By Mohammed Siddiq M. Abu Dhabi, UAE
The 38th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has begun with a bang on Wednesday, the 30th of October, 2019. Organized by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in order to highlight the Emirates role in the promoting of books as the cornerstone of humankinds true advancement, the book fair will be held at the Sharjah Expo Centre and will be a host to 173 authors and 2000 publishers from across 81 countries for a total of 11 days till the 9th of November, 2019.
Open Books, Open Minds
As of this year, the theme of the 11 days long event is, “Open Books. Open Minds”. A total of 987 events presenting scientific, knowledge, and literary themes, ranging from book discussions and signings, theatre, social media events, kids and cookery activities, and more, in addition to plays, magic shows, and comics-based activities have been scheduled for during the course of the event. All that, including, 409 activities led by 28 guests from 13 Arab and foreign countries, theatre performances, 3D printing, mechatronics laboratory, and conceptual photography, comics station which will host 66 activities led by 5 guests from four countries, social media station and book signing corner, and cookery corner with 16 Arab and international chefs from 9 countries will be held.
A number of international guests and celebrities have been invited in order to attend the event including Americas most loved host, Steve Harvey, poet and bestselling author Anita Nair; actor Gulshan Grover, and Jeet Thayil, an award-winning poet, novelist and musician whose first novel ‘Narcopolis’ was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
Two of the most well known Journalists from India, Sonia Singh, Editorial Director of NDTV 24×7, host of the show, “NDTV Dialogues”, and also the writer of the book, “Defining India, Through Their Eyes”, and Ravish Kumar, 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, Managing Editor of NDTV India and also the writer of the book, “The Free Voice- On Democracy, Culture, and the Nation”, will be seen in conversation with each other on the 9th of November, 2019. Few of the most prominent figures of the literary field to have been invited to the event are, award winning Indian author, Anita Nair, Steve Harvey, Orhan Pamuk, Vikram Seth, Inaam Kachachi, India’s Oscar winning film director, lyricist and Urdu poet, Sampooran Singh Kalra, more popularly known as, Gulzar, and Mark Manson. They have been termed as the Sharjah Book Fair’s “Magnificent Seven Authors” s they are the literary giants attending the book fest this year.