Sharjah International Book Fair 29th Edition

My photo
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

Scenes from Opening of Sharjah International Book Fair | Arabic Literature (in English)

Two busloads of visitors file into the outdoor tent to hear the opening presentations.

Much was routine about the opening. But, as Noura Noman tweeted, "HRH Sh. Sultan AlQasimi Patron and founder of #shjibf reciting a surprise & moving poem at the opening."

A wide array of book-fair awards were handed out to best this and that. For most, it wasn't clear who had juried the awards, how the winner was selected, and on what criteria. However, the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature winner was the big announcement of the morning.

Inside the fair, attendance seemed to be down on the first day, and some were already complaining about low sales. (Pictured here, Dar al Shorouk, not complaining yet so far as I know.)

A box of books celebrating the UAE's 40th that was to be presented as a gift to Sheikh Sultan AlQasimi (by his granddaughter) during his rounds around the fair.

And here, Amani Ashmawi, the winner of the 1 million dirham Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children's Literature. With her check (to be split with the publisher).

A giant new children's wing was added onto the fair this year, with this play area at the back. Children's events have expanded, as have fair events in general.

طيري ياطيارة Wins Etisalat Prize 2011! | Read Kutub KIDS

Congratulations to أماني العشماوي and Nahdet Masr on winning the 2011 Etisalat prize from a field of very worthy books.

The field for 2011 was strong, and unlike 2010, when the judges said they all just knew immediately that النقطة السوداء was the winner, judge Wendy Cooling said that this was “a really rich year for books for young children” in Arabic.

Other judges included last year’s winner, Walid Taher, eminent children’s book author and publisher Taghreed Najjar, Dr. Sabah Issawy, and Wafaa Terawska.

The 1 million AED Etisalat prize is shared by author and publisher.

Sharjah: Rights Fair & a Ferris Wheel | AnnaNotKarenina

My first full day in Sharjah involved a trip to the ExpoCentre, where the Book Fair is held, and the chance to meet up with faces both new and familiar.

It also involved having a proper look at these welcoming roses left for me in my hotel room.

Edinburgh writer Sophie Cooke had flown out a day ahead of me, so we caught up on her previous evening at a special dinner in the desert for international delegates. I was jealous, but it seems I’ll get the chance for camel riding and henna art on Thursday evening.

We were joined by friend Lisa Dempster, of the Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne, who came to Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) in 2010 and was therefore our fountain of knowledge. She helped us work out how to get one of the Fair’s drivers to take us over to the ExpoCentre (pictured.)

Rights Fair & Professional Programme

The Fair itself wasn’t open to the public yet, but the professional programme was underway, with SIBF hosting it’s first Rights Fair for international and Arabic publishers to buy and sell foreign language rights to their books.

While the session was not as militarily planned as trade events like London Book Fair, there was a much more friendly atmosphere, and it was clear from the buzz and busy tables that quite a number of deals were being done.

Sophie met with Liv Stones from her literary agency (whom I bumped into last night), while I searched out Rupert, our host here at the fair and the voice behind the@ShjIntlBookFair tweets. Rupert and I worked together to bring across and group of delegates to represent Edinburgh and learn about the Book Fair here in Sharjah.

Over coffee at al Qasba, a promenade on the (man-made) canal, he gave us some background about the Fair, while the sun went down behind the Emirates Eye ferris wheel and the musical fountain danced.

It really did dance – the water gave us some dashing choreographed numbers to both Arabian music and an Irish jig. It was somewhat surreal, but rather splendid.

Museum of Islamic Civilization

Dinner was served to us at the Museum of Islamic Civilization, where we toured some of the highlights of the collections. I kept being drawn by the heavens: firstly, I found a stunning set of old astrolabes, used for measuring the positions of the stars, and then I was shown this mosaic ceiling of the zodiac signs.

We were shown a number of beautiful religious artefacts, including this section of the Kiswah, the heavy and ornate black silk that decorates the Ka’ba in Mecca.

The shape of things to come

As Sharjah is a dry emirate, a number of the publishers were planning an escape to find a bar over in Dubai: I escaped to bed.

In the middle of the night a text message arrived – two more of my Scottish colleagues had arrived at the hotel. In the morning, our Edinburgh delegation would reach four, with the arrival of historical novelist Sara Sheridan and former Edinburgh International Book Festival Children’s Director Sara Grady.

مدونة نادي الكتاب العربي: إفتتاح معرض الشارقة الدولي للكتاب 2011

16 نوفمبر, 2011

إفتتاح معرض الشارقة الدولي للكتاب 2011

قام صاحب السمو الشيخ الدكتور سلطان بن محمد القاسمي اليوم بإفتتاح معرض الشارقة الدولي للكتاب بحضور مجموعة كبيرة من المثقفين والكتاب ودور النشر من مختلف أنحاء العالم.

وبدأ الحفل بعرض فيلم قصير بمناسبة مرور 30 عاماً علي إنطلاق معرض الشارقة الدولي للكتاب.ثم قام سعادة عبدالله العويس رئيس دائرة الثقافة والأعلام بالشارقة بإلقاء كلمته وتبعه معالي خالد بن محمد العنقري، وزير التعليم العالي بالمملكة العربية السعودية، حيث تحدث عن مشاركة المملكة هذا العام وكونها ضيف الشرف الأول في المعرض.
تلى ذلك كلمة سعادة عبد العزيز تريم مدير عام مؤسسة اتصالات – الإمارات الشمالية، وتحدث عن جائزة إتصالات لأدب الطفل التي تعد واحدة من اكبر الجوائز في هذه المجال على مستوى العالم، حيث تبلغ قيمتها مليون درهم، كما توجه بالشكر لصاحبة السمو الشيخة بدور بنت سلطان القاسمي لدعمها المتواصل ودورها في إثراء أدب الطفل.

وبعد ذلك قام صاحب السمو الشيخ الدكتور سلطان بن محمد القاسمي بتوزيع جوائز المعرض هذا العام وهي كالتالي:
- شخصية العام الثقافية
السيد/محمد بن عيسى، رئيس المجلس البلدي لمدينة أصيلة وأمين عام مؤسسة منتدى أصيلة

- أفضل دار نشر محلية
مؤسسة يونيفرسال للنشر والتوزيع (أبوظبي)

- أفضل دار نشر عربية
دار الساقي (لبنان)

- أفضل دار نشر أجنبية
مؤسسة جاشنمال للنشر والتوزيع (دبي)

- أفضل كتاب إماراتي (لمؤلف إماراتي)
عبداللطيف عبده سعيد العزعزي (بصمة الأحداث وذاكرة الجسد)
خالد محمد المسكري
A Practical Guide to Business Writing

- أفضل كتاب إماراتي (في مجال الدراسات)
ريم العيساوي (انعكسات المرآة في سرد الذات للدكتور الشيخ سلطان بن محمد القاسمي)

- أفضل كتاب إماراتي (مطبوع عن الإمارات)
Gulf News (The rise of the nation- 30 years in pictures)

- جائزة أفضل الكتب مبيعا (كتب أجنبية)
Profile Books – Book title: (Why the West Rules – For now; The Patterns of History and What they Reveal about the Future) by Ian Morris

- جائزة أفضل كتاب أجنبي في مجال التجارة والإقتصاد
The University of Chicago Press – Book title: (Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economic Can’t Explain the Modern World) by Deirdre N. McCloskey

- جائزة افضل كتاب أجنبي في مجال الطفل
Albert Whiteman & Company, Chicago, Illinois – Book title (The Good by Cancer Garden) by Janna Mattheis

وبعد ذلك قام صاحب السمو بتكريم رعاة المعرض وهم:
- مؤسسة الشارقة للإعلام:
الشيخ/ سلطان بن أحمد القاسمي – رئيس مجلس إدارة مؤسسة الشارقة للإعلام.

- مؤسسة اتصالات – الاتصالات – الإمارات الشمالية:
سعادة/ عبدالعزيز حمد تريم – المدير العام.

- هيئة الشارقة للاستثمار والتطوير( شروق) :
السيد/ مروان جاسم السركال – المدير التنفيذي

ثم قام سعادة محمد حسن عمران رئيس مجلس إدارة اتصالات وسعادة عبد العزيز تريم مدير عام اتصالات – الإمارات الشمالية – بتسليم جائزة اتصالات لكتاب الطفل. وبعد ذلك قام سعادة أحمد ركاض العامري، مدير معرض الشارقة الدولي للكتاب، بتسليم درع الشكر والامتنان لحضرة صاحب السمو الشيخ الدكتور سلطان بن محمد القاسمي تقديرا لجهوده الجبارة ورؤيته النيرة التي نقلت معرض الشارقة للكتاب، من المحلية إلى الاقليمية ثم إلى العالمية، خلال فترة ثلاثين عاماً من البذل والعطاء والتوجيه السديد.

وقام صاحب السموالشيخ الدكتور سلطان القاسمي بإلقاء واحدة من قصائده على الحضور وانتهى حفل الإفتتاح بعرض بانوراما لكتاب حصاد السنين لصاحب السمو والذي قام بتوقيعه قبل التوجه لإفتتاح المعرض وتفقد مختلف الأجنحة.

والآن نترككم مع مجموعة من الصور من الحفل

SHJIBF Opening Ceremony « Que Sera Sara?

November 16th, 2011 § Leave a CommenThis morning, the Sharjah International Book Fair was opened to the public.

The first event was a conglomeration of several special celebrations:

  • An opening brunch of incredible decadence, attended by Culture Ministers, Ambassadors, literary professionals and government agencies, hosted by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah, and patron of this Fair.
  • An inaugural celebration for the fair’s 30th anniversary – including the unveiling of the $300,000 translation prize I mentioned and the cultural programme, consisting of 30 Arabic writers and 30 international writers in discussions throughout the fair.
  • The launch of the Sultan’s own book – about the last 30 years of cultural development in this country – timely, considering Sharjah is the OIC City of Islamic Culture in 2014.
  • An awards ceremony [with photo-op handshake and golden statuettes and everything!]. There were several categories including best children’s book, best academic work about the region, best foreign book on economy & business and best publishing personality. They all got golden book statues. I totally want one. They looked like this:

There were many speeches [with simul-cast translation headsets. It felt like I was in the UN] including profuse thanks and offerings and gifts. A golden camel [statue] was even proffered to the Sultan.

There were mountains of food [though the moody light effects don't do it justice below] – there was literally not an inch of our 10-seater that wasn’t covered in feastly delectables.

I especially liked the soft, puffy naan-like bread rounds, slathered in honey and fennel seeds. A sort of Middle Eastern french toast & maple syrup.

The whole event was amazing.

Sadly I did not witness the hydraulic throne I heard about from last year but some awesome sights were had nonetheless.

It helped that the venue was kitted out like a rock palace.

The banquet hall was purpose-built just outside the Fair’s Expo Centre home.

From the outside it looked like a miniature Epcot dome. There was even a red carpet [though it was only for the Sultan and other VIPs. Still, I got to walk next to it]

On the inside, it had all sorts of bells and whistles.

Cameras were everywhere. Some on cranes, some floating about paparazzi style, the images immediately projected onto the walls of the dome – at this point they were showing those of us seated what was happening on the red carpet outside.

I almost had a Joan Rivers commentary in my head, almost.

360 video projections were used like video interstitials at The Oscars – this one was of falling sheets of paper which I think showed news headlines about the fair over the years [I could be wrong, they didn't have subtitles, but it was beautiful either way].

I sat next to a Turkish publisher. We shared many simple silly exchanges [both of us being first time visitors to the region meant our plates were a constant guessing game] and talked a bit about his work.

It was fascinating to hear about a publisher’s perspective on the Fair. He’d already sold the Arabic rights to 10 different titles the day before and sees his work as a meeting place of East and West – a long-standing tradition in Istanbul.

It was an utterly fascinating experience.

What a way to kick off the Fair.

If this morning was anything to go by, I’m in for a serious treat.