The National Book Council has visited the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF19), and as it happens this year round was a special one since Sharjah was named World Book Capital for 2019 by UNESCO.

This nomination boosted up the already very professional book fair in Sharjah, which is one of the most important book fairs in the Arab region. The title was given among others for “the efforts undertaken by the city in order to make reading available to as many people as possible, in particular the marginalised populations, as a motor for social inclusion, creativity and dialogue”, previous UNESCO Director General Irina Bukova declared.

This is the third time the NBC has visited the SIBF, and all these visits have facilitated the relationship between Maltese winning authors and Arab publishers resulting into more than ten publications of Maltese Literature into the Arabic language and into the larger Arab market. The Council, on behalf of the authors, has just signed three more projects, namely the publication into Arabic of Alex Vella Gera’s Is-Sriep Reġgħu Saru Velenużi with Dar Mahrousa; a collection of short stories by Immanuel Mifsud named I travelled the world with Masr El Arabia; and an essential collection of poetry by Mifsud with Bait El Yasmine. Other ongoing projects are still at pre-signing stage.

A warm welcome by the Sharjah Book Authority

The NBC’s representative in Sharjah was also very warmly welcomed by Ali Al Ameri from the Sharjah Book Authority. Ameri is the Editorial Manager of Publisher Weekly and the Arabic edition of Al-Nasher Al-Usboei by the Sharjah Book Authority.

An interview was carried out in which the NBC spoke about Malta’s National Book Council’s experience in the Arab region, the SIBF and its own work in Malta with the Malta Book Festival, as well as its mission and its export projects. The Council would like to express its gratitude towards Mr Ameri and his team of journalists.

Mr Wael El Mulla from Masr El Arabia to be one of the guests at the MBF20

Mr Wael El Mulla, Director at Masr El Arabia Publishers, was invited as a guest at the Malta Book Festival 2020. The National Book Council has been working with Masr El Arabia for the past two years as they are the publishers of Immanuel Mifsud’s works in the Arab region.

Mr Wael’s work ethics have been exemplary and very professional and, while we look forward to more projects with his publishing house, with great pleasure we await his contribution at next year’s Malta Book Festival.

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