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Eye of Riyadh
Culture & Education | Sunday 15 March, 2015 1:07 am |

Sharjah International Book Fair shortlisted for Excellence Award at London Book Fair

Translation Grant recognised by Market Focus Achievement Award

Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) - a subsidiary of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) - has been shortlisted for the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Award 2015 for the Market Focus Achievement Award. The Award goes to a company or organisation who made the most of the Market Focus programme run by the LBF and who saw the benefits and opportunities it could bring.

SIBF was a key partner in the Arab World Market Focus 2008 and from there a concerted effort to address the lack of translated Arabic titles available for readers was ignited. Since then the SIBF’s Translation Grant has helped 222 books to be translated, helped grow the profile of Arabic literature and forged a successful international translation rights network with the Arab World at its core.

HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) said, “It is a real honour to be shortlisted for the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards 2015 for The Market Focus Achievement Award. We passionately believe that getting more books translated into languages across the world is key to increasing understanding and therefore building a better planet. However we realized that offering a Translation Grant on its own, without systematic effort to build the Arab publishing industry’s rights capacity and stimulate interest from the international community, would be ineffective.”

Advised and assisted by contacts made during LBF – MF 2008, the SIBF Professional Programme (PP) was started. The 4-day event and training programme, with a dedicated rights centre for Arab and international publishers, has already had a major impact on translation publishing in the region. SIBF’s PP and Translation Grant represent a unique investment in culture and commitment to translation, and it came about through participation in LBF 2008. It is now growing the market in books available through translation in the Arab world and Arabic books available in other languages.

Al Ameri added, “The success of the translation programme in adding to the cultural cadre of Arabic literature is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all at SBA and in particular to the vision of His Highness, Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in enhancing the cultural standing of the Emirate of Sharjah throughout the world. We are pleased with the growing demand for the translation grant, especially by publishers of books written in minority languages, which gives us an opportunity to preserve their language and introduce their literature and ideas to the world, while promoting religious understanding and cross-cultural education."

Organizers at the LBF say that this award recognizes a significant achievement in developing the cultural and/or commercial connections between literature and publishing markets in the Market Focus country and the rest of the world in the period following their appearance at The London Book Fair. There are 13 categories of awards organised by the London Book Fair (LBF), in partnership with The UK Publishers Association (The PA). The Awards Ceremony is to take place at The Conference Centre at Olympia, London on the 14 April by invitation only.

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