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SIBF closing day: Visitors, publishers, authors celebrate culture, literature without Covid restrictions – News

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People from various emirates, countries, backgrounds and ages gathered at the event to celebrate the script and all that is associated with it without any restrictions



Sharjah International Book held at the Exhibition Center under the slogan ‘Spread the Word’. Pictures of M Sajjad

Published: Sun 13 Nov 2022, 10:42 PM

Visitors, publishers, guests and authors from various countries and nationalities celebrated culture, literature and the arts during the 41st edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, which ended today (13 November), with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions adding to the ease of everything.

This year, the turnout for the region’s first event was high compared to previous editions, and the receding pandemic coupled with the lifting of restrictions associated with it played a huge role in the popularity of the event. .

With restrictions such as wearing a mask, keeping the distance and mandatory PCR test or vaccination certificates not applicable at the event, the crowd or book lovers were numerous from the first day. People from various emirates, countries, backgrounds and ages gathered at the event to celebrate the script and all that is associated with it.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, visitors and editors said they were celebrating the love of culture without the restrictions that had forced many people to refrain from attending in previous years.

Nahla Magzoub

Nahla Magzoub

Sudanese journalist Nahla Magzoub was there at the invitation of the Sharjah Book Authority to take part in the cultural celebrations.

“This year, I enjoyed the freedom to walk around the halls of the fair and attend the sessions, events and activities organized on the sidelines of the great cultural celebration without wearing a mask and without fear of the crowds, and I got to shake hands with friends I met at the event,” she said.

By the time the curtains fell on the event, more than 1,000 publishing houses had participated and more than 150 personalities from the Arab world, Africa and the rest of the world had graced the occasion. Moreover, the participation of Italy as guest of honor brought to the event the intellectual and creative cultural richness of the country and a feeling of “dolce vita” in the Emirates.

Children, perhaps, were the most present at the event, coming on weekday mornings on school trips with their teachers and on vacation with their families to have a wonderful time with books, comics and various activities. – from cooking and puppetry to meeting their favorite writer and engaging in skill development.

Visitors from various parts of the world also had a fruitful time at SIBF. Yousif Mustaf from the Sharjah Department of Culture said the 41st edition of the SIBF more than lived up to the international reputation of the event.

“It was a global forum in every sense of the word. It’s a valuable opportunity for readers, authors, publishers and knowledge-makers to celebrate the literary festival – and the lifting of Covid restrictions was the icing on the cake,” Mustaf said. .

He added that the exhibition this year reached the pinnacle of “its gift and accumulation of knowledge, culture and literature”.

“It holds a distinguished position in Arab and international cultural circles, as it is an annual cultural event that emphasizes the deep interest in books. I was so happy to see the crowds strolling through the halls with a sense of security and freedom.”

Assif Khan, a visitor from Pakistan, said Sharjah’s emergence as a knowledge industry hub was due to the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah , which has always supported knowledge and culture.

“The fact that Sharjah is today a capital of culture and books is nothing but the culmination of an era of continuous work in the service of Arab culture, which is a worthy tribute to the emirate and its ruler,” Khan said.

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Rakesh Kumar, a visitor from India, said that the SIBF is a cultural and literary platform that promotes writers and intellectuals from everywhere, and is particularly important after the pandemic period in light of the return to normal life and the resumption of work, cultural activities and events.

“This is an important initiative that highlights the importance of literature and culture…and new publications, after a period of hiatus,” Kumar explained, adding that the publication and celebration of Emirati achievements in through events, seminars, cultural sessions and book launches were highlights. at the event.

The number of Indian publishers has increased this year, presenting the country’s various latest publications to the public in a way that caters to the aspirations and tastes of readers of different interests and age groups.

As SIBF 2022 closed its doors, all visitors and everyone associated with it left with a sense of enrichment, true to the event slogan: “Spread the Word”.

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