Sharjah, November 12, 2022
Exclusive offerings that aim to inspire creativity are quite popular at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) where custom manuscripts, masterpiece artwork kits, and exclusive Arabic-translated books from publishing houses across Europe are motivating children, youth and families to invest their time in more creative pursuits.
A series of Do-It-Yourself kits from the UK that enables even first-timers to recreate the classic masterpieces of towering giants in the world of art such as Vincent van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci are proving to be a massive hit with visitors at SIBF 2022.
Motasem Abudahab, Regional Sales Manager of UK-based publisher Britannia Brands, which brought the kits to the 41st SIBF said: “It’s amazing to see the delight in the eyes of visitors when they think of the possibility of creating a masterpiece themselves.”
He added: “Most visitors feel this is a perfect family activity to move away from the digital screens. After all, art is therapeutic and the satisfaction of creating unique artworks of the masters becomes an emotional experience by itself.”
Austrian Publisher Aveda, a regular at the annual SIBF since 2009, is attracting visitors with an impressive display of its manuscript production.
“My grandfather started this venture after World War II to preserve manuscripts. Most manuscripts are behind display cases and hard for researchers to access. Reproducing original copies help both hobbyists and enthusiasts to enjoy the hands-on-experience of examining it closely,” said Paul Struzl, Managing Director and Publisher, Aveda.
“We follow the same production process that the original manuscript is written. Apart from the paper used, everything remains the same. We do not use parchment paper – usually used for original manuscripts, as it undergoes an aging process and will begin to look differently with time,” he explained, as his brother, Florian Struzl, showed copies of Arabic texts on poison and antidotes that are on display at SIBF 2022.
The Austrian publisher is also displaying a 24-carat Holy Quran, the world’s smallest Christian prayer book, and maritime maps – all from the 13th and 14th centuries.
Meanwhile, Stockholm-based publisher Dar Al Muna is at the fair with exclusive Scandinavian titles translated to Arabic. “Our operations are based in Sweden, including production. We have an exclusive collection of Arabic translations of the most prominent writers from the Nordic region, including Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder and Swedish writer Jonas Jonasson,” said Heba Al Naddaf, manager and representative of Dar Al Muna Publishing.
“We never miss the chance to be at the SIBF as it is one of the most important fairs to attend to cater to the Arabic readership,” she added.
The 41st SIBF continues its run at Expo Centre Sharjah until November 13 under the theme, ‘Spread the Word’.