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The Sharjah International Book Fair Oct 26-Nov 6

abstract:The Sharjah International Book Fair is the largest book fair in the Middle East. It takes place Oct 26th-Nov 6th in city of Sharjah located just northeast of Dubai on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the United Arab Emirates. This is a spectacularly beautiful region, but don't take my word for it. Check out the mapquest link with excellent photo locators to acclimate yourself, then listen to the music track on the video at this Sharjah info site. Interested to learn more? The UAE is a federation situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran. The UAE consists of seven states, termed emirates, (because they are ruled by Emirs) which are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. The capital and second largest city of the United Arab Emirates is Abu Dhabi and Sharjah is both the third largest Emirate and the name of its city capital. It is also the country's center of political, industrial, and cultural activities. The Sharjah Book Fair is an effort not only to encourage literacy in the country but it serves as a resource for education at all levels. Browsing the 53 page English language book list (because the Arabic book list is, duh, in Arabic) is like skimming a University arts, business and sciences course book list! There are pages of accounting texts, architecture, design, business and marketing books, as well as international fiction titles on current publisher lists. This suggests a very broad spectrum purpose, not the typical offering as what you'd see at the LA Times Book Festival, for example, where mostly fiction authors and particular genre books are on display and for sale at booths. The whole SIBF is guided under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi and has been ongoing since 1982. How well is it attended? This 10-day annual event now draws a total of 750 publishers showcasing books from nearly 42 nations, and attracts over 400,000 GCC visitors.


October 28, 2010
— A former CIA Station Chief in the Middle East once told me in an interview surrounding his own book launch, that the best way to understand a nation and its people is to read its fiction and to see its movies. If you have any interest in this region and people, I highly suggest you browse the book list.

SIBF has two main divisions: a display division and a sales division. Both the divisions will have Arabic language and foreign language sections. There are several book awards distributed at the fair. As an example of what's in store, here is a list of a few of the 2009 prizewinners:

  • [We are contacting the Fair organizers for this information, as it is not posted anywhere that I can find on the site or the world wide web! If you know this information, please contact us in the meantime. paulas @]

    The Sharjah Int’l Book Fair is a member in several international organizations such as Afro-Asian Book Council, Arab Publishers’ Association and GCC Book Committee. SIBF is also recognized by the International Publishers’ Association. For more information visit their website, or contact:

    the Department of Culture & Information
    Government of Sharjah
    P O Box:5119
    Sharjah, Untied Arab Emirates
    Tel#:00971-6-5671116 / 00971-6-5010139, Fax#:009716-5662126 / 00971-6-5660535



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