Sharjah, November 10, 2023
Under the directives of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority, the Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) Free Zone has announced a support package for publishers wishing to establish or relocate their businesses to the city, including financial incentives up to AED 3 million. Whether from within the country or anywhere in the world, publishers will be exempted from 90% of licensing and business establishment fees.
This initiative embodies SPC Free Zone’s goals to advance the regional and global publishing industry. It asserts Sharjah’s status as a destination for creative industries. The agreements with beneficiaries of this generous initiative commit to printing no less than five new books within 12 months.
Mansour Al Hassani, Director of Publisher Services at the Sharjah Book Authority and Acting Director of SPC Free Zone, said: “This initiative exemplifies our steadfast dedication to fortifying our role as a global epicentre for publishing, printing and distribution. The SPC Free Zone is wholly committed to empowering investors to harness the full spectrum of our extraordinary opportunities and advantages. The Sharjah International Book Fair presents a distinct prospect for publishers to integrate into an international community that has chosen Sharjah as its corporate base. New entrants will have the chance to partake in the success that the SPC Free Zone has cultivated over the years, nurturing an environment conducive to collaboration, proficiency, and knowledge exchange within a competitive landscape”.
He added that the initiative also reflects Sharjah’s steadfast belief in the pivotal role of creative industries in the economy and, “SPC Free Zone’s unwavering commitment to support and nurture them through every possible means. We wholeheartedly welcome all publishers who share our vision and mission.”
The initiative is a new step in Sharjah Book Authority’s journey to promote cultural dialogue between civilisations and support authors’ creative, literary, and intellectual output in the region and the world. It aims to add hundreds of new titles to Arab and global libraries, provide new opportunities for authors to publish their works and present their visions to readers of various languages. The initiative targets publishers exhibiting in the 42nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair.Sharjah Publishing City supports publishers with benefits amounting to AED 3 million Read More
Sharjah, October 26, 2023
World-famous media personality Bassem Youssef will be one of the highlights of the 42nd Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), taking place from 1-12 November at the Sharjah Expo Centre. The globally recognised television star is set to lead a panel discussion on Friday, November 10th, at 8 PM, as well as hosting a book signing event for his latest publication, ‘Nadia in a Magical Adventure.’ This enchanting book unveils the inspiring story of a young girl with an unwavering passion for collecting dolls, who courageously preserves her Egyptian heritage despite her family’s relocation to America at the age of six years old.
This panel discussion is a component of SIBF’s overarching mission, which is to present an expansive programme featuring a rich variety of cultural and artistic events. The aim is to enrich visitors’ understanding and appreciation of various fields, cultivating a lifelong love for reading. It also serves as a platform for engaging with prominent local and international personalities from diverse fields who have left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape through their unique contributions and exceptional works.
From cardiac surgeon to a TV star
Bassem Youssef is a globally renowned Arab media figure who originally graduated from Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine in 1998, dedicating himself to a successful career as a cardiac surgeon spanning 13 years. In 2011, he made a significant career transition into the media realm by launching ‘The B+ Show’ on YouTube, which garnered remarkable success and ultimately paved the way for his television debut in 2012.
In recognition of his influence and impact, Time Magazine included Bassem in its prestigious list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. He also made guest appearances on renowned international programs such as ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart and ‘The Late Show’ with Stephen Colbert.
Beyond his media achievements, Bassem Youssef is committed to educating his audience on the importance of nutrition and health. He established the ‘Plant B TV’ platform and YouTube channel, where he promotes plant-based diets by leveraging his unique blend of medical expertise and media prowess to deliver educational and impactful content. Youssef has also been actively involved in various charitable and humanitarian initiatives, including the “Don’t Turn a Blind Eye” campaign supporting the visually impaired, the “Our Children Are a Trust” campaign combating violence against children, and the “No to Harassment” campaign addressing the issue of sexual harassment. He also holds the position of resident fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, where he conducts lectures and workshops.Celebrated media icon Bassem Youssef headlines discussion panel and book signing at SIBF 2023 Read More
Tamer Said’s appointment opens new chapter in SILA’s cross-cultural mission
Sharjah, July 2, 2023
Sharjah International Literary Agency (SILA) has named one of UAE’s foremost publishing executives, Tamer Said, its next director, opening a new chapter for the ambitious rights exchange and literary translation body.
Since its creation in 2020 by Sharjah Book Authority under Chairperson Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, SILA has boosted communication between publishers, authors, translators, illustrators, and other stakeholders, and helped transform numerous works for global consumption. SILA also ensures publishers’ and writers’ rights are protected, stimulates the Arabic publishing market, and promotes Arabic literary and cultural content globally.
Said’s priorities will be to escalate the agency’s rights and translation initiatives across the Arab world, increase its penetration into the cultural and scientific fields, and promote cross-cultural literary enrichment to the benefit of the regional publishing sector.
He said: ‘This is an exciting time to be joining Sharjah International Literary Agency, which was set up during the pandemic but is now really starting to make its mark. There’s growing demand for Arab content around the world, just as Arab readers are hungry for international works. SILA will address these demands and develop a dynamic cultural pipeline to nourish and expand the Arab publishing sector while introducing more international readers to Arab culture and literature.’
Previously, Tamer Said was Managing Director of Kalimat Group for more than 12 years where he helped the company grow by taking the group’s publications into new markets worldwide, and by building a robust partnership portfolio with multiple international publishing houses.Sharjah International Literary Agency names new director to lead mission to develop publishing industry in the Arab world Read More
Sharjah, April 09, 2023
Presenting a not-to-miss opportunity to fans and professionals alike, the Sharjah Book Authority has announced the inaugural edition of the Sharjah Animation Conference – a first-of-its-kind platform in the region to learn, be entertained and get up close and personal with Oscar winners and global industry leaders.
Set to take place from May 3 – 5 on the sidelines of the 14th annual Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023) in Hall 1, Expo Centre Sharjah, the event is organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in collaboration with Lilium, and in partnership with Italy’s Bergamo Animation Days (BAD) festival, and will provide a platform for people to come together, exchange ideas, and create meaningful connections.
The event will host state-of-the-art masterclasses, workshops, film screenings, business networking meetings between publishers and producers, and in-person interactions with the top brass of the world of animation. The artist line-up for SAC 2023 includes the likes of John Nevarez, film-story artist and Oscar winner for “Coco”; Sandro Cleuzo, animator and character designer and Annie Award winner for “Mary Poppins Returns”; and Takahiro Yoshimatsu, the animator and director of “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z”.
With 9 seminars, 9 workshops and masterclasses, and 3 panel discussions as well as a vibrant professional agenda, the conference will also attract professionals and young people from all over the Middle East, and build Sharjah’s reputation as the animation capital of the Arab world.
On the programme, activities aimed at a wide and varied audience, in terms of age and interests, with a major objective: to arouse curiosity and provide information on a world with a high level of creativity and technology. The conference will serve as a meeting point for different arts and crafts, stimulate new professionalism by directing attendees towards specialisations in the sector, and enable creative encounters between young aspirants and established protagonists of the world of animation.
The focus is on the writing, languages, themes, production techniques and technologies of animated cinema and how they are expressed in pure entertainment products, popular animation and communication.
Khoula Al Mujaini, SAC Executive Director said: “Animation lovers in the UAE and beyond are in for a spectacular treat. At the three-day Sharjah Animation Conference, they will enter the fascinating world of animation and get behind the scenes to learn so much about what brings these iconic and timeless characters to life. The conference is also aligned with Sharjah’s and SBA’s vision to elevate children’s visual content, and to fulfil this purpose, we will be presenting this platform to experts who will enjoy a unique opportunity to meet with the world’s top publishers, animators and producers to explore prospects for content selling and collaboration. We’re aiming to bring animation professionals together and create a community in the region, all while providing an opportunity for learning.”
For his part, Pietro Pinetti, SAC Artistic Director noted: “Our intention is for Sharjah to become the animation capital of the Arab world, attracting professionals and young people from all over the Middle East. A platform like SAC presents a great new opportunity for enabling exchange between the Arab and western worlds, particularly here in Sharjah, which has been investing in culture and young people for a long time. It is no coincidence that the emirate is the cultural capital of the UAE. Just this year Bergamo is, together with the neighbouring city of Brescia, the Italian capital of culture – another common touchpoint between BAD and SCRF. I thank Sharjah Book Authority for having believed in our project right from the start, and SCRF for welcoming us, proving that it fully shares our vision.”World’s best animators will reveal their top creative secrets at the first-ever Sharjah Animation Conference Read More
Sharjah, March 25, 2023
With its annual membership packages, the House of Wisdom (HoW), has created a brand new opportunity for the UAE community to read, play, work and be entertained throughout the year, enjoying uninterrupted access to world-class sources of knowledge and spaces to bring their imaginations to life.
Members will have access to the entire collection of HoW’s world-class physical and digital resources for 12 months, and depending on the membership grade, can borrow books for up to three weeks. HoW’s digital library can also be accessed from the comfort of one’s home or on the go on the HoW app downloadable on both iOS and Android devices.
Marwa Al Aqroubi, Executive Director, House of Wisdom, said: “Our annual membership has been thoughtfully designed to accommodate the diverse interests, needs, and aspirations of our members, which is aligned with our goals to facilitate access to our services and cultivating a community of individuals who are enthusiastic about reading and creativity, which contributes to the growth and prosperity of our society in the long term.”
She added: “We are committed to elevating the user experience by making our services accessible to all segments of society, in line with our leadership’s vision and goals aimed at creating an environment that encourages learning and creativity. We have been keen on providing special rates to students, to enable them to derive maximum benefit from the exceptional facilities and services offered at HoW.”
The Standard Membership comes with a host of features and benefits. Members can borrow up to 12 books for 15 days and enjoy access to all e-resources in the library, this 12-month package will allow members to enjoy a 10% discount on all HoW programmes as well as at their gift stores. HoW’s futuristic meeting pods which are curated for both official or study group gatherings can also be booked at a discounted rate.
In addition to all Standard Membership benefits, Premium package members will enjoy private access to HoW’s halls, each uniquely designed taking inspiration from notable figures. A 15% discount on HoW’s Espresso Book Machine service will mean the member can get a book printed, cover to cover, in a matter of minutes. They will also have VIP access to the various exhibitions at HoW. They will be invited to special events and enjoy free meeting pod bookings twice a year, depending on availability.
Additionally, premium membership allows one to borrow up to 20 books for 21 days, and enjoy a massive 20% off on all the exciting programmes HoW organises to stimulate learning, new discoveries and experiences.
HoW offers students a 20% discount on membership for students. To avail the discounts, students must provide their student ID at the time of registration.
Those interested can become members via an easy online registrations process at https://register.houseofwisdom.ae/.
Members will also have exclusive free access to special programmes and curated tours of exhibitions hosted at HoW. Those who have any specific queries about the membership packages and how they work, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Expand Your Horizons: House of Wisdom’s Annual Membership for Unlimited Learning Read More
In celebration of the National Month of Reading
- Fostering a love of reading among students and encouraging them to explore the rich culture and history of the UAE.
- 1,000 titles from 20 distinguished publishing houses at nine participating academic institutions from Sharjah.
- 15% discount on all featured books in Sharjah participating schools.
Sharjah, 17 March 2023: In recognition of National Reading Month, celebrated annually in March, Menassah Distribution Company proudly launched the ‘Schools Book Fairs’ initiative through which students can immerse themselves in the wonders of Emirati literature and easily obtain literary masterpieces at discounted prices throughout the month. This campaign represents the company’s unwavering commitment to providing educational resources to all members of society, particularly younger generations, to cultivate a passion for reading and lifelong learning.
Menassah Distribution Company, established by the Emirates Publishers Association to assist Emirati publishers in promoting their publications at local and international book fairs, is proud to present over 1,000 titles from 20 esteemed local publishing houses. As part of the National Reading Month festivities, Menassah is partnering with nine academic institutions in Sharjah to showcase these works and foster a love of reading among students.
In this regard, Rashid Al Kous, executive director of the Emirates Publishers Association, said: “At the Emirates Publishers Association, we are dedicated to promoting reading and cultivating it as a habit deeply ingrained in society. Our participation in National Reading Month festivities is a testament to this commitment. This annual event has evolved into a cultural celebration that transforms the emirates into vibrant reading hubs. As part of our efforts to achieve our goal, we have launched the ‘Schools Book Fairs’ initiative, which aims to increase the reach of Emirati literary works in schools across the UAE. By making books more accessible and popular among students, we aim to develop a generation of readers who are well-versed in science and knowledge and are deeply connected to their heritage and culture. This initiative is just one of many that we have developed to promote the growth and success of the Emirati publishing industry.”
According to Al-Kous, the Emirates Publishers Association has an ambitious vision to promote local culture throughout the UAE and is committed to achieving this vision through various initiatives, such as the School Book Fair. This initiative allows publishers to showcase their works in schools and encourages students to explore and learn more about Emirati culture and heritage.
He added: “To commemorate National Reading Month, the Schools Book Fairs initiative is thrilled to offer a 15% discount on all featured books. This incredible opportunity is designed to motivate students to engage with the world of Emirati literature, broaden their horizons, and establish reading as a way of life.”
Throughout March, thousands of students from various Sharjah academic institutions have the unique opportunity to access a diverse and fascinating selection of literary works. These institutions include the University of Sharjah, Al-Istiqlal School, WesGreen International Private School, GEMS Cambridge International Private School, Victoria International School, Manarat Al Sharjah School, and Al Shola Private School. In addition, students from Victoria International School in Khorfakkan and the American School for Scientific Creativity will also have the chance to participate in this exciting event.Menassah Distribution Company brings Emirati literature closer to school students through innovative ‘Schools Book Fairs’ initiative Read More
Guadalajara, December 08, 2022
Over the course of nine days, Sharjah turned the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) into a global celebration of Emirati and Arab culture. While participating as the Guest of Honour at the 36th edition of the fair, the UAE flag was displayed along the exhibition pavilions and walls with the names and pictures of Emirati and Arab authors, creators, and artists on billboards around FIL 2022.
The emirate’s Guest of Honour Pavilion at the entrance of Expo Guadalajara welcomed more than 500,000 visitors out of the 850,000 that explored the book fair. Visitors queued to have their names written in Arabic, and took part in the diverse cultural programme, including workshops, panel discussions, and music performances, with eager attendees lined up to try on traditional Emirati clothes as well as learn more about embroidery techniques, weaving, henna arts and making incense.
The distinguished Emirati authors’ books which were translated into Spanish by the Sharjah Book Authority, were a massive hit during the bookfair, which was evident in the sale of 4,500 copies over the nine-day event, with the highest demand on the books authored by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. These included acclaimed titles such as ‘The Inquisition Documents of Crimes against More than Half a Million Muslims in Andalusia’ and ‘I Condemn’.
As part of Sharjah’s cultural offerings they promoted the Emirati and Arab film industry through the screening of the film ‘Khorfakkan’, in two of the biggest cinemas in Guadalajara. The film which had Spanish subtitles received rave reviews from Mexican media, and tickets were completely sold out during its premiere.
Visitors, young and old, were enthralled by the Sharjah Guest of Honour Pavilion, which was designed as a row of gigantic books coloured with the UAE’s national flag colours. The tour inside the pavilion encapsulated the emirate’s cultural project launched under the directive and vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
Sharjah’s Guest of Honour Programme included over 200 individuals representing 23 cultural, heritage and academic institutions in the emirate presenting their most prominent publications and initiatives in the fields of literature, translation, art, libraries and heritage, to bring His Highness’s message and vision to the Mexican bookfair, under the supervision of the Sharjah Book Authority.
Commenting on the conclusion of the emirate’s participation at FIL 2022, Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi — Chairman of the Department of Government Relations (DGR) in Sharjah, and head of the Sharjah delegation — called on Emirati and Arab cultural institutions to follow the path of the emirate in building bridges with cities around the world. He said: “During Sharjah’s activities at the bookfair, we felt the Mexican’s eagerness to learn more concerning our Arab culture, and build bridges with our nation. It falls on our shoulders as institutions and individuals to follow in the footsteps of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and present the noble and authentic values of our Arab identity and civilisation to the world.”
Sheikh Fahim explained that nations and civilisations value and celebrate their counterparts especially after learning about the various aspects of their history and culture. He added that the UAE’s participation and the Sharjah cultural project is a model that brings pride and honour to the nation. He added: “Mexico and other Latin American countries share many authentic values with Arabs, which makes it easier on us to build strong bridges that serve both cultures and their societies.”
The Chairman noted that the strength of relations between countries is put to test by the challenges the world is going through, which was evident during the two-years of the pandemic. He also stressed that deepening the relationships between UAE and Sharjah with other countries and cities worldwide, provides greater opportunities to achieve the aspirations of the country’s developmental aspirations. He also pointed out the efforts of Sharjah on a cultural level, in terms of expanding information bases, facilitating access to sources of knowledge, and investing in the academic sector, has direct positive impact on the country’s vital sectors, noting that the fruits of these efforts may not always seem apparent in the short term but rather in the size of its impact over time, which would be evident in the sustainability of communication and knowledge exchange throughout the years.
For his part, H.E. Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, noted: “During the nine days of FIL 2022, we saw the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, which looks at literature, art and knowledge being an open space for the citizens and civilisations of the world to connect and discover how close and similar they are with each other, this outlook was manifested in Sharjah’s pavilion this year. Although there are continents and oceans between our emirate and Mexico, we discovered what unites us in terms of values, history and culture, and most importantly our language and vocabulary, which were learnt and used frequently by the Spanish speaking visitors of the book fair.”
He added: “Through Sharjah’s participation in the book fair, we wanted to showcase the rich Emirati and Arab culture to Mexico. So we were adamant to present our publishing scene, heritage, libraries and antiquities, as well as other elements from the cultural domain. We also shined light on Sharjah’s initiatives and projects to explore partnership opportunities with our Mexican counterparts. Today, we are proud of what the Emirati culture is accomplishing in one of the most prominent book fairs in the world. We had the UAE flag adorning the book fair’s walls and our authors and intellectuals were received well by Mexican universities and schools. Every event we organised through this book fair was a manifestation of the importance of cultural exchange and its impact on building connections. We congratulate His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah for this global celebration and this cultural project that showcases our emirate, and congratulations to the UAE for this global presence in Latin America through this celebration of its history and present.”
In her speech during the closing ceremony, Khoula Al Mujaini, said: “During our daily activities at the book fair, we felt the strength of the bonds that unite our cities increasing. We have achieved a great deal in facilitating bridges between the Emirati and Mexican peoples, through the exchange of experiences, expertise and creative outlooks about the publishing industry, our belief in the power of the book, and our shared passion for the written word.”
She added, “It was a great honour to present our literary and cultural personalities — including thought leaders, members of the publishing industry as well as artists and musicians — to the cultural audience in Guadalajara. The Sharjah Guest of Honour Programme brought together 24 of our top writers and creators, who participated in 25 sessions.”
At the end of the closing ceremony, Sharjah handed the Guest of Honor title to the European Union who will be Guest of Honor of the Guadalajara International Book Fair 2023, where Al Mujaini presented a traditional coffee pot and cups made of porcelain and silver, from ‘Hind Designs‘ by Sheikha Hind Al Qasimi, as a gift to the European Union, representatives.
In addition to the cultural program, Sharjah organised 15 heritage shows in its pavilion and 5 shows on the main book fair stage, as well as organising a series of tours for Emirati writers and creatives to Mexican schools and art exhibitions in Guadalajara.
Sharjah takes Emirati and Arab culture to Latin America; concludes its participation at 36th Guadalajara International Book Fair Sharjah pavilion welcomed 500,000+ visitors during the 9-day event Read More