The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has successfully concluded its participation in Book Expo America 2012 after displaying a strong presence at America’s premier book fair. The SIBF’s stand received a huge turnout of avid readers and book lovers due to the diversity, high quality, and rich contents of titles on display. Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Amri, director of the Sharjah International Book Fair, received Ahmed Al Jarmen, UAE Ambassador to the United Nations, who inspected the SIBF’s stand and the quality of the books exhibited. Al Amiri dedicated the English and Arabic versions of the book “Hadeeth Al Thakera” (Taking the Reins) by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. The book will be displayed at the United Nations Library. The UAE Ambassador expressed his admiration for the effective and strong participation of the Sharjah International Book Fair in Book Expo America, as well as the value of the exhibited books, which depict the history of the UAE and the countries in the Gulf region. He praised Sheikh Sultan’s rich contributions to the translation of Arabic language books into English and vice versa, referring to Sheikh Sultan’s great interest in translation as an extremely important activity because of its role in extending bridges of cultural communication between East and West. Highlighting the importance of participation in book events, Al Amri said, “We are always keen to participate in global cultural events and exhibitions in keeping with the directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. “Book Expo America offered us the opportunity to meet with Arab and international publishers who praised the resounding success made by the Sharjah International Book Fair in its previous edition. Making the best use of our presence in Book Expo America, we met with leading American and international houses which expressed their readiness to participate in the upcoming edition of the Sharjah Book Fair, which is scheduled to be held in November 2012,” Al Amri said. “As we encouraged American participation and clarified how leading publishing houses and distributors would benefit from the Sharjah Fair, we expect the participation of dozens of publishers from Latin America and other countries,” he added. On the sidelines of SIBF’s participation in Book Expo America, Al Amri met with leading publishers and distributers from around the world who expressed their interest in participating in the next edition of Sharjah Book Fair. Al Amri met with Steve Rosato, director of Book Expo America, and discussed ways to activate avenues of co-operation between both sides in order to serve the book industry and culture, as well as to promote the Sharjah Book Fair in international arenas. He also met the CEO of Diamond Distribution, the largest comic book distributor in North America, who stressed his keen interest in participating in Sharjah Book Fair, which he considers as one of the premier book fairs in the region due to the major success it has achieved and its globally recognised reputation. Visitors to the exhibition expressed their extreme admiration and their eagerness to learn more about the Sharjah Book Fair and the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival and their appreciation of the great support extended to authors, publishers, illustrators and all professionals in the field of the book industry. The visitors also lauded the exhibited books, especially those written by Sheikh Sultan and translated into several languages, such as French, English, and Spanish, among other releases from the Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah. They also were impressed with the numerous other releases by Kalimat Publishing House, Knowledge without Borders, the UAE Publisher Association, the UAE Board on Books for Young People, the Sharjah Commerce Tourism Development Authority, the Sharjah Biennial, and the Sharjah Media Centre, in addition to publications by various childhood centres, and other cultural initiatives and projects based in Sharjah.