Sharjah celebrated as guest of honour at Guadalajara International Book Fair

The city's book fair has grown to become the second-largest in the world after Frankfurt

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Emirati heritage and culture is being celebrated at Mexico’s Guadalajara International Book Fair, as Sharjah has been welcomed as the guest of honour in what is the largest literary event in Latin America.

It is the first city from the Arab world to be given the merit.

The book fair in Guadalajara, colloquially known as the City of Roses, has been running since 1987 and has grown to become the second largest in the world after Frankfurt.

It is hailed as one of the most significant literary events in the Spanish-speaking world and seeks to provide a nurturing business environment for industry professionals and exhibitors, while giving the public the opportunity to discover new authors and meet established favourites.

The 36th fair opened on Saturday and will be running until December 4.

The guest of honour pavilion, located at the main entrance of the fair, has been draped with the colours of the UAE flag and is being used as a platform to showcase the country’s literature, music, heritage and art.

“The massive turnout of visitors and their interest in Emirati culture at the Guadalajara International Book Fair is a manifestation of the wise vision of Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah,” Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, said.

“His Highness has always believed that culture and the written word reveal the universal ethics and values that connect peoples, which are far greater and more powerful than what differentiates humanity. This interconnectedness is the key to building sustainable close relationships between world countries, and we are proud to see the large footfall of the Mexican audience as they celebrate Sharjah and the Emirati and Arab cultures it is representing.”

The Sharjah pavilion convenes more than 20 cultural institutions from the emirate, offering opportunities for collaboration with other Mexican and international entities. The institutions are highlighting shared values between Arab and Latin cultures and presenting their latest publications in various languages.

The Sharjah Department of Culture is organising an Arabic calligraphy exhibition in collaboration with the University of Guadalajara in addition to an art workshop.

The Sharjah Institute for Heritage will be presenting a seminar on inscriptions and their significance in Emirati heritage, in addition to folk art shows performed by the Sharjah National Band where female artisans will showcase traditional and heritage crafts.

Academics from the University of Sharjah will conduct meetings with the University of Guadalajara, Universidad de Guanajuato, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, to build partnerships in various fields, including teaching Arabic, medicine, engineering, space and archaeology.

Meanwhile, the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority will cover live the events of the book fair, in addition to special segments on the emirate's activities, as well as conduct interviews with Arab and Mexican authors and intellectuals.

The Sharjah Archaeology Authority will highlight Sharjah’s history by showcasing artefacts and historic locations in the emirate. “We will also organise a seminar on Mleiha archaeological site, and showcase replicas of 19 relics including ivory combs, bronze tools and other antiquities dating back to different historical periods of the emirate at the MUSA Museum of the Arts at the University of Guadalajara,” Issa Youssef, director of the archaeology department at Sharjah Archaeology Authority, said.

For their part, the Sharjah Museums Authority will showcase a selection of unique artefacts from its museums, including ornaments, pottery, incense burners and paintings that shine a light on the UAE's history and Islamic civilisation.

House of Wisdom will be launching the Spanish version of the exhibition Folktales Reimagined, in partnership with the UAE Board on Books for Young People. They will also be showcasing rare and valuable books.

Emirates Publishers Association is also working to bolster the international presence of Emirati authors, ensuring the placement of local Arab titles in libraries worldwide.

Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of the recent Sharjah International Book Fair

Updated: November 27, 2022, 1:13 PM