Sharjah International Book Fair 29th Edition

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Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
ExpoCenter 7th - 17th November, 2012. Hours | Saturday - Thursday: 10a.m. - 10p.m.; Friday: 4p.m - 10p.m.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

SHJIBF: Turning a new page | Emerging Writers' Festival


This morning I attended the official opening of the 30th annual Sharjah International Book Fair. As in 2010, it was a grand affair and a celebration of all things books and writing.

“Books are the incubators of knowledge” is the key phrase that stuck in my mind from the ceremony. A lovely sentiment to open a book fair on, and the speaker (whose name I didn’t catch, I’m sorry) included books both digital and print in his speech.

The book fair still uses the phrase For love of the written word in its branding, which once again sends my nerdy literary heart aflutter. This year there seems to be an additional theme of Turning a new page, which is sweet and apt given its current birthday celebrations.

It must be a great feeling to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a book festival. The Fair has expanded greatly since 1982 and it looks like that growth is moving forward at great speed, with the Fair now including the professional program, cooking program, kid’s program and cultural program alongside its bookselling aspect. Pretty amazing stuff. I can only hope that EWF will continue to grow in a similar way!

After the formalities, we were finally let loose on the Book Fair, which was jam-packed with people buying books and hanging out. I hung back, knowing that there will be less frantic days in which to explore the halls of booksellers.

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