• Monday, March 20, 2023

Over 2000 Publishers Across 95 Countries to Participate in the Sharjah International Book Fair

on Oct 31, 2022
Abdulrazak Gurnah

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has expanded tremendously since it originally began in 1982. With Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah serving as the main attraction in November, and despite the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 outbreak, Sharjah's annual literary festival grew to become the greatest book market in the whole globe. 

The fair continues to provide readers and publishers in the area, who frequently struggle with the pervasiveness of social media, a chance to discover new writers, and titles, and connect with the literary community.

It would be nice to have more people there to listen to the conversations between authors and cultural icons. Regardless of the genre or language of publication, it is important to note that it is positive for publishing companies.

Visitors this year may also study historical manuscripts, including Arabic dictionaries from the 14th century and a unique genealogical manuscript containing the Prophet Mohammed's family tree, at the SIBF, which opens this week. 

The fair juxtaposes both ancient and new worldviews, enlivening the minds of readers of all ages by giving them access to such manuscripts and encouraging them to find new voices.

However, publishers from the area and throughout the world are gathering for three days as part of the expo to address, among other things, the difficulties confronting publishers. This is before attendees queue up to attend the hundreds of author panels and other public activities.

The future of digital publishing in the Arab world, the promotion of audiobooks in emerging countries, and even the sharing of ideas on global standards and publishing practices may all be addressed at a meeting of such scale that brings together 339 publishing firms.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, spoke last month at the Frankfurt Book Fair, another significant event in the publishing world that has returned to full capacity since the pandemic started. He discussed the value of making personal connections with publishers at these events.

According to Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, president of the International Publishers Association, the worldwide publishing sector will survive this crisis quite well despite the difficulties that they have endured during and even after the epidemic. She clarified that her "actual grasp of how robust and tough publishers are" was not "blind optimism."

More than 2,000 publishers from 95 countries will take part in Sharjah's 41st book expo this week, which has "Spread the Word" as its theme. At least ten nations, including the Philippines, Ireland, Mali, Jamaica, Iceland, and Hungary, are participating in the fair for the first time.

"In the UAE, I have observed directly how progress on the freedom to publish can be accomplished via constant, multi-stakeholder engagement," Sheikha Bodour wrote on these pages last year.

Over the next two weeks, readers and the publishing business will both benefit from the participation of little under 100 nations.

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