Sharjah strengthens cultural ties with Latin America at GIBF 2023

December 02, 2023 / 11:09 AM
Sharjah24: Following its esteemed role as the Guest of Honour at the 36th Guadalajara International Book Fair (GIBF), Sharjah takes the spotlight again in the 37th edition of one of Latin America’s leading cultural events. With this participation, the emirate affirms its presence as a leading participant in the largest book fair for Spanish-speaking countries.
This year's engagement is a vibrant manifestation of the cultural vision championed by Sharjah and the UAE. It underscores an unwavering commitment to fostering global communication, cultural exchange, and building bridges with nations and cultures—a testament to the profound significance of these pillars in shaping a rich and interconnected world.

The emirate's participation in this year’s edition comes as a response to the remarkable engagement that Sharjah witnessed from the Mexican readers and cultural entities throughout the Sharjah Guest of Honour programme last year. It solidifies its global cultural achievements, establishing stronger connections with cultural entities in Mexico and Latin American nations. Besides, it serves as a gateway, introducing Latin America to the rich heritage of Arab civilization and highlighting the cultural accomplishments of Sharjah and the UAE.

Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the emirate's pavilion features key cultural  entities and publishers such as the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ), Sharjah Department of Culture (SDoC), Sharjah Literary Agency (SLA), Al Qasimi Publications, and Kalimat Group (KG).

Exploring collaborations

During its participation, SBA held meetings with fair management to discuss ways to expand bilateral relations. Additional meetings with Mexican, Colombian, and Spanish publishers explored collaboration opportunities, with invitations extended to Latin publishers for future participation in the forthcoming editions of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) and Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA, stated: "Significant cultural projects, like Sharjah's, rely on multiple factors. These include an appreciation of cultural heritage and roots, and a sustained dialogue with global cultures. This aligns with the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. We continuously observe the beneficial outcomes of His Highness's vision in both the cultural entities of Sharjah and among Emirati citizens. The cultural identity and prestige of the emirate have a far-reaching impact, enhancing our efforts to collaborate and expand the influence of Emirati and Arab culture regionally and globally."

He further added, "Our productive relations and interactions with the Mexican cultural scene culminated in Sharjah being named the Guest of Honour at the previous Guadalajara International Book Fair. Sharjah's presence was notable not only at the fair but across various Mexican cities. Our participation at the book fair strengthens these ties. It marks a continuation of our efforts to deepen the connection between Sharjah and Mexico, reflecting our belief that cultural action is not merely an event, but a continual progress yielding significant results that extend beyond corporate boundaries to touch the conscience of people."

Global expansion

Sharjah's pavilion at the fair attracted interest from companies and publishers seeking strategic advantages and world-class services provided by Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) Free Zone. The free zone officials highlighted its ease of business establishment, licensing processes, on-demand printing facilities, and global services, positioning Sharjah as a gateway to the Arab world, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Building partnerships

The Sharjah Literary Agency engaged in discussions with key stakeholders to advance translation initiatives between Arabic and Spanish, strengthen bonds with Arab writers in the Americas, and explore collaborations in publishing rights, distribution channels, and intellectual property.

Sharjah's participation in the 37th edition follows celebrated appearances at the London and Seoul International Book Fairs, where it was honoured as the Guest of Honour. The emirate's global influence was further recognised with the establishment of the regional headquarters of the prestigious King Sejong Institute—an institution renowned for its representation of Korean culture globally.
December 02, 2023 / 11:09 AM

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