Pakistan News & Features Services
As many as 924 publishing houses from 62 countries will participate in the 31st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) 2012 to be held at the Sharjah Expo Centre from November 7 to 17. It will be a record participation in terms of countries as well as the number of publishers.
The Department of Culture and Information has announced that out of a total of 62 countries, 22 of them of the 22 Arab countries and 40 foreign countries, 24 will be participating in the SIBF for the first time.
The number of participating countries is almost double this year than in the previous edition which saw the participation of 894 publishers from 35 countries, including 14 Arab countries and 21 foreign countries.
Addressing a Press conference, Ahmed Al Amri, Director-General of the SIBF, disclosed the names of first time participants, which included Spain, Australia, Italy, Poland, Thailand, Romania, Serbia, China, Canada, Nigeria and Greece.
He revealed that this year’s edition will witness an increase in the participation of Arabic publishing houses from 7,600 square metres to 9,613 square metres, while foreign participation has increased from 1,600 square metres to 2,100 square metres.
The SIBF 2012 will register a phenomenal increase of 500 per cent in the participation of Indian publishing houses, in addition to the participation of 20 Pakistani publishers for the first time.
The guests of the SIBF include an elite group of prominent Arab authors, such as Egyptian Minister of Culture Mohammed Saber Arab and Algerian novelist Ahlam Mostaghanmi, and high-profile artists, namely renowned Egyptian comedian Adel Imam and famous actor Yehya Al Fakhrani.
There will be also a number of high profile non-Arab authors like Graffin Aslar, Robert Lacey, William Hamilton and Arundhati Roy, among others. The 10-day book fair will include a host of events and activities featuring cultural, children’s and culinary programmes which will take place at Celebrations Hall, Book Forum, Literary Forum, Cultural Hall and Thought Hall.
The fair will feature events and activities, including presentation of awards, especially the cultural personality of the year which will be given this year to Emirati poet and writer Habib Al Sayegh, Sharjah awards for Emirati publishing houses and books and the best printed book and the best foreign book about economy.
The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature will be presented along with other awards on the first day of the SIBF 2012.
The 10-day children’s programme will include around 200 events, jointly organised by the Department of Culture and Information, Directorate of Arts, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah City of Humanitarian Services, Sharjah Educational Zone, Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage, Bahrain’s Women Association for Human Development and the Supreme Council for Family Affairs.
The UAE, Korea, Sweden, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Tunisia and France will conduct children-related events.
The 10-day culinary programme will feature 25 events dedicated to Indian, Pakistani, Gulf and Middle Eastern cuisines presented by chefs Nirmeen Hano, Naushad, Gerard Baker, Zakher, Rose prince, Emmy Reyola, Ayesha Al Tamimi, Sam Clark and Manal Al Alim.