The Sharjah Book Authority has launched a new programme to nurture new and emerging Emirati talents in the novel-writing, theatre, and poetry fields. The creative writing programme will offer a series of specialised workshops and long-term training based on modern methodologies geared towards advancing the participants’ writing skills and overall creative approach.
The programme was announced by SBA to conclude the first edition of the three-day Emirati Book Fair (EBF 2019) yesterday (Tuesday).
Through a yearlong commitment to the programme, participants will undergo of several stages of training and follow-up sessions, which will help them polish their writing capacities and explore untapped creative potential.
The first and foundational phase of the programme titled ‘Creative Reading’, will equip writers with relevant knowledge by developing their reading skills, and in the process, unlock new worlds of information specific to their fields. This phase has been introduced to the programme following SBA’s belief that creative reading is central to the creative writing process.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, and the successful conclusion of the first edition of EBF, HE Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, reiterated the Authority’s keenness to bring the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, continually and effectively to support the UAE’s local creative movement by training and empowering the new generations entering the field.
“We strive at SBA to activate every effort, which will ensure the advancement of the UAE’s cultural scene. Integral to achieving this goal is offering Emirati talents a nurturing environment in which they will be able to realise their creative aspirations and truly unleash their unique literary potential. It is through their contributions that the local and regional cultural scene will continue to grow and flourish.”
“The Emirati Book Fair has shined a spotlight on local creative talents and the nation’s rich literary history. The event successfully portrayed a beautiful image of the UAE’s cultural scene. Names in the UAE’s literary landscape have made unparalleled contributions, and celebrating the past achievements of our citizens is an important way to guarantee the march towards a bright future for local culture.” the chairman said.
The Emirati Book Fair, organised by SBA in cooperation with Emirates Writers Union between May 26–28 at Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ)’s headquarters in Al Zahia, saw the participation of 25 Emirati publishing houses, and is part of Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 celebrations. The event also coincided with the Emirati Writers Day announced by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, which falls on May 26 each year.
Biggest-ever book signing event locally
The book fair has set a national and regional record for bringing the largest number of local authors under one roof, with 160 Emirati authors signing their works for their fans and book lovers.
Emirati Writers Museum
During the book fair, the SBA in cooperation with the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage organised the Emirati Writers Museum, which highlighted the works of renowned Emirati writers including Al Majdi Bin Dhaher, Hamid Al Shamsi, Salem Al Owais, among others. The museum displayed their personal effects such as manuscripts, pens and quills used to write works of Emirati literature that are still renowned and remembered today.
Handwriting, a testament of time
In another section of the book fair, more than 80 pages of inspiring content written by the Sharjah Ruler were on display, along with the works of UAE poets. The pages served as a true testament to the way creative Emiratis worked in the early days and gave visitors a chance to see their handwriting and analyse their techniques.
Seminars and panel discussions
The book fair included panel discussions that brought together Emirati intellectuals who shed light on many cultural topics. Notable speakers included HE Dr. Habib Al Sayegh, Secretary-General of the Arab Writers Union; author and researcher Sultan Al Amimi; authors Mohammed Al Murr and Eman Al Yousuf; poet and novelist Salha Obaid Gabesh; and novelist Nadia Al Najjar. Ismail Abdullah Al Amin, Secretary-General of the Arab Theatre Authority and actor-director Habib Ghuloom will also participate.
The SBA seeks to boost and promote local content including books, novels, historical titles and other publications through this fair. Thousands of books written by Emirati authors were on display at the event.