The 25th São Paulo International Book Fair 2018 is hosting representatives from the Emirate of Sharjah, who are engaging in discussions to propose and develop a vision that will strengthen bilateral trade and cultural relations between Brazil and the UAE, São Paulo and Sharjah in particular, in a sustainable way.
Bruno Covas, Mayor of São Paulo, received the emirate’s delegation to discuss avenues of cultural cooperation between the two countries, with a special focus on developing the Brazilian book market in the Arab world, and vice versa.
Later in the day, the Sharjah delegation headed by Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, met with Romildo Campelo, Culture Secretary of the State of São Paulo, met to explore future prospects to intensify and diversify relations between Emirati cultural entities and their Brazilian counterparts.
During the meeting with São Paulo’s Mayor, Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi noted: “The selection of Sharjah as São Paulo International Book Fair’s Guest of Honour marks a new beginning for starting our efforts towards building a shared future for the UAE, São Paulo and Latin America.”
“Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the emirate has built its overall industrial, economic and social development on the strong pillars of cultural heritage and national identity,” he added.
Highlighting Sharjah’s steadily advancing cultural relations with countries around the world, Sheikh Fahim said: “Sharjah is proud to have an annual calendar featuring homegrown cultural events such as the Sharjah International Book Fair, Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, Sharjah Heritage Days and many other international festivals. These are meeting grounds we offer to cultures worldwide, which are pleased to extend to São Paulo too. We hope these vibrant cultural platforms that will draw us closer.
“We are grateful to the vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, which has always motivated us to build strong networks and relationships, as manifested in our collaborative efforts with the UK, Italy, and other cultural centres worldwide,” Sheikh Fahim remarked.
For his part, Bruno Covas, Mayor of São Paulo, said: “Brazil enjoys a strong relationship with the UAE. In São Paulo, we appreciate UAE’s efforts to further enhance avenues of cooperation and strengthen official relations between us. The UAE take centre stage in the Arab world and is undoubtedly a cultural hub in the Middle East. We are delighted today to see Sharjah, World Book Capital 2019, open its doors to São Paulo and Latin culture, and enabling us to explore the fabulous aspects of Emirati, Arab and Islamic cultures.”
The Brazilian Culture Secretary said that Brazil is keen to extend participation in all events organised by Sharjah in future, emphasising on one of the biggest one on Sharjah’s cultural calendar – its celebration as World Book Capital 2019 by UNESCO. He pointed out that São Paulo will visit the UAE and Sharjah to explore potential cultural exchange, and gain insight into the book industry in Sharjah, particularly because the emirate has a remarkable presence in different countries all around the world, and has close relationships with cities around the world known for a thriving book industry.
During the meetings with Brazilian officials, the delegation highlighted the ongoing efforts by the emirate to advance knowledge and cultural development through its landmark cultural initiatives with a focus on the Sharjah International Book Fair as the world’s third largest book event and the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival and its role in improving the quality of Arabic children’s books and open up its market to various languages in the world.
Highlighting Sharjah as an incubator for leading literary and cultural initiatives in the UAE, the delegates highlighted the role played by prominent entities like the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), Sharjah Institute for Heritage (SIH), Sharjah Libraries and several other cultural organisations in Sharjah.
They discussed areas of cooperation in the area of women’s advancement and capacity building, and explored areas of cooperation that would lead to enhancing opportunities for them in political, economic and cultural spheres.
The 25th edition of São Paulo International Book Fair raised curtains on its 10-day celebration of books and literature yesterday, with Sharjah taking centre stage as its first-ever guest of honour. This signals a prominent step in strengthening cultural ties between the UAE and Brazil.
The emirate is offering the fair’s visitors a rich cultural programme featuring a series of events and activities showcasing the gems of the UAE’s culture and its creative literary and art movement through novel, theatre, poetry and traditional heritage that reflect the UAE’s rich cultural legacy and identity.