Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi steals limelight in Sharjah International Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi, one of Pakistan’s top writers and columnists, charmed the audience in his typical style during his presentation at the 31st Sharjah International Book Fair 2012 on November 13. 

Having tremendous fan following in Pakistan as well as outside of the country, he has carved a niche for himself with his satirical style of taking aim at the controversial issues and describing them in his unique tone. 

“I’ve got death threats from people in power and members of the public in Pakistan. I always respond in the same way,” Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi, who also served as the country’s Ambassador to Norway and Thailand, was quoted as saying. 

The 31st Sharjah International Book Fair 2012, in which Pakistan has been chosen as the country of focus, was inaugurated by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, at the Sharjah Expo Centre on November 7. 

The book fair, acclaimed to be one the biggest in the world, features 385,000 titles from more than 920 publishers from over 60 countries. It will continue until November 17. 

“Despite the participation of hundreds of publishers and hundreds of thousands of valuable books in our fair this year, we should not ignore some of the challenges faced by the book and written material in general in these times,” Dr Shaikh Sultan observed during his speech at the opening ceremony while referring to the growing trend of social media and digital publishing in the fast-changing world. 

“We believe that each has his own role and scope, and all of us as authors, publishers and intellectuals have to think of the best ways to maintain the balance of these roles and implement them quickly,” he added. 

“We believe that the publishing houses in the UAE and our region should keep up with this new revolution and innovate attractive ways to display ‘paper’ books and ‘digital’ books to encourage readers to buy books and read them in whichever way they prefer,” Dr Shaikh Sultan remarked. 

He honoured winners in the awards ceremony that followed the formal inauguration. The awards included the Etislat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, Cultural Personality of the Year, Best Local Publishing House Award, Best Emirati Author, Best UAE Printed Book about the UAE, among others.

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