Sharjah Book Authority hosts delegation of US senators

A delegation of US senators and officials from the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) have discussed ways to explore cooperation between the SBA and cultural affairs entities in the United States.

This came as Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, received US senators Gustavo Rivera, Kevin Thomas, and James Skoufis.

During a meeting at SBA’s headquarters, the two parties discussed several topics related to the publishing industry, library development, and the enhancement of Sharjah’s participation in Arab cultural initiatives in the US.

Other topics of discussion included the development of a strategic framework to help Arab and US cultural foundations create new communication channels and initiate joint action that best serves the promotion of Arab arts and Arabic literature in the US.

Al Ameri said the SBA welcomes the exchange of global expertise and experience in all creative sectors. He highlighted the influential position of the US in the global books market and its leading role in the industry’s technical development processes.

“We look forward to enhancing cooperation with American cultural entities to bolster Emirati and Arab culture in the US, as well as support the role of libraries in building a knowledge-based society to achieve inclusive sustainable development.

“We are looking at a plethora of opportunities to develop libraries locally and globally, especially with the ongoing technological advancements. We are also providing the US book market with the opportunity to double the number of translations of literary works from Arabic to English and vice versa, as we seek to foster the presence of Arabic books in one of the largest book markets worldwide. Boosting support for Arabic books will have a direct and positive impact on the cultural and creative spheres in the region,” Al Ameri added.

He highlighted the international stature of the Sharjah International Book Fair, which became the world’s largest in the sale and purchase of copyright in 2021 during its milestone 40th edition.

In turn, the US senators shared their vision about the future of the publishing industry and prospects for its development, especially with the current digital acceleration.

Senator Kevin Thomas said: “We have seen that Sharjah has a long-term vision to enhance the future of culture and foster its presence in all aspects of life, and this is clearly manifested through the emirate’s dedication to promoting knowledge and ensuring that the largest segment of society has access to books.”

Senator James Skoufis stressed that he looks forward to more strategic partnerships with Sharjah in public and private sectors. He said the meeting with SBA’s officials will pave the way for greater cooperation between Sharjah and US cultural entities that seek to expand into the emirate.