Nobel laureates, Oscar winners and other international cultural personalities will headline the Sharjah International Book Fair 2019, which is scheduled to take place at the Sharjah Expo Centre from 30th October to 9th November, 2019.
Those who will take part in the event include Steve Harvey, American comedian, TV show host and author; Orhan Pamuk, the first Turkish novelist to win the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature; and Indian poet, lyricist and film director, Gulzar who took the Academy Award for the Best Original Song “Jai Ho” in 2008.
A comprehensive overview of what the 2019 edition of SIBF will entail was revealed at a press conference on Tuesday, organised at the Sharjah Book Authority,SBA, headquarters in Sharjah.
The 38th annual edition of the Fair is being held under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. The Republic of Mexico will be celebrated as guest of honour country and Steve Harvey is the fair’s principal guest of honour. He will be joined by 173 leading authors from 68 countries and 90 cultural figures from 28 nations, including the likes of Mark Manson, Vikram Seth, Anita Nair, Inaam Kachachi, Mohammed Al Sakran, Bothayna Al Essa and Elisabetta Dami.
Together, they will lead 987 activities distributed among scientific, knowledge and literary themes, including 350 cultural events to be enjoyed by book and culture enthusiasts across age groups.
SIBF 2019 will be carrying the Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 theme ‘Open Books. Open Minds.’ Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, who made a detailed presentation of SIBF 2019 cultural programme, said, “SIBF has assumed the World Book Capital title because it was the truest reflection of the message the fair wants to convey to its visitors and to the world. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, put the book as the cornerstone of the emirate’s cultural and civilisational project, and today over 45 years later, one of the outcomes is SIBF – the world’s third largest event of its kind.”
He added, “The prestigious UNESCO title is a recognition of a unified vision and strong collaboration between cultural entities in Sharjah who believe that books are the basis of knowledge and humankind’s true advancement.”
Among the 2,000 publishers from 81 nations who are participating, ten countries will make their SIBF debut, namely, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Somalia, South Korea, Taiwan and Venezuela.
Offering this year’s country-wise publisher breakup, Al Ameri noted, “198 Emirati publishers are at SIBF this year. When we started the fair in 1982, there wasn’t a single one. The total number of participating publishers is a big achievement and is a fruition of the efforts of the Sharjah Ruler in promoting Sharjah as the home of the book.”
Egypt is coming in with 183 publishers, over 100 from India, 91 from Lebanon, and Syria will be represented by 64 publishing houses.
Senior officials who spoke at the press conference included Franciska Mendez Escobar, Mexican Ambassador to the UAE,Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, General Manager of Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, and Abdulaziz Hamad Taryam General Manager, Etisalat – Northern Emirates.