ABU DHABI, -- A UAE newspaper has said that Sharjah revels in opening a new chapter in the love for the written word every year through its highly-popular Sharjah International Book Fair, SIBF.

"The SIBF is now the third largest book fair in the world, with more than 1,500 participating publishing houses and 1,500,000 titles on display" said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Sunday.

"It is in this background that the naming of Sharjah as Sao Paulo International Book Fair's Guest of Honour for 2018, in the presence of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, comes as a matter of huge pride and honour for the book-loving Emirate.

"Over the years, the SIBF has 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.

"This year's SIBF, slated to take place from November 2-12, is expected to see the participation of 1,420 publishing houses from 60 countries, with more than 1.5 million books on display throughout its 11 days.

"Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, last week effectively highlighted at an event in Frankfurt how Sharjah has emerged as a leading city in realising the UAE's vision of becoming a global publishing hub.

"Books open the doors of true wisdom, shape an individual's mind and wield tremendous power to transform lives for the better. It is the duty of every society to promote the book in order to fight illiteracy and build sustainable societies, which eventually help strengthen the foundations of peace.

"Sheikh Sultan's own words on books reflect the noble vision, 'We are keen to create a reading community and promote the benefits of reading among our children in addition to the provision of the best suitable books for all the family. Books must be available for all to benefit from and through this conception we could turn book fairs into an oasis of knowledge and light.'"

Source: Emirates News Agency