This post is also available in: العربية

Sharjah’s global efforts to encourage literary movements and the richness of Emirati and Arab cultures will be under the spotlight at Latin America’s largest book fair next year.

In a recent announcement made by the Guadalajara International Book Fair, FIL, organisers, the emirate has been named the “Guest of Honour” at the FIL’s 34th edition, to be held from 28th November to 6th December 2020.

A press conference was organised by the University of Guadalajara, UDG, in Mexico, to make the big announcement. Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, Chairman; Raúl Padilla López; President of FIL; Héctor Raúl Solís Gadea, Deputy Rector of UDG, Marisol Schulz Manaut, General Director of FIL; and 350-plus authors, publishers and media representatives attended the event.

During a keynote speech at the press conference, Al Ameri, said, “The efforts of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for more than 40 years have taken the Emirati and Arab cultures to the farthest corners of the world. We are here in Mexico today as we are passionate about continuing these tremendous efforts. As the guest of honour at FIL 2020, we will be bringing His Highness’s message of fostering love, tolerance and coexistence through culture to the beautiful Mexican community.”

Sharjah is preparing a comprehensive cultural programme which will highlight past and recent accomplishments in Emirati and Arab literature in Latin America. The emirate will also be exploring possible collaborations with Mexico in the publishing and translation sectors.

“We are particularly excited that Emirati and Arab culture will be our guests, as we want the fair to be a window through which Latin Americans can rediscover the richness of their literature, language, art and traditions. We believe that this wonderful event will strengthen the publishing industries of our countries,” López explained.

He added, “Sharjah is a publishing leader and its initiatives to promote reading are exemplary, particularly those that deal with making books more accessible for young adults and the migrant populations”. He also highlighted the fact that the Sharjah International Book Fair, organised by the Book Authority since 1982, is considered the most important in the Arab world.

“Inviting Sharjah is undoubtedly an act to strengthen ties. Without these efforts, civilisation would not be as inspiring as it is today. We will be richer intellectually, deeper culturally and wiser literary, once Sharjah is the guest of honour of our fair,” Gadea said in his welcome speech.

The FIL Guadalajara, founded in 1987, is the largest Spanish language event of its kind and is the annual event for 20,000 book professionals from 47 countries. Over nine days, the event welcomes 800 authors, and last year, 818,000 visitors attended the knowledge and arts extravaganza with Portugal as the guest of honour.