The Sharjah Authority (SBA) is participating in the 53rd edition of the Bologna Children's Book Fair. The major literary event being held in Italy is hosting more than 1,200 exhibitors from 98 countries, with Germany - home of the world's first printed book - being celebrated as its ‘Guest of Honour.’
SBA's participation in the world's oldest children's book event has boosted the presence of the emirate of Sharjah, which is witnessing increasing attention by experts and professionals involved in the children's book industry.
SBA has made the best use of its participation at the fair to promote the 8th edition of the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF), which will take place from April 20-30, 2016, with a line-up of more than 1,500 cultural, art, and educational events and the participation of 130 publishers from 15 countries.
The SBA stand has received an overwhelming response from visitors, many of whom inquired about SCRF 2016 due to its globally acclaimed reputation. The queries reflected Bologna Children's Book Fair and SCRF’s proud common mission to expand children’s knowledge and develop their talents and abilities.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA and the accompanying delegation, which included Hind Abdullah Lenaid, Manager of Fairs and Festivals at SBA and Salim Omar Salim, Director of Sales and Marketing at SBA, held a number of meetings with Arab and foreign
publishers participating at the Bologna Children's Book Fair. During the discussions, the SBA delegation highlighted the most important initiatives launched by Sharjah to develop and support the children's book industry.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, said; "Sharjah and Bologna share a great deal in common and we have a long history of mutual participation at exhibitions and events organised in both cities. The friendship ties between the UAE and Italy are in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who is keen on strengthening our mutual relations and taking them to even greater heights."
Al Ameri highlighted the interest paid by the emirate of Sharjah to children through its focus on developing children's literature, enhancing children’s cognitive skills and expanding children’s knowledge, in line with the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Supreme Affairs. “We have been warmly welcomed at the Bologna Children's Book Fair by publishers from all over the world who have demonstrated their eagerness to communicate with us and to participate in events organised in Sharjah,” added Al Ameri.
On the sidelines of its participation in the Bologna book event, SBA organised a workshop titled ‘Paper Animals’ at its stand. Presented by renowned Italian artist Karen Lavata, who has previously participated in the Sharjah Exhibition for Children's Books Illustrations, the workshop drew an impressive number of people. The activity involved participants being briefed on the ideas that the artist had developed from the world of organisms and animals so that they could create new and exciting visions themselves.
Expressing her delight at the overwhelming response by participants in the workshop, Hind Lenaid said; "This great interaction with our cultural and art initiatives is the fruit of the wise directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to promote culture and art across the world. This workshop represented a small part of our interest in the field of children's book illustrations, which has developed greatly in the past five years thanks to the launch of the Sharjah Exhibition for Children's Book Illustrations – the foremost such event in the Arab region."
The SBA stand enjoyed a high degree of footfall throughout the four-day Bologna Children's Book Fair. It acted as a ‘cultural attaché’ for Arab and foreign stakeholders, professionals and people interested in the book industry to gather and receive information about Sharjah's and
SBA's cultural initiatives dedicated to authors, illustrators and publishers. The pavilion received a significant number of visitors inquiring about SBA’s Translation Grant and its awards, exhibitions, festivals, conferences and training programmes that it runs throughout the year.