Cultural centers

Sharjah’s unique cultural vision resonates across Europe and attracts global audiences at BCBF 2022

Sharjah: Sharjah has enriched Italy’s cultural landscape by opening a window to the diverse and historically rich traditions of culture, art and music from the Emirati and Arab worlds at the 59th Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF ) recently concluded, where the emirate was celebrated as a guest of honor.

For four days, the emirate unveiled a cultural extravaganza in the northern Italian city to showcase its cultural project and build bridges of communication and collaboration between Arab and Italian cultural entities. In its Guest of Honor pavilion, Sharjah has also strengthened cooperation between publishers, authors and illustrators from Europe, the United Arab Emirates and the Arab world.

From shining the spotlight on opportunities in the Arabic book industry and exploring the enchanting worlds of Arabic calligraphy and children’s book illustrations, to promoting Emirati heritage and folk art, music, clothing, craft traditions and more, Sharjah’s dynamic range of activities showcased the unique assets of institutions and cultural entities from across the emirate to a global audience at the book fair.

The Sharjah pavilion witnessed a large influx of European visitors of all age groups throughout the four days of the fair. Visitors enjoyed performances led by the Sharjah National Band; many showed interest in learning the traditional Emirati dance, others lined up to have their names written in stylized Arabic calligraphy while women and girls of various nationalities adorned their hands with henna and photographed themselves in traditional Emirati clothing.

Sharjah led discussions on the challenges and opportunities of publishing in today’s markets and explored the prospects for the future. Literary panel discussions and seminars bringing together authors, publishers, artists and translators from Italy and the United Arab Emirates shed new light and unique perspectives on children’s book illustration, translation and the industry book world. The emirate has explored potential solutions to improve the knowledge industry and improve book production outcomes regionally and internationally, and in doing so has provided an excellent opportunity to build partnerships and strengthen cooperation between Italian and Emirati cultural entities.

At the main entrance of the BolognaFiere exhibition center where BCBF was held, Sharjah held a group art exhibition titled “Insight, Reflect”, featuring 20 Emirati children’s book illustrators. The exhibition attracted the interest of publishers, illustrators and readers and introduced bookmakers around the world to the thriving art scene in the United Arab Emirates and its impact on Arabic children’s literature.

To facilitate the exchange of knowledge and creative expertise, the Sharjah pavilion was transformed into a platform for creative art workshops focusing on children’s book illustrations and doll making, and hosted dozens of promising and expert Emirati artists who showed their creativity in arts and craftsmanship. .

Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Government Relations (DGR) in Sharjah, who led the emirate’s guest of honor delegation to the book fair, said: “Recognizing the important status granted to Sharjah in As guest of honor at BCBF 2022, the emirate presented an inclusive literary and cultural program that celebrates arts, literature and heritage, which form key pillars of Sharjah’s cultural project and reflect the vision and guidelines of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to foster the holistic personality development of our children by providing an environment where they have the best possible access to books and knowledge which will teach them about their past and, at the same time, prepare them for future leadership.”The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is one of the most prestigious international events dedicated to the a children’s literature that each year bears witness to an exciting exchange of experiences and cooperation agreements between publishing professionals and cultural entities to shape and nurture a future that brings together children around the world. .”

“We are proud of Sharjah – the city where we grew up, the city that provided us with an environment that encouraged us to learn and foster the values ​​of collaboration and understanding. And when we bring these experiences to the world, we are proud to share something remarkable with people who are champions of cultural exchange and progress,” he concluded.

For his part, HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, said: “The great cultural boost achieved through Sharjah’s participation in the BCBF reflects the broad vision of the emirate’s cultural project in line with the guidelines and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who has always believed that what truly represents a nation’s identity and exemplifies its authenticity are books, art and to know. More than four decades ago, His Highness pioneered communication and dialogue with cultures and civilizations around the world on the strength of these solid foundations, and his lasting positive impact continues to grow and thrive.

“Sharjah’s presence at BCBF 2022 offered a dynamic platform to introduce the people of Italy and Europe to the richness and diversity of Emirati and Arab culture and allowed them to discover the commonalities that unite us, in addition to the nobles values ​​we share. Seeing visitors to the Sharjah Pavilion take part in heritage exhibitions, explore Arabic calligraphy artworks and even look into Arabic books translated into Italian, has fulfilled one of our main goals and is the result of efforts of Sharjah’s cultural entities and their representatives at the fair,” he added.

“Sharjah’s selection as guest of honor at the BCBF strengthens the emirate’s position on the map of world cultural cities and marks a step forward in achieving more fruitful and constructive communication with Italian and European cities, while enhancing the global cultural landscape with the unique cultural identity of the UAE and the Arab world,” Al Ameri concluded.

The Sharjah Guest of Honor Pavilion at the BCBF saw the participation of: Sharjah Book Authority, which oversaw the guest of honor activities programming schedule, Emirates Writers Union, Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, Sharjah Publishing City, Sharjah Department of Culture, Sharjah Heritage Institute, Emirates Publishers Association, UAE Board on Books for Young People, Kalimat Group, Kalimat Foundation, Knowledge Without Borders and 1001 Titles initiative.