Abu Dhabi, November 3, 2022:
Italy is the Guest of Honor at the 41st edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) that will run until 13th November at Expo Centre Sharjah under the slogan “Spread the Word”.
The 12-day cultural extravaganza celebrates the world’s cultures by hosting a galaxy of distinguished authors, intellectuals, publishers, artists and creatives from 95 countries.
In this vibrant frame, the Italian Cultural Institute of Abu Dhabi, a part of Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), has outlined a varied cultural itinerary that visitors can enjoy. In addition to literature, it includes performances of Italian theatre and crafts, dance and music and culinary experiences.
Lorenzo Fanara, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, said, “I am delighted to begin my mandate as Ambassador of Italy to the UAE by inaugurating the Italian participation, as Guest of Honour, at the Sharjah International Book Fair. Culture lies at the heart of the deep relationship between our two countries, building on mutual respect and dialogue. Italy is a cultural superpower.
“We are aware of the strength of our soft power and the great demand for Italian culture in the UAE. That is why cultural dialogue will be at the top of my agenda in the UAE. We see our participation as Guest of Honour as a confirmation of the great interest by the Emirati audience in Italian culture. The richness of the cultural program prepared by Italy reflects this strong partnership, which we are sure we will further develop in the future. I look forward to meeting you in Sharjah.”
Ida Zilio-Grandi, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Abu Dhabi, stated, “Our participation as the Guest of honour at the Sharjah International Book Fair is a great opportunity to promote the Italian culture in all its forms. But first to reaffirm the closeness of Italy and Sharjah in their common love of literature.
“Literature does not simply serve to ‘communicate’ but to make us live different lives and allow us to broaden and deepen our existential experiences. It provides us with new tools to cope with the challenges of real life. Literature is a spiritual multiplication of ourselves and an irreplaceable means of living the world.”
Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, said, “Publishing also represents a great business opportunity. This is the main reason the Italian Trade Agency supports the participation of Italy at this edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair. In our wonderful Pavilion, 12 key Italian publishers will exhibit a broad spectrum of work, from fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature, to history and more. We will be delighted to meet Emirati and GCC partners to explore new win-win opportunities for cooperation.”
With a long and proud history of art, culture and cuisine, Italy has given the world some of its most influential paintings and sculptures, being the birthplace of the world’s most famous artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. The Mediterranean gem is also home to the world’s most iconic landmarks, from the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the canals of Venice.
The country holds the record for the most UNESCO heritage sites worldwide and is recognized for its intangible cultural heritage and globally renowned and healthy culinary traditions.
The event programs at the Italian Pavilion at SIBF include workshops for kids, ranging from books to music, theatre, live shows, animation, puppetry and mask building; dance performances, from the classic ballet to contemporary abstract routines; roaming shows reflecting the Italian tradition of street theatre; conversations with Italian authors on the latest books; culinary experiences with Italian chefs; musical performances, from Chopin’s preludes to violin and piano concerts.
*by Guendalina Dainelli, Emirates News Agency