Focus on Aesthetics: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre at Sharjah

In News by Porter Anderson

The enormous exhibition floors at Sharjah opening this week will include a key installation from nearby Abu Dhabi, looking at aesthetics in Arabic.

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre stand at the recent Frankfurter Buchmesse. At the Sharjah International Book Fair (November 1 to 12), the Abu Dhabi presentation will focus on aesthetic considerations in Arabic. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘A Cornerstone of Emirati and Arab Identity’
Here at the 42nd iteration of the Sharjah Book Authority’s Sharjah International Book Fair, which has its formal opening on Wednesday (November 1), the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center under the supervision of Dr. Ali Bin Tamim will be using the aesthetics of Arabic as its core concept in what the center terms its “ongoing work to advance the language’s status as a cornerstone of Emirati and Arab identity.”

One of the lead elements of this example of an emirate participating as an exhibitor in another emirate’s fair is Abu Dhabi’s Kalima Project for Translation, which will be represented by a range of publications, referencing as many as 500 titles that touch on philosophy, psychology, social sciences, languages, arts, history, and geography in both children’s and YA literature.

It’s the Arabic Language Centre that houses the Shiekh Zayed Book Award, too, and the intent this year is to demonstrate it as part of the center’s array of literary awards.

Other prize programs include the Kanz Al Jeel Award and the Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award. Visitors will be able to browse literary projects such as

  • One Hundred and One Novels: Arab Novels that Enriched the 20th Century
  • One Hundred and One Books from Arab Heritage
  • Al Markaz: The Journal of Arab Studies; Atheer Al Kutub and Wajeez Al Kutub for ebooks and audiobooks (grouped under the title “Eyes of Arabic Prose”) (Oyoon Al Nathr Al Arabi)
  • The Emirati Treasures initiative
  • The “We Read for Children” initiative
  • The “Excerpts from Travel Books” initiative

As Abu Dhabi is pointing out in its media messaging today, the Sharjah Book Fair is opening on Wednesday with a reported 2,033 publishers from 108 nations, and with more than 1.5 million titles on display, 1,700 events planned—460 of them culturally based and featuring 127 participants from 33 countries.


More from us on the Sharjah International Book Fair is here. More from Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center is here, more on Arabic literature is here, and more on translation is here. 

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.