SHARJAH, 25th April, 2022 (WAM) — The second edition of the Emirati Book Fair (EBF) organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in partnership with the Emirates Writers Union (EWU) from 21-24 April came to a successful close Sunday with a book signing ceremony that brought together more than 150 local authors.
In a reflection of the vibrant cultural and publishing scenes in the country, the EBF presented the works of 970 Emirati authors and creatives and offered the public a chance to view 1,400 titles from 26 publishers, institutions and local cultural initiatives that covered fields such as literature, science, heritage, and poetry.
The book fair received a great footfall, in addition to intellectuals, academics, researchers and children throughout the four-day event that was inaugurated by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. The latest historical work of Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi, Struggle of the Zend Khans and the Descent of Power, was launched on the opening day.
The book fair stimulated the local cultural movement through panel sessions that focused on cultural topics, including the Emirati writer’s presence in the global scene and the creative journeys of Emirati writers and intellectuals. The sessions also celebrated the work and legacy of renowned authors who produced a vast body of research on the regions, dialects, folklore, poetry and theatre of the UAE.
Commenting on the book fair, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said, “Promoting the Emirati cultural movement begins with supporting our writers, poets, creators and thinkers; and EBF was launched under the directives and support of Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, to achieve this goal. Advancing Emirati writers and their work is at the heart of Sharjah’s cultural ambitions. The gathering of a group of local publishers, authors and creatives on one platform at EBF gives our ambition to promote local literature and culture regionally and globally a qualitative push.”
He added, “Communication between Emirati writers and publishers is key as it is not possible to communicate with the cultures of the world without having a constructive dialogue within the Emirati cultural circles in order for us to be able to successfully monitor developments, assess changes and discuss future aspirations. More importantly, to mentor future generations of Emirati writers and creatives, we certainly need a vibrant cultural platform. In the past four days, the Emirati Book Fair, which grows with each passing year, was able to achieve all this and more”.
For his part, Sultan Al Amimi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, EWU, stressed that the support of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, to Emirati writers and their works has resulted in a renaissance in the local cultural scene and has also elevated the country’s status on the global cultural map. He pointed out that Emirati intellectuals today are proud to be affiliated with a cultural project supported and under the patronage of UAE rulers. Not only are their works celebrated, but they will see their country’s flag hoisted in major international cultural events.
He added, “The book fair brought together authors and intellectuals and provided them a platform to network, highlighted new titles by emerging writers, and shed light on the thriving local publishing scene. The EBF had a great impact on the local cultural movement as writers could interact with their peers while publishers could showcase their latest releases, boosting sales and readership.”