Sharjah to showcase Emirati and Arab culture in Sao Paulo during International Book Fair in August

The Sharjah delegation is the first guest of honour at the Sao Paulo International Book Fair that will run from August 3 to 12

Sharjah: The best of Emirati and Arab culture, local poetry and novels will take centre stage at the Sharjah pavilion in the Sao Paulo International Book Fair in August.


The Sharjah delegation is the first guest of honour at the Sao Paulo International Book Fair that will run from August 3 to 12.

Now in its 25th edition, the book fair will be a vibrant platform for the UAE’s gems of Emirati culture, with a special focus on its achievements in the past four decades.

A large delegation from Sharjah will be headed by Shaikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations. The attendees also include 20 Emirati authors and publishers, and 15 cultural entities.

The Sharjah delegation will comprise leading cultural, educational and academic entities including the Sharjah Book Authority, Emirates Writers Union, Emirates Publishers Association, Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, Sharjah Institute for Heritage, Dr Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies, Sharjah Media Corporation, UAE Board on Books for Young People, Knowledge without Borders, 1001 Titles initiative, Al Qasimi Publications, Kalimat Group, NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, Sharjah Business Women Council and the American University of Sharjah.

Sharjah’s participation — the largest-of-its-kind by an Arab country — at one of the key cultural events in South America, will provide Sao Paulo’s population of 21 million inhabitants with the opportunity to explore Emirati art shows, including traditional songs and traditional dances by the Sharjah National Music Band, which will tour the city. Shaikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi said Sharjah’s cultural achievements reflect the futuristic vision and pioneering efforts of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

“Having taken on the position of the UAE’s cultural capital, Sharjah considers strengthening relationships with countries worldwide and opening new avenues for dialogue and cross-cultural collaboration as one of its top responsibilities. The selection of Sharjah as Sao Paulo Book Biennial’s first guest of honour is yet another achievement for Sharjah and a new era of cooperation with Brazil and Latin America,” he said.

For his part, Ahmad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, said: “Through its cultural programme in Sao Paulo, Sharjah aims to introduce the finer details of the UAE’s cultural and social fabric, and the Arab and Islamic culture to a completely different community. Sharjah Book Authority has carefully crafted a cultural programme, which will sufficiently represent our authentic heritage through a diversity of events including oriental music, poetry, novel and crafts.”

Highlights of Sharjah’s Cultural Programme

■  Day 1: Poetry reading themed ‘Poetry Spectra’, comprising poet Dr Habib Al Sayegh and poet Talal Salem, and is moderated by poet and journalist Shaikha Al Mutairi. On the same day, and all throughout the fair, Oud player Tarish Saeed Al Hashimi, will play a selection of music themed ‘Music of the Soul’.

A seminar themed ‘The Year of Zayed’, moderated by writer and journalist Khalid Bin Qiqa, will also be held that will highlight the efforts of the late Founding Father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

■  Day 2: Sharjah Pavilion will host a poetry reading themed ‘The Glow of Poems’, comprising two Emirati poets Salha Ghabish and Shaikha Al Mutairi, and moderated by Talal Salem.

A seminar titled ‘The Success of The UAE Publishing Market Around the World’ will be held.

Another seminar moderated by Asma Al Zarouni under the title ‘Modern Novel Landscape’ will be held to discuss the artistic and narrative potentials that enabled contemporary novels to attain a leading position in the literary landscape.

■  Day 3: The Sharjah Pavilion will host four cultural, musical, research and literary activities including ‘Music of the Soul’.

Dr Habib Ghalloum, an actor and writer, and Khaled Bin Qiqa, a writer and journalist, will talk in a literary seminar titled ‘The Benefits of Writing’.

A discussion panel themed ‘1001 Titles’ will explore common points between fiction stories in both Emirati and Brazilian literature.

■  Day 4: The Sharjah pavilion will highlight the UAE heritage and the emirate’s initiatives to encourage youngsters to explore world of books and increase awareness about the importance of reading as a lifestyle choice through a seminar titled ‘Mirrors of Time’.

■  Day 5: Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council will organises a workshop on making baskets using ‘Safeefa’, a traditional Emirati art of palm fronds weaving and decoration.

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