The 30th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, to be held from Nov.16-26, will be the largest ever. Recognised as one of the most significant book fairs in the Middle East and the Arab world, the fair will draw about 900 publishers from 42 nations who will showcase over 260,000 titles.
In celebration of the 30th anniversary, the professional programme at the fair will be expanded to include bespoke matchmaking sessions, a translation programme, including the launch of a $300,000 fund to provide translation grants, networking and educational programmes.
Ahmed Al Amri, director of Sharjah International Book Fair, said that this edition will also see big participation from India, which will be the focus country in the international section. The Indian pavilion will showcase more than 35 top Indian publishers.
Highlight of Indian participation will be the presence of ten popular authors including Dr Shashi Tharoor, Shobha De, Chetan Bhagat, Ruskin Bond, MT Vasudevan Nair, M Mukundan and Jaishree Misra.
India’s Minister for Overseas Indian V Ravi will inaugurate the Indian pavilion, which will be followed by a public function in the evening showcasing various cultural activities.
Ambassador of India MK Lokesh said that India has a vibrant publishing industry. The country is among the top ten publishing nations in the world, while it is ranked third, after the US and UK, in English language books.
The exhibition will be accompanied by cultural, intellectual and creative activities, which is expected to be attended by elite of Arab world, whose participation will ensure cultural interaction between the UAE and the world.
Books on Islamic affairs will also be in plenty. Most of them are in Arabic, but several of the good works by Arab authors are also available with its translation in English.
The Sharjah International Book Fair has grown tremendously since its inception 30 years ago and has become one of the biggest book fairs in the Arab world.
The publishing houses participating in the exhibition focus more on publishing books for children because if the habit is initiated in childhood it will continue throughout life.