Sultan inaugurates 31st Sharjah International Book Fair

_: The ruler of Sharjah honoured Emirati media man and poet Habib Yusuf Abdullah Al Sayegh, Chairman of Emirates Writers Union, with the award of Cultural Personality of the Year. This was in recognition of his great efforts in spreading and developing the UAE culture and representing the UAE culture at various forums, as well as his outstanding contribution to different cultural aspects at local, regional and international levels.

Dubai-based Explorer Publishing and Distribution received Best Local Publishing House Award. Egypt-based Dar Al Fikr Al Arabi Publishing and Distribution was awarded the Best Arab Publisher. The American Centre for Press and Cultural Affairs – US Consulate in Dubai – received the award for Best International Publisher category.

In the category of Best Emirati Author, Dr. Hamad bin Sarai won for his book Camels in the Land of the Ancient Near East and the Arabian Peninsula and Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Ibrahim for his book Sugar Time.

Best UAE Academic Book was won by Dr Salih Huwaidi Nasser for his study about Emirati short stories. No award was granted in the category Best UAE Book in for Production and Translation as it was felt no entrant met the criteria. In the category Best UAE Printed Book about the UAE, the award went to the Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi by Motivate Publishing.

The award Best Arabic Novel has gone to Hala Kawtharani’s Ali Al-Amercani (American Ali) by Al Saqi Publishing House, while the Best Foreign Novel went to author Patrick Ness for A Monster Call (Walker Books , United States of America).

The book Winning is Everything: A 10-step guide for Sure-shot Success written by Deepak Behl has won the Best Foreign Book on Economics Award (Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi). While the Best Foreign Children’s Book Award went to Babar Maqbool for his book Stories of the Prophets (Maqbool Books, Pakistan).

Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi also honoured the sponsors and associates of the current edition of SIBF, including Sharjah Media Corporation and Sharjah Media Centre, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, Sharjah Expo Centre, Etisalat, and Sharjah Investment Development Authority “Shurouq”.

The Ruler received a number of commemorative plaques from Sharjah International Book Fair and Emirates Telecommunication Corporation (Etisalat) in recognition of his pioneering role in serving books, authors and writers and in honour of his sponsorship of this prestigious cultural event.

He also received the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information Award for Outstanding Project in Libraries and Information Centers from Hassan Awad Al Surahy, President of the Federation.

The award acknowledges Sheikh Suktan’s efforts in establishing a number of public libraries inside the UAE and abroad, Sheikh Sultan’s outstanding contribution to providing local, Arab and Islamic research centers with original and rare books and Sheikh Sultan’s continued directives of organizing courses, programs, workshops and activities related to research and training, putting the library at the core of cultural research.

Attendees were invited to a breakfast banquet hosted by Sheikh Sultan to honour the guests, winners of the various awards and the participating publishers.

Sheikh Sultan also launched the Arabic edition of his book The Myth of Arab Piracy in the Gulf, followed by a documentary film about the content of the book, including old photographs, some historical documents and letters. The book was published in English in 1989, and later in Farsi.

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