41st Sharjah International Book Fair

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41st SIBF celebrates Italy as the Guest of Honor

By Malika Kaloo

UNIVERSITY CITY, Sharjah– The 41st edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair celebrated Italy as the Guest of Honor from Nov. 2 to 13 at Sharjah Expo Center. 

“As Guest of Honor, Italy has got more space here at the fair and we are presenting our culture and meeting other publishers and authors. Now we hope to host them in our home country,” said Silvia Vassena, an Italian author and international publishing consultant for Milano. 

“Sharjah Book Fair is interesting because there is a growing demand for content from the Emirates. I see the UAE (United Arab Emirates) as global because of the use of English in this country,” she added. 

The book fair also included workshops, live shows and various performances representing Italian traditions and cultures. 

This year, SIBF showcased centuries-old rare manuscripts, including a genealogy of the family tree of Prophet Muhammad for the first time in the Middle East. 

Dana Alkalkooti, a volunteer at the bookfair, said that visitors were especially interested in looking at 1000-year-old pages from the Holy Quran.  

“As a first-time volunteer, I am still in awe of how people are interested in reading books that are centuries old,” she said.

The book fair exhibited works of authors and publishers from around 95 countries and witnessed had over 2.17 million visitors. 

SIBF is one of the world’s largest book fairs held at the Sharjah Expo Center every year.