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.

Thursday, 1 March 2012 | Stimulating cultural showcase on cards

By Mariecar Jara-PuyodFebruary 23, 2012
SHARJAH: Finding treasures from one’s locality is a never-ending search and after the successful Sharjah Light Festival, the UAE’s Cultural Capital rolls out another red carpet on Saturday evening, for the quest for a kaleidoscope of the country’s rich history and heritage.

This will be through the “Twinge SHJ” wherein the fertile art scene of the UAE, with particular focus on the richness of the wit and talent of 49 artists from the Emirate, will be brought live before the public from 6pm onwards at the Maraya Art Centre at Al Qasba.

Like this reporter, The Gulf Today readers may relate the event title to the definition of “twinge” as “to tweak or to pinch” that creates a sudden attention or reaction to any stimulus.

However, organiser Sphere Events managing partner Sherif Abaza explained, “’Twinge SHJ’ is a play on words and is a mixture of ‘Fringe,’ the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe (the world’s largest arts festival) and ‘Twitter,’ highlighting the importance of the social media today and the role it plays in spreading the word.”

Just the same, through the array of visual arts and literary pieces among others, UAE residents and foreign tourists will come to know of the wealth of the local art scene and take pleasure in it.

“We want to raise the awareness of the public about the local art scene,” said Abaza.

He added: “We want to let them know that there are local talents capable of producing exquisite works of art and that not all art need to be imported or bought.”

“Twinge SHJ” is the second edition of a series of “Twinge Festivals” across the seven Emirates that debuted through “Twinge DXB” in December 2011.

“This is a platform by the community and for the community which is free for all to participate,” said Abaza.

As much as one’s history and heritage must continually be cherished through generations and introduced and appreciated by other cultures, there must be an avenue or a “sustainable environment for artists to share and showcase their abilities,” he pointed out.

Visitors to the Maraya Art Centre from Feb. 25 to March 2 will be entertained to evenings of Arabic and English literature, fashion, film and comedy.

They will also have the opportunity to buy and own UAE handicrafts as well as paintings and photographs imbued with the innate and learnt talents of the locality’s residents.

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has been instrumental in bringing Twinge-SHJ to Al Qasba.

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