Sharjah to Showcase a Rich Cultural Programme as Sao Paulo International Book Fair’s First Guest of Honour

Sharjah to showcase rich cultural programme as Sao Paulo International Book Fair’s first guest of honour SHARJAH, 28th July, 2018 (WAM) — In observing its premier status as Sao Paulo International Book Fair’s first-ever guest of honour, at its 25th edition, which runs from 3rd to 12th August, Sharjah will be putting its best foot forward in showcasing the gems of Emirati culture, with a special focus on their achievements in the past four decades.

Sharjah’s pavilion at the book biennial will become a vibrant platform for a series of engaging discussions and exchanges featuring local poetry, novels and other cultural assets of the emirates. A large delegation from Sharjah will be headed by Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, and will include 20 Emirati authors and publishers, and 15 cultural entities.

The delegation will comprise leading cultural, educational and academic entities including the Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, Emirates Writers’ Union, EWU, Emirates Publishers’ Association, EPA, Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, DoCI, Sharjah Institute for Heritage, SIH, Dr. Sultan Al-Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies, Sharjah Media Corporation, SMC, UAE Board on Books for Young People, UAEBBY, Knowledge without Borders KwB, 1001 Titles initiative, Al Qasimi Publications, Kalimat Group, NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, Sharjah Business Women Council, and the American University of Sharjah.

Sharjah’s participation the largest-of-its-kind by an Arab country at one of the key cultural events in South America, will provide Sao Paulo’s population of 21 million inhabitants with the opportunity to explore Emirati art shows including traditional songs and traditional dances by the Sharjah National Music Band, which will tour the city.

“Sharjah’s cultural achievements reflect the futuristic vision and pioneering efforts of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Having taken on the position of the UAE’s cultural capital, Sharjah considers strengthening relationships with countries worldwide and opening new avenues for dialogue and cross-cultural collaboration as one of its top responsibilities. The selection of Sharjah as Sao Paulo Book Biennial’s first guest of honour is yet another achievement for Sharjah and a new era of cooperation with Brazil and Latin America,” Sheikh Fahim said.

Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, said, “Through its cultural programme in Sao Paulo, Sharjah aims to introduce the finer details of the UAE’s cultural and social fabric and the Arab and Islamic culture to a completely different community. The SBA has carefully crafted a cultural programme, which will sufficiently represent our authentic heritage through a diversity of events including oriental music, poetry, novel and crafts.

“Thanks to the vision and directives of the Ruler of Sharjah, the emirate is providing Portuguese-speaking people and other cultures in South America with the opportunity to explore the UAE local culture and heritage, and the corresponding Arab and Islamic culture. It has a firm belief that knowledge, books and creativity are the common ground, which brings together people from around the world, furthers peace and love and enhances dialogue and cross-cultural communication between the world’s nations.”

Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director-General of the Sharjah Media Corporation, SMC, said, “Sharjah’s selection as Guest of Honour at the Sao Paulo International Book Fair communicates an important message to the world, highlighting Sharjah as a cultural hub of the region. The selection exemplifies the vision of the Ruler of Sharjah who has been relentless in his promotion of the role of knowledge and books as an open platform to enhance cross-cultural dialogue and communication between civilisations.

“The SMC will celebrate this selection through an integrated programme broadcast on its TV and radio channels, covering all activities organised by the Sharjah delegation in Sao Paulo. This event will be an ideal opportunity to unveil Sharjah’s unparalleled efforts in promoting Emirati, Arab and Islamic culture all around the world.”

Abdullah Al Owais, Chairman of the DoCI, said, “The DoCI is honoured and delighted to be part of the Sharjah delegation to Sao Paulo. Our participation is guided by the vision of the Ruler of Sharjah, who has set a unique precedent, not just in the UAE but the region, of how to create an Arab cultural presence around the world in the most meticulous and creative ways.”

Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the SIH, observed, “Our participation aims to further our ruler’s leading cultural vision, which seeks to reinforce intercultural dialogue around the world and promote our honourable history and authentic heritage to Latin audiences.”

On the importance of representing Sharjah and the UAE in Brazil, Habib Al Sayegh, Secretary-General of the Arab Writers’ Union, AWU, and Chairman of the EWU, said, “Sharjah’s participation at the Sao Paulo International Book Fair as its guest of honour highlights the emirate’s global cultural presence that has been established under the leadership of Sheikh Sultan. After a successful participation in France through a prominent presence at the Paris Book Fair, Sharjah will once again hold the UAE’s flag high in Brazil.

“At all meetings and events, Sheikh Sultan stimulates us at the EWU to enhance cross-cultural communication with nations and people, exchange knowledge, and further develop the writing, translation and publishing spheres. The EWU’s delegation will contribute effectively to Sharjah’s overall cultural presentation.”

Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, said, “Our participation at the Sao Paulo International Book Fair aligns with our dedication to showcase the experience of Sharjah and NAMA in terms of women’s advocacy and empowerment at the economic, professional and social levels, as well as highlighting NAMA’s achievements and success in stimulating many women to play an active and influential role in their communities, and contribute to the development and prosperity of their country.

“Through a series of events, workshops and live activations, we will enable visitors to explore the work and talents of several artisans and craftswomen representing Irthi’s Bidwa Social Development Programme, including the traditional Emirati crafts of ‘Talli,’ ‘Safeefa’ and ‘Sadu,’ which have been featured by several global luxury fashion brands.”

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