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The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has launched the Sharjah International Literary Agency (SILA), the first-of-its-kind literary agency in the UAE and the region, which aims to facilitate communication among publishers, authors, translators and creatives, and regulate their operations in line with the established local and regional legal and professional frameworks.

SILA will play a vital role in ensuring that the rights of publishers and writers alike are protected, in addition to stimulating the Arabic publishing market, while also promoting Arabic literary and cultural content globally.

The agency supports SBA’s vision to work in tandem with the developments in global publishing industry, and support and promote the Arab region’s knowledge industry to fully assume global professional standards and frameworks, in a way that guarantees the rights of various stakeholders in the publishing sector, to strengthen the role that Sharjah plays in opening promising horizons for Emirati and Arab writers.

Other objectives of SILA are to cement Sharjah’s cultural presence on regional and global platforms. The entity will also work towards discovering young creative talents and assist them with overcoming the challenges of establishing their key regional and presence, along with offering consultative and financial support to authors and creators.

SILA will play the pivotal role of representing Arab authors by selling publication rights of their works to Arab and overseas publishers, and multimedia companies, including those in film, television and gaming verticals. Arab publishers who own the translations and media adaptation rights for their list of authors will also be represented by the entity. The agency will also function as a sub-agent to publishers and literary agents seeking to sell translations rights of their foreign language authors to Arab publishers.

Commenting on the launch of SILA, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, laid emphasis on the need to continually create a regional and global environment conducive to the creation and promotion of knowledge and creativity, in order to assist young generations to learn and realise their full potential. “The book industry is an integral pillar of Sharjah’s cultural project. The launch of SILA reinforces SBA’s commitment to support the industry locally and regionally, and actively promote the role of books, writers and creatives in society,” he said.

Al Ameri added, “SILA was launched in line with the vision of His His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. SBA will continue to support Emirati and Arab publishers and promote their offerings globally through SILA,   to turn the spotlight on the key role of books and knowledge in reinforcing cross-cultural communication. Under Sharjah’s cultural project that commenced more than 40 years ago, hundreds of Arab writers have participated in varied literary activities, leading to a fruitful exchange of ideas and expertise, and uplifting the cultural scene in the emirate. SILA will continue this ongoing support for authors and creatives while also safeguarding their rights and interests.”