In the run up to the 30th Sharjah International Book Fair that opens on Wednesday, organisers said they have received a significant positive response from publishers intending to have their books translated into Arabic and vice versa.
"In the first half hour there were seven contracts signed by various international publishing houses, including German and Turkish, who wanted to have their books translated into Arabic," said Ahmad Bin Rekadh Al Amri, Director of Sharjah International Book Fair.
The International Book Fair's Translation Grant Fund is a Sharjah government-funded initiative to support the field of translation, networking and educational programmes.
His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, will inaugurate the Sharjah International Book Fair that is organised by the Department of Culture, and runs from November 16 to 26.
Dr Shaikh Sultan is also expected to launch his Arabic language book today entitled Harvest of Years: Thirty years of cultural work in Sharjah, which chronicles the important milestones in the field of culture in Sharjah during the last three decades. A total of 750 publishers from 42 countries are expected to participate and up to 260,000 book titles will be made available during the fair, which expects to attract more than 400,000 visitors from both trade and consumer markets.
Al Amri added that Unesco will be participating at the Sharjah Book Fair for the first time. "Unesco has [made] countless contributions to the educational and cultural enhancement of mankind, and of course to defending the oppressed, which was seen recently when it awarded membership to Palestine which led to Unesco suffering loss of funding," Al Amri said.
"Additionally, we realise the big role Unesco plays in the dissemination of education and in building educated societies across the world."
This year's Book Fair will offer live cookery shows where 12 chefs representing 11 global cuisines will prepare a variety of recipes. The programme of events will also provide for children, with more than 200 entertainment activities, while 62 cultural events will also be offered.
•What: Sharjah International Book Fair
•When: November 16 — 26
•Where: Sharjah Expo Centre
•Timings: General public daily: 10am to 10pm, Friday: 4pm to 10pm
Programme: Insight into World Leaders Through the Ages — The human face of our international politicians
•Venue: Conference Hall, Expo Centre
•Participants: George Goodwin, Andrew Rawnsley, Vayalar Ravi and Rowland White
•Chair: Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi
Programme: How We Allow Our Memories to Play Tricks — bestselling crime novelists debate the difference between fact, fiction and scientific truth
•Venue: Forum 1
•Participants: Peter James, Sunetra Gupta and Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi
•Chair: Mohammad Housni
Gulf News Report by Mariam M. Al Serkal