On Thursday, SBA organised a panel discussion titled ‘Emirati Books — Reaching the International Scene’, featuring local authors Salha Obeid and Eman Al Yousuf. The panel discussion was held in the presence of Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of SBA; and Sultan Al Amimi, chairman of the Board of Directors, Emirates Writers’ Union. It focused on the key role of Sharjah’s cultural project, founded by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, more than 40 years ago, in building bridges between cultures and to highlight the UAE and Arab cultures and the literary scene globally.
Speaking at the fair, Obeid highlighted the importance of book fairs in providing unique opportunities to Emirati writers. She said that Sharjah’s participation as a guest of honour in the most prominent international book fairs around the world has played a significant role in presenting Emirati and Arab cultures worldwide.
Al Yousuf said that books are the perfect medium for building bridges between cultures, by removing preconceptions and stereotypes created by the media. In her view, translated works provide a window into in-depth knowledge and authentic information about the region and its people.