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Guadalajara, Jalisco, July 16, 2019

Sharjah and the Arab culture will take center stage at the Guadalajara International Book Fair 2020

Sharjah is one of the seven emirates that makes up the United Arab Emirates and is considered the publishing capital of the Arab world. Its participation in 2020 was made official with an agreement signed today in Guadalajara


This morning, the University of Guadalajara and representatives from the Sharjah Book Authority announced that Sharjah and the Arab culture will be the guests of honor at Guadalajara International Book Fair 2020. Named 2019 World Book Capital by UNESCO, the Emirate of Sharjah is one of the seven emirates that makes up the United Arab Emirates and is considered the publishing capital of the Arab world.

            “The culture has contributed to the history of humanity in countless ways and its footprints can be found in our own language, and even in the name of our city, Guadalajara, which comes from Arabic and commonly translated as ‘the river that runs between stones’”, explained Raúl Padilla López, president of the FIL. He also added that, “Sharjah is a publishing leader and its initiatives to promote reading are exemplary, particularly those that deal with making books more accessible for young adults and the migrant populations”.

             The agreement between Sharjah and the University of Guadalajara (UDG), making Sharjah’s presence as a guest at the FIL in 2020 official, was signed today at the Paraninfo Enrique Díaz de León, and was presided over by Héctor Raúl Solís Gadea, Deputy Rector of the UDG, in representation of Ricardo Villanueva Lomelí, Dean of the UDG; Ahmed Al Ameri, President of the Sharjah Book Authority; Raúl Padilla López, President of the FIL Guadalajara; Marisol Schulz Manaut, Director of the FIL, and Guillermo Gómez Mata, Secretary General of the UDG.

             "Inviting Sharjah will undoubtedly be an act to strengthen ties with this nation, with this part of the world, without which civilization would not be what it is. We will be richer intellectually, deeper culturally and wiser literary once Sharjah is the guest of honor of our Fair”, said Deputy Rector Héctor Raúl Solís Gadea at his welcome.

             “We are particularly excited that Sharjah and the Arab culture will be our guests of honor in 2020, as we want the FIL Guadalajara to be a window through which Latin Americans can rediscover the richness of their literature, language, art and traditions. We believe that this wonderful event will strengthen the publishing industries of our countries”, said Raúl Padilla López. He also highlighted that the Sharjah International Book Fair, organized by the Book Authority since 1982, “is considered the most important in the Arab world”.

             “We have been regulars at the FIL. Being the largest book fair of the Americas, this literary and cultural platform has offered us wonderful opportunities to showcase the wealth of Sharjah’s leading achievements in the field”, explained Ahmed Al Ameri, president of the Sharjah Book Authority, who highlighted that under the Leadership of the Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, "our emirate has developed the deepest love for books and culture."

             “Words cannot describe how happy I am to be witnessing Sharjah and Mexico turn a new leaf in our longstanding friendship”, said Ahmed Al Ameri: “We have been taking the richness of Emirati and Arab heritage far and wide, sharing our successful experiences in boosting the local and regional publishing landscape to global industry stakeholders, enabling vibrant exchanges between our artists, poets, writers, filmmakers, chefs and cultural enthusiasts worldwide. So, my question is: Mexico, are you ready? We are tailor-making something very special for our friends here in this beautiful country”.

             The FIL Guadalajara, founded in 1987, is the largest Spanish language event of its kind and is the annual event for 20,000 book professionals from 47 countries. Over nine days, the event welcomes 800 authors and last year, 818,000 visitors attended the knowledge and arts extravaganza with Portugal as the Guest of Honor. This 2019, India will be the guest country. “With this agreement to welcome Sharjah in 2020, the FIL is meeting its internationalization objective, since we are taking Guadalajara’s name to more far off cultures every year”, commented Marisol Schulz Manaut, General Director of the event.

             The city of Sharjah, capital of the emirate with the same name, was named the Cultural Capital of the Arab World by the UNESCO in 1998. In 2017, the Book Authority created Sharjah Publishing City, a cluster made up of different publishers and agents from the Middle East that acts as a commercial bridge with Asia, Africa and Europe. The 34th Guadalajara International Book Fair, with Sharjah and the Arab culture as guests of honor, will take place from November 28 to December 6, 2020.


Photos from the signing of the agreement here


For further information contact:

Press Office and Publicity General coordinator, Mariño González at the phone number (52) 33 3810 0331, ext. 952