Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is participating alongside almost 800 local, Arabic, and international publishers from 54 countries in the 20th edition of the International Exhibition of Publishing and Book (Salon International de l-Edition et du Livre - SIEL), which is currently being held in Casablanca, Morocco. The fair, themed "Let's live the Moroccan Culture", was inaugurated by Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane on 13 February, and will run until the 23rd of this month. Sharjah's delegation to the event - which has this year selected the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as a guest of honor in recognition of the strong ties that join Morocco and the 15 ECOWAS member countries - is headed by Fadil Hussain , Deputy General Coordinator of SIBF, and Zaher Elsousi, SIBF's Sales Executive- Arabia. A number of activities celebrating the cultural and literary products of ECOWAS countries will be conducted during the fair, and participants will also have the opportunity to meet with intellectuals, scholars, and authors from these countries during various seminars and discussion sessions. Fadil Hussain commented on SIBF's participation in this event, saying: "In line with the directions extended by H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, we are working on strengthening collaboration between SIBF and international publishers and authors." He added: "We are delighted to be part of a fair that focuses on promoting the richness and diversity of African culture. SIEL offers an opportunity to not only exchange ideas and share experiences with leading African publishers, but also to invite them to take part in SIBF and to take advantage of the Translation Grant, which presents a golden opportunity for African publishers to get their books translated to Arabic. We are also hoping to translate some valuable Arabic books into African languages." "Of course, the current edition of the International Exhibition of Publishing and Book in Casablanca is also an opportunity for SIBF, in particular, and the Arab world in general, to build stronger ties with Africa's leading publishers, intellectuals and cultural figures present at the fair, especially those from ECOWAS member countries, who are being honored during the event. We are looking forward to establishing new channels between Sharjah and various African countries in the hope that it will have a positive influence on cultural development on the continent, and also result in more African publishers taking part in Sharjah International Book Fair," he concluded. SIBF's pavilion at SIEL presents visitors - especially publishers - with various services. They are provided with information about reserving space in the upcoming SIBF, along with information about the professional program for publishers organized annually before the Fair, which is aimed at enhancing Arabic publishers' skills and experience. The pavilion also provides information about the Translation Grant offered by SIBF as a part of the Translation Program, in addition to the Translation Grant Fund, which is a Sharjah government-funded initiative aimed at supporting the field of translation and enhancing worldwide cultural development. During the current edition of SIEL, winners of the Morocco Book Awards will be announced. The Arkana Poetry Award, presented by the Poetry House, will also be granted to French poet Yves Bonnefoy. In addition, remarkable authors such as AL Tahir Bin Jalloun, Mohammed Barada, and Kuwaiti author Saoud Al Sanousi, winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Booker) in 2013 for his book "Saq Al-Bamboo", will be celebrated during the 20th edition of the event. The fair is expected to be attended by 340 prominent Moroccan figures, as well as around 75 authors and intellectuals from all over the globe.