Being GoH At SIBF Is Highly Significant For Spain: Spanish MoC


Being GoH at SIBF is highly significant for Spain: Spanish MoC

SHARJAH, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 23rd Jun, 2021) Following the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA)’s announcement of Spain as the Guest of Honour for the 40th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), senior officials from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and sports have said that their preparations for and participation befits the prominent global standing of this international event hosted annually by Sharjah and will be significant for Spain.

The ministry revealed that a special team has been formed, which will be designing a bespoke Guest of Honour (GoH) programme to ensure a magnificent representation of their local culture, art and literature in Sharjah and also broaden the existing horizons for exchange between Arab and Spanish cultures.

The announcement was made earlier this week in Madrid during a meeting between a Sharjah delegation led by Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA and Spanish officials. The meeting’s attendees included Majid Hassan Mohamed Al Suwaidi, Ambassador of the UAE to the Kingdom of Spain; Antonio Álvarez Barthe, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE; Maria José Gálvez, General Director for Books and Reading Promotion, Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports, and Pilar Torre Villaverde, Advisory Member, Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports.

During the meeting, the two parties held a detailed discussion on Spain’s participation, which will be the largest and first-of-kind representation of Spain’s culture and its authors, artists and intellectuals on a platform anywhere in the Arab region.

Ahmed Al Ameri, said, "Spain's participation as the Guest of Honour at the 40th edition of SIBF reiterates the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, that books are key pillars of support that strengthen bonds between nations and cultures. The written word is a powerful medium of exchange via which long-term partnerships and cooperation are forged between cities, countries and cultures. Celebrating Spain and its rich, historical and cultural legacy as well as showcasing its modern achievements in various cultural fields will enable the UAE and the region to become more familiar with and appreciate the fifth-most spoken language in the world.


María José Gálvez, noted, "We are currently working with relevant local bodies to craft a distinctive and qualitative programme that befits our GoH participation in SIBF 2021. The Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports is always keen on expanding the local book industry’s global outreach. This special showcase in Sharjah presents a unique opportunity for us, especially after the pandemic, because the emirate has an excellent track record in presenting global industry professionals real and promising opportunities through the book fair, not only locally and in the Arab region, but also across Asia and the rest of the world, thanks to the SIBF’s globally renowned professional programmes that create brand new avenues for authors, publishers, translators, and creatives from around the world."

Al Suwaidi highlighted the fact that the depth of the UAE’s and Spain’s friendship has recently become more evident with the former approving a plan to include the Spanish language in the UAE’s academic curricula given that it is one of the most important languages globally used in the development of science, arts and literature.

Barthe expressed his gratitude to Sharjah and the SBA for hosting Spain as the GoH, affirming that the move reinforces Sharjah's status as a global cultural city. Several affirmative steps are being taken by both nations to continue on the path, the most recent project has been the inauguration of the Spanish school in Abu Dhabi in September 2020, he added.

At the end of the visit, Al Ameri presented Gálve with Spanish translations of a set of theatrical works by Dr. Sheikh Sultan.

The SBA delegation met with officials from the Spanish Association of Publishers Guilds (Federación de Gremios de Editores de España - FGEE), including Manuel González Moreno, President of the FGEE, and Antonio Avila, Executive Director of FGEE.

They discussed broadening the scope of Spanish publishers' participation at the SIBF and ensuring their maximum participation in the Publishers Conference organised annually by SBA in the lead up to the SIBF. The Spanish side expressed their interest in translating Spanish children's books into Arabic and expanding into the Arabic readership market.