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Sharjah International Book Fair 2022 attracts 2.17 million visitors

After a 12-day run at Expo Centre Sharjah, the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) concluded on Sunday with 2.17 million attendees from 112 countries.

 Among the fair’s visitors, 54.2% were male and 45.8% were female. Of these, 40.8 per cent were in the 16-25 age group while 35.1 per cent formed part of the 25-45 age group.

 2,213 publishers attended SIBF 2022, including 1,298 from the Arab region and 915 from around the world. During SIBF’s cultural programme this year, 150 distinguished authors, intellectuals, and creatives led 1,500 activities and sessions, including 200 workshops, talks, and seminars.

The latest edition, which celebrated Italy as the Guest of Honour, hosted a galaxy of authors, sports personalities, intellectuals, artists, popular cinema icons from the Arab region and the Subcontinent, and a host of specialised experts to drive home Sharjah’s cultural campaign to the world, ‘If you’re into something, you’re into books’.

The fair hosted a distinguished group of regional and international guests, including Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka, winner of the 2022 Booker Prize; Geetanjali Shree, Hindi-language author and winner of the International Booker Prize; Algerian novelist Waciny Laredj, Egyptian writer Ahmad Mourad, and Emirates Writers Union Chairman Sultan Al Amimi, among others.

The forum halls opened up opportunities for debates and discussions on some of the most prominent issues impacting Arab and world literature and explored challenges of translation, explored the future of communication, and offered insights on the importance of research, documentation, and history. Over the course of 12 days, SIBF hosted more than 200 cultural discussions to enrich and educate the visitors.

The African-Arab Cultural Programme, as part of the book fair, highlighted the African experience in literature and celebrated contemporary writers of the diaspora through a series of performances and activities in literature, art, fashion, and music.