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23 April 2024

Zidane, Le Clézio, Nasr set for Sharjah Book Fair

Octavia Nasr (SUPPLIED)

By Mohammed Al Sadafy

Titles being displayed at this week’s Sharjah International Book Fair will not be censored or confiscated so long as their content is in keeping with the values of the UAE, a senior official said.

“The Sharjah Book Fair over its 29 sessions has never confiscated any book as long as it enjoys intellectual property rights and as long as does not conflict with our religion and the policy of the UAE,” said fair director Ahmed Bin Rakadh Al Amiri.

The fair begins on Tuesday and runs until November 6.

“The space of freedom offered by the Sharjah International Book Fair is big enough to avoid confiscation of any book, referring to the awareness of participating publishers by the cultural event, which is considered the most important in the region,” Al Amiri said in an interview with Emirates247.com.

Big names

Al Amiri also said that Octavia Nasr, who served as CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast affairs until her dismissal in July 2010 over her public statement of respect on Twitter for the Lebanese cleric Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, will give a lecture about her experience in media field.

A slew of other well-known personalities will attend, including Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Dr Hamad Abdul Aziz Al Kawari; Dr Saber Arab, Chairman of the Egyptian book Authority; top Egyptian novelist Yusuf Zidane and the French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2008.

The Sharjah fair is the second most popular exhibition in the Arab region after Cairo International Book Fair.

Its 2010 session will see 53 countries take part, as compared to 48 last year, while the number of publishing houses at the event has increased to 788 from 770.

And the number of books on show has nearly doubled, reaching 200,000, as compared to 110,000 books last year.

Al Amiri said this year’s instalment would witness new activities and events and would be aired on television and radio for the first time.

He said audiences should expect interviews with intellectuals and writers, plays for children, programmes for ladies, the signing of books by a number of well known chefs from all over the world the world, as well as seminars and events on the business of publishing.