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SHARJAH (Muhammad Farooq) – Arab intellectuals should play an important role in raising awareness and spreading knowledge and culture and not to be silent during the critical times that Arab world is going thorough.


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These remarks were made by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah as he opened the 34th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair.

In the presence of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Sultan Al Qasimi crown prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Shaikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan said that Sharjah has played a role in supporting Arab Culture and intellectual through the difficult times that the Arab world is going through organizing events such as the recently held 3rd Arab Publishers Conference.

He praised the efforts of his daughter Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, founder and patron of the Emirates Publisher Association and her role in supporting and developing Arab publishers to allow their publications to gain global reach and in doing so encouraging them to become part of international publisher association.

His highness Sheikh Sultan gave a generous donation of 2.5 million dirhams to purchase books from the publishing houses participating in the 34th Sharjah International book fair as contribution towards the support of book publishing and investment in human intellectual development.

The Sharjah book fair is being held from November 4-14 with the participation of 1,546 publishing houses from 64 countries from all over the world.

The opening ceremony which was presented by Mohammad Khalaf, began with a documentary chronicling the most prominent achievements and cultural initiatives launched by the emirate of Sharjah including the Sharjah international book fair, followed by a speech delivered by HE Ahmed bin Rakkad al Ameri chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority.

During the ceremony the Sharjah Book authority launched the Sharjah Translation award that will be given to translations carried out from Arabic into other languages, the AED 2 million award will be organized in collaboration with the Air Arabia.

Prince Khalid Al Faisal, adviser to Saudi King Slaman Bin Abdul Aziz, and Governor of Makkah Province delivered a speech in his capacity as this year’s Cultural personality for the 34th edition SIBF, Prince al Faisal deserved the award for his cultural charitable and humanitarian contributions, as well as his constant pursuit in consolidating the values of tolerance and moderation by encouraging intercultural dialogue and interaction.

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In his speech Prince Khalid thanked Sheikh Sultan for the award and thanked the organizers of the fair and said, There is no civilization or development without culture, thought and education.

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It is through knowledge that nations advance and countries are pushed towards the top. He call on the Arab leaders to quell conflicts through knowledge in order to give Arabs the chance to revive once again.

The winner included Prince Khalid Al Faisal adviser to Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Governor of Makkah Province, who has been bestowed with the cultural personality of the year award.

Sultan Al Qasimi honours winners of Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature 2015
• Syria, Egypt and Qatar shine at the 2015 awards
• “The Judge’s Mule” from Iraq wins the Children’s Book of the Year and the Best Production Award.

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His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, honoured the winners of the seventh edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature during the opening ceremony of the 34th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2015), which took place at the Expo Centre.

The award ceremony was held in the presence of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Royal Patron of the UAE Board on Book for Young (UAEBBY), HE Abdulaziz Taryam, CEO Advisor and General Manager of the Northern Emirates at Etisalat, Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board, a number of VIP guests, as well as cultural and media personalities.
Publishing houses from Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Qatar dominated in the children’s and young adult book categories.

“The Judge’s Mule” written by Shafeek Mehdi, illustrated by Taiba Abdullah and published by Iraqi-based Al Buragh Publisher, won the title Children’s Book of the Year and the Best Production Award.

While “Getting out of the Bubble”, written by Ibrahim Shalabi and published by

Egyptian Al Balsam won the Young Adult Book Award.

“Me and My Granny”, written and illustrated by Ebtihaj Al Harthi and published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, won the Best Text Award, while the Best Illustration Award went to “Nour Runs Away from the Story”, written by Abeer Ali Al Kalbani, illustrated by Gulnar Hajo, and published by Syria-based Bright Fingers.
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi congratulated the winners and lauded the efforts of all nominated publishing houses, writers and illustrators and said, “The improved quality of books being nominated for the award year after year raises optimism and hopes of a better future for Arab children, a future that will nurture knowledge and culture in children’s minds and inspire creativity in them, paving the way for a better future for our nation.”

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi added, “The Arab world is blessed with creative talent, which qualifies us to produce thousands of outstanding books for children annually. The region also has a growing population of young people, who deserve our collective contribution in building their future, requiring us to offer them access to every source of knowledge that can help them to develop themselves and their countries. This is what UAEBBY has been doing since we launched the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, and we will press ahead with what we have started.”

Abdulaziz Taryam said that Etisalat’s sponsorship of the award comes within the framework of our social responsibility and its desire to effectively contribute to supporting initiatives that can make a difference and bring about a positive change in the UAE and the greater Arab society by motivating creative potential in all fields.

He said: “The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature has been a great success in promoting the importance of children’s literature, bringing about a remarkable change in the quality of text and production of books for children and young adults locally and regionally. It has provided a suitable environment for talented young people to unleash their creativity and given opportunity to hone and develop their skills in order to contribute to the development of the children’s book industry.”

This year’s edition saw strong competition between 97 entries in both children’s book and young adult categories from 12 Arab countries, namely the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, the UK and Canada, with 62 books in the children’s book category and 35 books in the young adult category. Most of these books possessed a high quality of texts, illustrations, direction and print. The titles dealt with various topics of interest to children and young people in the Arab world.

The AED 1 million award is distributed over several categories with the largest award of Dhs300, 000 for the Children’s Book of the year distributed equally between the author, illustrator and publisher. The second highest award of Dhs200, 000 goes to the Young Adult Book of the year, to be distributed equally between the author and publisher, and there are three awards of Dhs100, 000 each for the Best Text, Best Illustration, and Best Production categories. The remaining Dhs200, 000 is set aside for workshops on writing, illustration, and production aimed at nurturing and inspiring the next generation of young Arab talent in the children’s book industry.

The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, sponsored by Etisalat, was launched in 2009 by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Founder and Patron, with the aim of fostering a culture of reading and instilling a love of Arabic books in children by giving recognition to creative authors, illustrators and publishers in the children’s book industry and thereby encouraging the production of more high quality Arabic children’s books in terms of the text, design.
illustrator and publisher. The second highest award of Dhs200, 000 goes to the Young Adult Book of the year, to be distributed equally between the author and publisher, and there are three awards of Dhs100, 000 each for the Best Text, Best Illustration, and Best Production categories. The remaining Dhs200, 000 is set aside for workshops on writing, illustration, and production aimed at nurturing and inspiring the next generation of young Arab talent in the children’s book industry.
The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, sponsored by Etisalat, was launched in 2009 by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY Founder and Patron, with the aim of fostering a culture of reading and instilling a love of Arabic books in children by giving recognition to creative authors, illustrators and publishers in the children’s book industry and thereby encouraging the production of more high quality Arabic children’s books in terms of the text, design.