FRANFURT, 21st October, 2016 (WAM) — The Emirate of Sharjah has been named the Sao Paulo International Book Fair’s Guest of Honour for 2018, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Choosing Sharjah as the guest of honour at the Sao Paulo International Book Fair, one of largest and most important in Latin America, reflects Sharjah’s status as a cultural leader in the Arab world and a crucial hub to launch initiatives, events and awards. The emirate is seen internationally as a meeting point of humanitarian and cultural discussion, which encourages dialogue between different philosophies through ideas, books, arts, and music.

“After so many years it is very important for the Brazilian Book Chamber to foster and strengthen international relationships at the Sao Paulo International Book Fair. This recovery, so special to us, would have to be with a guest of honour who could reawaken the passion, fascination and excitement in our publishers and Brazilian readers’. We have found all of those elements in the Emirate of Sharjah, one of the most important cultural hubs in the Middle East and across the Arab world,” Luis Antonio Torelli, President of the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) commented on the honour.

“The unique cultural influence Sharjah brings with it will be a great benefit to visitors who will be able to recognise a little bit of our own Brazilian cultural background. It will also be a great opportunity for our readers to discover new stories, a genuine business opportunity for our publishers, and a great honour for the Brazilian Book Chamber,” Torelli added.

On the occasion, SBA hosted a banquet in honour of the Sharjah Ruler. The event was attended by thinkers, writers and representatives of the media. At the banquet, Sheikh Sultan stressed the role of culture in building human relationships that always call for spreading love and peace among members of the same society and all peoples as well.

Today, the Sharjah’s International Book Fair is the third largest book fair in the world, with more than 1,500 participating publishing houses and 1,500,000 titles on display. It has also launched many initiatives to translate to and from Arabic and successfully built a cultural bridge spanning many international borders attracting leading writers, intellectuals, artists and journalists from around the world.

Among others present were Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Honorary President of Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group; Ali Abdullah Al Ahmed, UAE Ambassador to Germany; Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA); Luis Antonio Torelli, President of the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL); Mansur Bassit, Executive Director (CBL); Luiz Alvaro Salles Aguiar de Menezes, International Affairs Manager (CBL); Karine Pansa, International Director (CBL); Alfredo Weisflog, CBL’s Council, on the sidelines of the Frankfurt International Book Fair 2016.