Sponsors and participates in the largest event celebrating the Arabic language and literature on the European continent

Sharjah Book Festival embodies Sultan Al Qasimi's vision to support the presence of the Arabic language globally


In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to enhance the presence of the Arabic language at the global level, the Emirate of Sharjah opened a new opportunity for the Italian society and institutions to learn about the depth of Arab culture and the aesthetics of its language, as the Sharjah Book Authority sponsored the activities of the International Festival of Arabic Language and Culture organized by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy, in recognition of the position of Arabic among the world's languages and the impact of its creators and thinkers on the European civilizational renaissance.

The sixth edition of the festival, which is held this year under the slogan "Bridges of Babylon" and discusses how translation has contributed to building civilizations, kicked off with an official opening ceremony during which Ahmed bin Rakad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, spoke in the presence of Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director General of the Sharjah Radio and Television Authority, Dr. Mohammed Safi Al-Mosteghanemi, Secretary General of the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah, Franco Agnelli, President of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Mario Gatti, Director of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and Giovanni Jobar, Dean of the College of Literature and Languages. Dr. Wael Farouk, Professor of Arabic Language and Literature and Islamic Studies at the University.

During his speech at the opening ceremony of the festival, Ahmed bin Rakad Al Ameri said: "I am honored to convey to you the greetings of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who spared no effort in supporting the Arabic language, not only because it is the language of Arabs, but also because it is a language of dialogue, science, cultural exchange and the language of rapprochement between civilizations and nations."

Al Ameri added: "We are proud that we are the sons of the Arabic language, as it is the language that provided humanity with great sciences and timeless literature, and its intellectual and cognitive output was a turning point in the history of the development of civilizations during more than a thousand years ago, as it provided the world with the foundations of algebra, geometry, astronomy, navigation sciences, and architecture, and its library constituted the first reference for all the innovations that we enjoy today, starting from the plane, to the camera and phone, to the Internet."

Al Ameri praised the festival's choice of translation as the focus of its activities, saying: "Sharjah, with the visions of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, believes in translation as a central engine to show the human commonalities that bring together the peoples and civilizations of the world, so the Sharjah Book Authority launched the Sharjah International Book Fair Fund grant for translation and rights), and launched the largest award in the world dedicated to translation, which is the Turjuman Award, and translated many Arabic and Emirati books into various languages of the world."

Mario Gatti, Chancellor of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, said: "We thank the Emirate of Sharjah, represented by the Sharjah Book Authority, for its great efforts in sponsoring the festival, and its keenness on its success, we are working hard to introduce new European generations to the importance, aesthetics and power of the Arabic language, and we now have numbers that we are proud of who speak and master Arabic, and we have not found more support in this regard than we found from Sharjah and its ruler, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi, and we look forward to this year's edition revealing the depth of the impact of translation on The Arabic language on the civilizational renaissance witnessed by the world, and revealed the impact and importance of the Arabic language on human knowledge in general."

For his part, Dr. Wael Farouk, Professor of Arabic Language and Literature and Islamic Studies at the University, stressed that Sharjah has succeeded with its great efforts that reached various countries of the world in presenting the aesthetics and richness of Arab culture and language, so it was the first destination for the Catholic University, to present a project and festival that highlights the status of language and sheds light on Arab culture and the size of its contribution to literature, science and art worldwide.

During the opening session of the festival, Giovanni Jobar, Dean of the Faculty of Literature and Foreign Languages at the University, spoke about the importance of translation and its role in achieving rapprochement between the peoples and cultures of the world, where he pointed out that communication with the other begins with understanding him, and this is achieved by reading his knowledge, literary and artistic output, and said: "The task of translation is manifested not only in this context, but in the framework of understanding the difference between us and other cultures, as translation calls us to reject inclusiveness," directing a message to translators by saying: "Don't alienate the texts, we must look for translations that bring us together, not translations that swallow us."

At the festival, which is the largest event to celebrate the Arabic language in the European continent, the Authority presented a vivid picture of the reality of translation to and from the Arabic language, and the major central events in the Arab knowledge industry, where it presented the importance of creative production in Arabic, and opportunities to open a wider horizon for the children of European culture, to learn about the essence of Arab culture, as it previously translated a selection of works by Emirati and Arab writers and writers at the initiative of the Authority into Italian, including poetry, novel, theater, history and criticism.

The festival is co-organized by the Arabic Language Research Institute (CARA) and the University's Language Services Center (SeLdA), affiliated to the Catholic University of Milan, and the Sharjah Book Authority, and will witness over the course of 3 days the organization of several sessions on several sessions and discussions on the importance of translation and its impact on the reality of peoples in various fields, and the festival witnessed the organization of a number of cultural performances and activities in addition to an exhibition dedicated to Arabic books.