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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

472 guests and 1,800 events – Sharjah International Book Fair announces 2018 line-up

Omar Ghobash, Ahlam Mosteghanemi and Ibrahim Nasrallah are among the writers taking part in the literary fair this year 

Omar Ghobash will speak at this year's Sharjah International Book Fair 
Omar Ghobash will speak at this year's Sharjah International Book Fair 

Omar Ghobash, UAE ambassador to France and author of the bestselling book Letters to a Young Muslim, is one of the star names due to appear at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair, where more than 80,000 titles will be exhibited by nearly 2,000 publishing houses.

Letters to a Young Muslim, which is made up of a series of essays, framed as letters to Ghobash’s eldest son, was published last year and immediately caused a sensation. “Anyone open to embracing diversity of thought and experience and understanding should spend some time walking through this powerful book,” one critic wrote about Ghobash’s work, which proposes a more liberal model for Muslims.

Ghobash is one of a number of high-profile speakers, announced on Monday at the headquarters of Sharjah Book Authority, to appear at the 37th Sharjah International Book Fair. Other notable names include Algerian novelist Ahlam Mosteghanemi, British business writer Emma Gannon, Indian composer L Subramaniam, Palestinian poet Ibrahim Nasrallah and UAE actor and director Habib Ghuloom.

The line-up for the Sharjah International Book Fair was announced on Monday at the headquarters of Sharjah Book Authority 
The line-up for the Sharjah International Book Fair was announced on Monday at the headquarters of Sharjah Book Authority

The 11-day literary event, which runs from October 31 to November 10 and will be attended by 1,874 publishing houses from 77 countries, is this year organised around the theme “Tale of Letters”. It will feature 472 guests and 1,800 events, including 950 on an extensive Children’s Programme, which includes theatrical performances of Little Red Riding Hood and The Lion King.

There will also be a “Social Media Station”, where influencers will share their knowledge of how to increase one’s presence online, and a “Cookery Corner”.

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“This year’s edition is seeing a remarkable increase in numbers of publishing houses as well as countries that are participating in the event for the first time,” said Ahmed Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority. “There is exceptional diversity in terms of the activities and titles on display. Since its inception, the fair has represented a cultural platform, where civilisations and cultures can meet, knowledge is shared via human dialogue and cross-cultural communication is enhanced through books.”

The guest of honour at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair is Japan, whose pavilion will host Japanese novelists, as well as traditional music and food events.

Sharjah International Book Fair is already the world’s third-largest book fair. This year, Egypt will be represented by 279 publishers, while the UAE will send 150. And the fair continues to grow, attracting publishing houses from 12 new countries this year, including Argentina, Ghana, Peru and South Korea.

Sharjah International Book Fair runs from October 31 to November 10