UAE

Morocco announced as Guest of Honour at the 43rd Sharjah International Book Fair

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Group image for Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, Moroccan Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication; Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA; Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of the SIBF, and Latifa Muftaqir, Director of the Books, Libraries, and Archives Authority.
Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Morocco has been named as the Guest of Honour at the 43rd Sharjah International Book Fair to be held in November at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has underscored that the Kingdom of Morocco has always been a vital crossroads for regional and global cultures. She highlighted the renowned cities of Fez, Marrakech and Rabat as enduring testaments to magnificent Islamic history and centrepieces of the rich mosaic of Arab civilisation.

The statement was made following the signing of an agreement between SBA and the Books, Libraries, and Archives Authority at the Morocco Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication in the presence of Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, Moroccan Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication; and Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA, to host the Arab country as the Guest of Honour at the 43rd Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

The event will showcase an exceptional array of writers, thinkers and cultural figures from around the globe. The agreement was formally signed by Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of the SIBF, and Latifa Muftaqir, Director of the Books, Libraries, and Archives Authority,

Celebrating Arab heritage

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said: “We are thrilled to welcome the Kingdom of Morocco as the Guest of Honour at SIBF 2024 and to celebrate the country’s rich literary heritage. Morocco has long been a beacon of cultural and intellectual progress, and its prominence at Sharjah International Book Fair will open a new chapter in our shared Arab heritage.”

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said: “We are thrilled to welcome the Kingdom of Morocco as the Guest of Honour at SIBF 2024 and to celebrate the country’s rich literary heritage. Morocco has long been a beacon of cultural and intellectual progress, and its prominence at Sharjah International Book Fair will open a new chapter in our shared Arab heritage.”

She added: “As a capital of Arab and Islamic culture and a former World Book Capital, Sharjah has become an international meeting point for global cultures. Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the emirate is proud to offer a platform for writers, thinkers, and artists to express their creativity, network, and exchange ideas. SIBF is the world’s gateway to Arabic literature and culture, enhancing the UAE’s profile as a centre of thought and creativity.”

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Advanced phase of coordination

For his part, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, the Moroccan Minister of Youth, Culture, and Communication, stated during the signing ceremony that hosting Morocco comes at a crucial time when Moroccan-Emirati relations, under the leadership of both nations’ leaders, are undergoing a significant transformation. This development will allow the cultural sector to progress alongside other fields, prompting both parties to create mechanisms that elevate cultural relations to the same high level as the political and economic ties between the two brotherly nations. In this context, the Minister emphasised that the Kingdom’s presence as SIBF 2024 Guest of Honour will mark the beginning of an advanced phase of coordination, cooperation, and exchange of expertise, recognising every initiative that advances joint efforts.

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Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, Moroccan Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication and Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA
Image Credit: Supplied

A pioneering cultural experience

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, CEO of SBA, stated: “Celebrating Morocco as the Guest of Honour at SIBF 2024 embodies our commitment to fostering cultural dialogue and understanding. Alongside knowledge, culture is as much a reservoir of values, traditions and ideas that shape our shared human identity. Morocco, with its rich history and civilisation, exemplifies a leading Arab model of diversity and cultural pluralism, merging various influences into a unique cultural identity. This role as Guest of Honour reflects the vision of His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi in promoting global cultural exchange. By hosting Morocco, we aim to transcend boundaries and embrace new experiences.”

Moroccan Pavilion

During SIBF 2024, the Moroccan pavilion will showcase Moroccan publications and historical documents, in addition to a rich cultural programme featuring events and activities through panel discussions, workshops, and artistic performances. It will introduce visitors to the history, civilisation, and arts of the Kingdom. The pavilion will highlight its culture, knowledge, and thinkers and host several Moroccan authors who will share their experiences and expertise with the fair’s visitors.

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