A “cultural odyssey” commences as the 42nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2023) gets underway, bringing together content and publishers from 108 countries. Over the course of 12 days, the Expo Centre Sharjah will play host to 2,033 publishers and exhibitors, creating an event of global significance.
From seven continents, more than 1.5 million titles will be showcased, offering a diverse range of literature. The fair is open to the public daily at Expo Sharjah from November 1 to 12. Operating hours are from 9:30 am to 10 pm on Monday to Thursday, from 4 pm to 11 pm on Fridays, and from 10 am to 11 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Under the theme ‘We Speak Books,’ SIBF 2023 is proudly celebrating South Korea as the Guest of Honour, highlighting its cultural heritage and contemporary contributions. The event boasts a formidable lineup of 2,033 publishers representing their respective nations.
This literary extravaganza features a staggering 1.5 million titles, with 800,000 in Arabic and 700,000 in other languages. Leading the Arab contingent is the UAE with 300 publishers, followed by Egypt with 284, Lebanon with 94, and Syria with 62. On the international front, India, the UK, and Turkey are prominent participants.
SIBF 2023 is set to welcome prominent Emirati writers, thinkers, and poets, along with a distinguished array of Arab literary figures. The ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ honor goes to Libyan writer and novelist Ibrahim Al-Koni, joined by luminaries such as Algerian writer Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Egyptian novelist Ahmed Mourad, and Kuwaiti author Bothayna Al Issa, among others.
The international guest list is equally impressive, featuring Nobel laureate in Literature Wole Soyinka, Canadian journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell, Indian actress Kareena Kapoor, and several other distinguished figures.
SIBF 2023 will host over 1,700 activities led by 215 guests from 69 countries, with 460 cultural activities and 900 workshops in six interactive spaces. South Korea’s Guest of Honour program, titled ‘Imagination Without Borders,’ will offer a variety of cultural activities, panel discussions, musical performances, and culinary experiences.
The Social Media Station will provide workshops and sessions on diverse topics, including partnerships with social media influencers, artificial intelligence, and AI-enhanced content production.
A lineup of 130 theatrical performances from 14 countries will grace the 12-day event, featuring the premiere of the Emirati production “Barcode Prison” and a children’s play by the ALJ Sisters Band.
The Cookery Corner will host 12 international chefs, each showcasing their culinary expertise and cultural nuances through 45 activities.
Thriller enthusiasts can look forward to the second edition of the Thriller Festival, spotlighting ten international authors. Additionally, the Sharjah International Library Conference, in partnership with the American Library Association, will assemble over 400 international librarians and specialists from around the world.