The 38th Sharjah International Book Fair, SIBF, concluded on Sunday, after a record turnout of 2.52 million visitors during the 11-day fair, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
Organized by the Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, under the theme of the Sharjah World Book Capital 2019, "Open Books-Open Minds," the event witnessed the participation of Nobel laureates and Booker Prize and Oscar winners, along with 2,000 publishers from 81 countries.
On November 7, the SIBF set a Guinness World Record for successfully hosting the world’s largest simultaneous book signing ceremony in one location, with 1,502 authors from the UAE and other countries signing their own books.
The SBA also partnered with Big Bad Wolf Ventures Sdn. Bhd., BBW, the organizer of the world’s largest book sale, to establish their regional branch, Big Bad Wolf Sharjah in the Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone.
SIBF 2019 also honored Mexico as a guest of honour, and Lebanese author and critic Dr. Yumna Al Eid, also known as Hikmat Sabbagh, was named the Cultural Personality of the Year.
Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, allocated AED4.5 million to acquire a selection of books from various categories that were offered by publishers participating in SIBF 2019, to continuously update the emirate’s libraries.
"For 38 years, SIBF has promoted the writings of authors and intellectuals from around the world, while offering our visitors a platform for meeting and interacting with prominent Arab and international cultural figures,” WAM quoted SBA Chairman Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri as saying.
“This 11-day cultural celebration is the outcome of the vision of Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad to raise future generations empowered by knowledge. Our cultural project is based on his belief that arts and culture are universal languages," he added.
SIBF 2019 witnessed the participation of 173 leading authors from 68 countries who took part in 987 events, ranging from book discussions and signings, theater, social media events, and children’s and cooking activities, WAM said.
This year, SIBF held 350 cultural activities presented by 90 guests from 28 countries, and many children took part in 409 activities organized by 28 guests from 13 countries. The Cookery Corner presented 48 live culinary activities conducted by 15 Arab and international chefs from nine countries, while 66 activities hosted by five guests from four countries were held at the Comic Book Corner, the news agency added.