ROME: Italy will be the guest of honor at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair, due to take place in the UAE city in November next year.
Several Italian authors, artists, and publishers will be among those involved in seminars, talks, and exhibitions to promote the arts, literature, and culture of the European country at the fair.
The Sharjah Book Authority’s decision to bestow the honor on Italy was announced at a meeting between SBA Chairman Ahmed bin Rakkad Al-Ameri and the Italian Ambassador to the UAE Nicola Lener.
The envoy described his country’s participation in the book fair as guest of honor as “a great opportunity to share our culture with the Arab world,” and noted Italy’s strong presence at the recent 2021 edition of the prestigious event.
Lener said: “SIBF has emerged as the world’s largest book fair this year after attracting the highest number of publishing professionals from around the world who used the SIBF platform to pursue a variety of business interests.
“We are keen to participate in SIBF every year and look forward to bringing Italian literature closer to the Arab audience and explore ways to enhance communication between Italian bookmakers and publishers and their counterparts in the Arab world.”
Al-Ameri said: “We look forward to welcoming some of Italy’s greatest writers and artists at SIBF 2022. Through the selection of Italy as guest of honor, we seek to further the cross-cultural dialogue between the two countries.
“This is in line with the vision of Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council (of the UAE) and ruler of Sharjah, to build bridges of cultural understanding between peoples across the world and promote common values through knowledge, art, and literature,” he added.
He pointed out that the strong cultural links between the UAE and Italy dated back to when the Silk Road connected the East with the West and played a key role in facilitating trade as well as intellectual and cultural exchange.
“At that time, the UAE was a thriving trade center for Italian merchants. The selection of Italy as the guest of honor at SIBF 2022 reflects these deep-rooted bilateral ties and aims to honor Italy’s contributions to the promotion of knowledge and art.
“We seek to enhance knowledge exchange and cooperation with Italy in various creative sectors and we are looking forward to introducing the audience to Italy’s cultural legacy including art, literature, and the beauty of the Italian language,” Al-Ameri said.