Sharjah24: His Excellency Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), received a delegation of US senators including Gustavo Rivera, Kevin Thomas, and James Skoufis, to explore cooperation between the SBA and cultural affairs entities in the United States.
During a meeting at SBA’s headquarters, the two parties discussed several topics related to the publishing industry, library development, and the enhancement of Sharjah’s participation in Arab cultural initiatives in the US. Other topics of discussion included the development of a strategic framework to help Arab and US cultural foundations create new communication channels and initiate joint action that best serves the promotion of Arab arts and Arabic literature in the US.
The delegates were introduced to SBA’s services and projects that support the publishing industry. They visited the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone) and were briefed on the benefits offered to investors. They were also briefed on the international festivals and initiatives organised by SBA, most notably the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF), and the Sharjah Children’s Book Illustration Exhibition.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, welcomed the American delegation, and emphasised the SBA’s adherence to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjahwhich emphasises the impact of communication and fruitful cooperation between nations and cultures. Stating that SBA welcomes the exchange of global expertise and experience in all creative sectors, Al Ameri highlighted the influential position of the US in the global books market and its leading role in the industry’s technical development processes.
“We look forward to enhancing cooperation with American cultural entities to bolster Emirati and Arab culture in the US, as well as support the role of libraries in building a knowledge-based society to achieve inclusive sustainable development. We are looking at a plethora of opportunities to develop libraries locally and globally, especially with the ongoing technological advancements. We are also providing the US book market with the opportunity to double the number of translations of literary works from Arabic to English and vice versa, as we seek to foster the presence of Arabic books in one of the largest book markets worldwide. Boosting support for Arabic books will have a a direct and positive impact on the cultural and creative spheres in the region,” Al Ameri added.
Al Ameri highlighted the international stature of SIBF which earned the title of the world's largest book fair in the sale and purchase of copyright in 2021 at the fair’s milestone 40th edition.
The US Senators expressed their pleasure on visiting Sharjah and learning about the development of the publishing industry and library services, and the renaissance the emirate is witnessing in creative sectors and its achievements in consolidating the role of books in society. The US senators also shared their vision about the future of the publishing industry and prospects for its development especially with the current digital acceleration.
Commenting on their visit to the emirate, Senator Gustavo Rivera pointed out that the unparalleled support of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah to promote a culture of reading and foster the role of books in cross-cultural communication has paved the way for fruitful cooperation and partnership in the cultural field between nations.
For his part, Senator Kevin Thomas, said: “We have seen that Sharjah has a long-term vision to enhance the future of culture and foster its presence in all aspects of life, and this is clearly manifested through the emirate’s dedication to promoting knowledge and ensuring that the largest segment of society has access to books.”
At the same time, Senator James Skoufis stressed that he looks forward to more strategic partnerships with Sharjah in public and private sectors, pointing out that the meeting with SBA’s officials will pave the way for greater cooperation between Sharjah and US cultural entities that seek to expand into the emirate.
February 27, 2022 / 1:55 PM
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