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TIBF 2024: Sharjah to be celebrated as first Arab Guest of Honour

by | May 7, 2024 | News

 

 

Sharjah’s unique cultural project will be celebrated as the Guest of Honour at the Thessaloniki International Book Fair (TIBF 2024), held from May 16 to 19. During this event, the emirate – the first ever city from the Arab world to be bestowed this tall honour – will showcase the rich history and culture of the UAE and the wider region. Sharjah will pave the way for publishers, translation, and publishing houses to share ideas and collaborate through more than 25 events convening Emirati acclaimed authors and key cultural, academic, and literary entities.

 

With the participation of many cultural and tourist entities from Sharjah, the emirate will organise a comprehensive and extensive agenda. This includes a series of workshops, book signings, panel discussions, and a host of literary and artistic performances that showcase the aesthetics of authentic Emirati heritage, values, and arts.

 

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), stressed the importance of this celebration, saying: “This occasion reminds us of the significance of shared cultural heritage, and serves as the catalyst for a constructive global dialogue. We take immense pride in Sharjah’s role as a bridge between cultures. Indeed, Sharjah has long been celebrated as a beacon of Emirati and Arab identity, and we remain committed to fostering robust cross-cultural communication that transcends borders.

 

“The significance of gatherings like the Thessaloniki International Book Fair cannot be overstated, as they facilitate vital communication channels between the publishing industry and content creators, while offering avenues to bolster the creative industries, fostering mutual growth on a global scale. Being recognised as guest of honour at the 2024 event presents an invaluable opportunity for Emirati cultural entities and industry experts to forge meaningful collaborations with their counterparts in Greece and beyond,” Sheikha Bodour added.

 

Ahmed Al Ameri, CEO of SBA, emphasised the transformative impact of the Sharjah Guest of Honour programme on the global publishing landscape. “Reflecting the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, our participation embodies Sharjah’s commitment to illuminate every facet of culture, from social to heritage and developmental aspects”.

 

“Sharjah has emerged as a benchmark of excellence in organising book fairs worldwide, setting a standard for the industry. Our pioneering approach is driving innovation and growth in the content creation sector, fostering an environment conducive to publishers’ success. Through esteemed book awards, international platforms, and conferences, we are enhancing the efficacy of booksellers, distributors, literary agents, and other experts in the cultural and creative industries”, he further noted.

 

In celebration of philosophy, which has always been present and impactful in both Greek and Arab cultures, the SBA is presenting an exhibition themed ‘Philosophies: Visual Simulation’ at Sharjah’s pavilion at the event. It is an artistic project that draws inspiration from the words of the most renowned Greek and Arab philosophers who mastered thinking and writing in Arabic and Greek. A host of emirati and Greek painters, including Nasser Nasrallah, Rashid Al Mulla, Alia Al Hammadi, Daniela Stemtiadi, Vassilios Grivas, and Antonios Nikolopolis will collaborate to translate philosophical words, expressions and meanings into expressive paintings that are capable of creating a long-standing positive impact on people.

 

Sharjah’s programme at the book fair encompasses a series of panel discussions and live performances. A panel themed ‘Emerging Literature and Future Challenges’ addresses the current times of emerging literature in the UAE and Greece, and a second panel highlights the ‘Cultural Connections between Arabs and Greece’, while another session discusses the ‘Challenges of the Short Story in the Time of the Novel’. A host of Emirati and Arab poets will come together in ‘Poetic Meeting’, whereas a cultural session will address ‘The Impact of Greek Philosophy on Literature’.

 

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