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Home » Sharjah International Book Fair starts November 4: All you need to know – News
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Sharjah International Book Fair starts November 4: All you need to know – News

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Authorities also launched the ‘Sharjah Reads’ virtual platform to host “all future cultural events”, starting with the 64 activities of the SIBF 2020.

The number of visitors to the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has been capped at 5,000 every three hours, organisers announced on Monday. This way, entry to the world’s third largest book fair will be staggered.

Authorities also launched the ‘Sharjah Reads’ virtual platform to host “all future cultural events”, starting with the 64 activities of the SIBF 2020.

Visitors to the event must register on sharjahreads.ae to be allowed entry. The socially distanced version of the book fair will be held from November 4-14.

The hybrid event – which will see books being exhibited in-person and cultural events hosted virtually – is being held under the theme ‘The world reads from Sharjah’.

Organisers have cancelled opening and award ceremonies as a precautionary measure against the spread of Covid-19. School students will not be taken on tours to the event. The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is collaborating with the UAE’s Ministry of Education to host virtual meetings between students and their favourite authors and cultural figures.

10,000sqm of books

A total 0f 1,024 publishers from 73 countries will participate in the 39th edition of the SIBF. They will put up more than 80,000 titles at the Sharjah Expo Centre across an area spanning over 10,000 square metres.

60 artists to e-address event

SIBF 2020 is bringing together 60 intellectuals, artists and cultural figures from 19 countries. For the first time in the event’s history, the SBA has tied up with embassies of various countries in the UAE to design eight intellectual discussions. These will be led by Emirati writers and their counterparts from Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Russia.

317 publishers for conference

The 10th edition of the SIBF Publishers Conference will welcome 317 publishers and 33 speakers from across the world. They will discuss key issues and challenges facing the global publishing industry in 11 in-person and virtual sessions. The 3-day event will be held in the lead up to the book fair on November 1-3.

300 librarians for side event

Members of the American Library Association (ALA) will be meeting their counterparts from the Arab world virtually for the 7th annual edition of the Sharjah International Library Conference from November 10 to 12. Themed ‘Challenges faced by librarians and libraries during the New Normal’, the conference discussions will be attended by 300 librarians and library professionals.

50 years of culture

Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, said the book fair is being organised amid “exceptional circumstances”.

“Given Sharjah’s cultural role in the region for the past 50 years, we felt it was especially important for us to remind everyone that reading transcends distances, and has the power to lift us over the hurdles we face – even a pandemic. Reading is our gateway to new worlds; it allows us to dream and reinforces our confidence to be creatively persistent.”

He said the SIBF theme for 2020 – ‘The world reads from Sharjah’ – promotes the emirate’s cultural project launched by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, more than four decades ago. “The event’s theme underlines that our quest to obtain knowledge is never ending, and that books will always bring us together, no matter the circumstances.”

Measures to keep you safe from Covid-19

Strict precautionary measures will ensure the safety of participants and visitors to the fair
> Thermal scanners and walk-through sanitisation gates will be installed at all SIBF 2020 access and exit points
> 5-hour disinfection will be carried out across the fair’s halls and publisher stalls daily
> Masks, social distance mandatory
> A group of volunteers and security personnel will be supervising the exhibition grounds to ensure compliance
> Staggered entry system: Event visits are divided into 4 slots, with visitors getting their slots from sharjahreads.ae
> On arriving at Sharjah Expo Centre, each visitor will be given a coloured bracelet to monitor their timings

Stars will be with you virtually

> Regional luminaries:
– Wasini al-A’raj, Algerian writer
– Ahmed Mourad, Egyptian author and screenwriter
– Mishel Hamad, Kuwaiti writer
– Muhsin Al-Ramli, Iraqi writer, poet and academic
– Lina Khoury, Lebanese theatre director, writer, producer and educator

> International appearances

– Dr Shashi Tharoor, Indian author and politician
– Prince Ea, American poet and spoken word artist
– Robert Kiyosaki, American businessman and author
– Lang Leav, best-selling author from New Zealand
– Ian Rankin, bestselling writer from the UK
– Najwa Zebian, Lebanese-Canadian author
– Neil Pasricha, Canadian author and television host
– Elisabetta Dami, Italian children’s books author,
– Ravinder Singh, Indian author
– Richard Ovenden, British writer

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com 

Afkar Abdullah







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