SBA welcomes cultural representatives of Italy’s Lombardy Region

February 23, 2022 / 2:23 PM
During the event
Sharjah 24: His Excellency Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), recently welcomed Stefano Bruno Galli, Advisor for Autonomy and Culture, Lombardy Region, Italy, and Damiano Fior, Deputy Consul General, to explore collaboration opportunities between Sharjah and the Italian cities in hosting cultural events and supporting the Arabic-Italian translation movement.
During the visit, the Italian officials attended a coordination meeting and was given a tour of the SBA headquarters and Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone). The delegation was briefed on the role of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) and Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) in promoting the regional publishing industry, creating new opportunities in the global books market, and providing a cross-cultural platform for authors, artists, and illustrators from across the world to share experiences and bring their visions to fruition.

Salim Omar Salim, Director of SPC Free Zone; Khoula Al Mujaini, Director of Fairs and Festivals, SBA; Mansour Al Hassani, Head of Sales, SBA; and other senior officials, attended the meeting which discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cultural relationships between Sharjah and Italy, boost the Arabic-Italian translation movement, and explore opportunities for hosting joint cultural events at the regional and global levels. 

The two parties also discussed Sharjah’s Guest of Honour cultural programme at the 2022 Bologna Children's Book Fair and Italy’s participation as Guest of Honour at SIBF 2022 and highlighted the importance of book fairs in bringing together publishers, academic entities and content creators from the UAE and Italy. 

His Excellency Al Ameri commented: “SBA operates under the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah – a renowned leader and visionary who believes in the power of knowledge and culture in strengthening relationships and highlighting commonalities between people and civilisations around the world. Therefore, SBA is keen to extend support to any opportunity that enables it to forge and build bridges between the Arab culture and its counterparts worldwide.”

He added: “The UAE and Italy share strong bonds of friendship and have a long history of bilateral ties, and SBA’s efforts in building bridges with Italy’s cultural institutions further strengthens and advances the existing relationship. We hope that Italy’s participation as Guest of Honour at the 2022 Sharjah International Book Fair provides a valuable opportunity to highlight Italian culture in the Arab world and at the same time, introduce the Italian community to unique aspects of Arabic culture.”

The Chairman continued: “Our partnerships with leading Italian cultural entities in the past few years have led to outstanding outcomes for the translation industry leading to the digitisation of Arabic manuscripts found in Italian libraries and enabling access to these knowledge resources for Arab readers and researchers. In addition, the partnerships have paved the way for organising joint exhibitions and attracting investors and content creators to operate from Sharjah to help them reach regional markets.”

Al Ameri stressed the importance of partnerships with Italian institutions that focus on language and literature translation. He pointed out the keen interest of Italians to learn the Arabic language and review Arabic literature and highlighted the large number of Arabic-origin words in the Italian language, and the commonalities between the two cultures. 

Stefano Bruno Galli commended Sharjah’s cultural project and lauded the wise vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah in building strong relationships with all countries across the world based on the pillars of culture and knowledge. 

The Advisor for Autonomy and Culture in the Lombardy Region confirmed the willingness of the Consulate of Italy in the UAE to support SBA’s efforts in promoting communication and collaboration with cultural entities across the Italian cities. He commended Sharjah’s commitment to enhance bilateral cultural ties and build bridges of cultural understanding between the people of the Arab world and Italy.

At the end of the visit, His Excellency Al Ameri accompanied the Italian officials on a tour of the SPC Free Zone and met with Italian publishers who have successfully established base in Sharjah with the aim of growing and expanding their businesses in the creative and knowledge industries in the region, and across Asia and North Africa.

Salim Omar Salim affirmed that SPC Free Zone welcomes all Italian publishers and has a deep understanding of the size of the Italian publishing market and its impact on the European and global books industry. He added that the free zone is committed to supporting Italian publishers and content creators and offers new and promising opportunities in the global publishing and creative industries.

“SPC Free Zone’s vision aligns with Sharjah’s comprehensive cultural project that aims to provide industry professionals with unique facilities and services to take advantage of the emirate’s strategic location and its leading efforts to promote a vibrant cultural movement in the region,” he added.  
February 23, 2022 / 2:23 PM

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