His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, was praised by His Highness Sheikh Ali Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain. This came during His Highness Sheikh Ali Al Khalifa’s visit to Sharjah Book Authority (SBA)’s participating stand at the 17th edition of Bahrain International Book Fair (BIBF), which runs from March 24 to April 3 at the Bahrain National Museum, Manama.
His Highness Sheikh Ali Al Khalifa was accompanied by Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahraini Foreign Minister, and received by HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, who handed a copy of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi’s book ‘Seerat Madinah’ (Biography of a City) to His Highness Sheikh Ali Al Khalifa.
His Highness Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa highlighted the importance of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi’s publications in observing and documenting aspects of life in the Gulf region, including accounts of its most important historical events, based on numerous verified and trustworthy sources included in the pages of historic manuscripts that His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi maintains in his private library.
Sheikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, also visited Sharjah Book Authority’s stand, expressing gratitude for the emirate’s participation in the 17th edition of Bahrain International Book Fair. She praised the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi that have helped transform the emirate of Sharjah into a leading capital of culture in the region.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, said; “Sharjah Book Authority’s participation at Bahrain International Book Fair comes in line with the vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, who in 1979, launched a counter-uprising to the ‘Concrete Revolution’ with a ‘Cultural Revolution’ that aimed to build human capital as opposed to skyscrapers, with its attendant directives to promote the important role of culture and books. In meeting this inspired vision, SBA seeks to develop the book industry through its efforts in organising exhibitions, fairs and conferences that support publishers, authors, illustrators, intellectuals and all those interested in the world of the written word.”
Al Ameri added; “Our participation at BIBF 2016 has contributed to introducing more publishers to the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) Translation Grant Fund and to available opportunities to participate in the next edition of SIBF, as well as the 9th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. It also promotes the distinctive services that Sharjah offers to support culture and books, as well as highlights the achievements of Emirati intellectuals locally, regionally and internationally.”
In collaboration with the Emirates Writers Union, SBA organised a poetry reading evening titled: ‘Voices from the UAE’ as part of the Cultural Participations programme held on the sidelines of BIBF 2016. Prominent poets Hamda Khamis from Bahrain and Al-Hanoof Mohammed from the UAE read a selection of their poems that delved into a wide range of themes and experiences in life. The poetry evening was held a few days following ‘Arab Poetry Day,’ which was hosted in the Kingdom of Bahrain on March 21.
Poet Hamda Khamis, Member of the Bahrain Writers Association’, Member of Emirates Writers Union, also read a collection of her poems at the event; including; ‘An Apology to Childhood,’ ‘Pomegranate Solitude,’ ‘Taranim’ (Hymns), ‘Masarat’ (Byways) and ‘Addad’ (Opposites). Al-Hanoof Mohammed, Board Member and Cultural Officer at the Emirates Writers Union – who has published many volumes of poetry – recited a number of her works, including; ‘Samawat’ (Skies), ‘Jodran’ (Walls) and ‘Reeh Yousof’ (Wind of Joseph).
SBA’s poetry reading evenings form part of its initiative launched during the 34th edition of SIBF in collaboration with the Emirates Writers Union, which aims to support Emirati writers and authors, helping them gain international recognition, as well as promoting Emirati culture around the world.
Established in 2014, SBA is dedicated to encouraging investment in creative industries and provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people from different countries and cultures. It is also entrusted with emphasising the significant role of writers and their influence in spreading awareness of technological advancement and the availability of various sources of knowledge. SBA aspires to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural sector in general and in the publishing, printing, translation, documentation and children’s books in particular.