American University of Sharjah
American University of Sharjah Gureni, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Sharjah is firmly establishing itself as a leading advocate for Arab culture at the ongoing 61st Bologna Children's Book Fair (BCBF) in Italy, which is taking place from April 8 to 11. Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is leading a delegation, displaying its lively culture and initiatives to support writers and artists.

The book fair, attracting over 1,500 exhibitors from nearly 100 countries, is aligned with the vision of the emirate, spearheaded by Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Sharjah's dedication to supporting the publishing sector, libraries, and creative industries creates a vibrant setting for collaboration. During the book fair, the emirate seeks to facilitate networking, sharing of knowledge, and building partnerships between Emirati talents and international professionals in the children's book field.

The delegation sent by Sharjah includes important cultural groups like Al Qasimi Publications, the Department of Culture, the Arab Children's Book Publisher Forum, the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature, the Turjuman Award, and the Sharjah Literary Agency, all part of the SBA.

Each group has its own area in the Sharjah pavilion to display their projects, ideas, and goals. This platform emphasizes the significance of books and culture in the UAE's growth and acts as a link for promoting cultural collaboration between Sharjah and global cities.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA, commented on the emirate's dedication toward the local publishing industry and praised Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of SBA, for the guidance.

"In collaboration with Sharjah's cultural institutions, our participation at BCBF features a diverse program showcasing the many great things that define our Emirate and strengthen our publishing industry," he said, WAM reported.

"We aim to enhance partnerships with leading figures in the children's book industry as well as forge new connections, stimulating the cultural scene and extending support for publishers and translators. This will ultimately amplify the power of creativity and innovation in propelling the influence of books, especially those from the Arab world," Al Ameri added.

In the wake of completing 61 years, the BCBF is broadening its horizons and promoting inclusivity. It has introduced new initiatives such as the TV/Film Rights Centre, which connects creators with media adaptation opportunities.

Last year, The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) collaborated with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London to host a cultural retreat titled "Translation: Literature and Technology."

The event was held as part of ALC's participation in the London Book Fair 2024 which witnessed over 30 experts and academics from various fields of translation.