Sharjah Book Fair

Sharjah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and prides itself on being a cultural capital: the 800,000-strong population has 18 lavish museums to enjoy, as well as the annual event that is the Sharjah International Book Fair. In November 2011, the Fair celebrates it’s 30th anniversary.

I’ve been invited along to the anniversary event as a guest of the Book Fair, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, and I’m excited to be able to explore the literary landscape of a part of the globe I’ve never visited before. I’m especially curious about:

  • Audiences – how will they differ from the UK audiences?
  • Logistics – with trade, rights, bookselling and events, how does the Fair operate?
  • Social media – what impact does this communication have on discussion and debate?
  • Arabic literature – I want to meet writers and buy books I would never have stumbled across alone.
  • Sharjah – I want to find out more about this growing cultural place.

Blogging from Sharjah Book Fair 2011

Sharjah 2011: The Artistry of Words – Art & Calligraphy Museums

Sharjah 2011: the Charm & Challenges of the Arabic Novel

Sharjah 2011: Library, University and the Sultan’s Collections

Sharjah 2011: Opening Ceremony with the Sultan

Sharjah 2011: Rights Fair & a Ferris Wheel

Sharjah International Book Fair 2011: The Adventure Begins

Follow along on Twitter – we’re using the hashtag #shjibf.

More views from Sharjah

Catch up on both this year’s fair and the 2010 Fair via Lisa Dempster’s blog. Lisa is the Director of Melbourne’s Emerging Writer’s Festival, and has written a great account of her first visit to the Fair.

Sara Grady, creative consultant and former Children’s Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is part of the Edinburgh delegation to Sharjah – she’s blogging over at Que Sera Sara.

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