Step to strengthen ties with one of East Europe's best public libraries
Sharjah, 22 April 2017: In a bid to exchange literary prowess and build cross-cultural bridges, Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and National Library of Serbia (NLS) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pave the way for effective strategic collaborations in cultural and literary areas. This landmark step was taken at the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF 2017), running at Sharjah's Expo Centre until 29 April.
The agreement is a culmination of a series of meetings between SBA and NLS officials over the past years – all aimed at boosting collaboration and highlighting the other's cultural, literary and artistic products at exhibitions, book fairs, festivals, presentations, conferences, seminars, and other promotional activities organised by the two entities.
It is anticipated that the outcome of this collaboration will be particularly visible during the Belgrade International Book Fair and the Sharjah International Book Fair, and reflect strong UAE–Serbia ties.
“At Sharjah Book Authority, our constant endeavour is to forge strong cultural relationships with the world, facilitating the free transmission and receival of literary and artistic wealth. This significant collaboration is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. We are delighted to have established a strong partnership with Serbia – a nation that is steeped in history, and has an impressive literary heritage,” said the HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority.
For his part, Laslo Blašković, NLS Director, said: “SBA shares our commitment to disseminate knowledge and culture, and is equally passionate about promoting reading in its community. With the signing of this MoU, we look forward to strengthening cultural ties with the UAE. Furthermore, the agreement will facilitate an array of collaborative events, as well as our efforts joint to meet the needs and interests of readers in both nations. We look forward to participating in Sharjah's book fairs in a big way, and also welcome them into our future literary projects.”
“As well enabling us to offer our Serbian partners a window into Arabic life, this agreement will provide an opportunity for our own young generations to learn about a unique foreign culture, and also enable Arabic authors and publishers to gain insights into the central, eastern and southeastern book markets in Europe, which has strong relations with the Arab world,” said Sara Al Marzouqi, Manager of Sharjah Public Library.
Established in 1832, the National Library of Serbia is one of most prestigious libraries in the Balkans and Southeastern Europe. It was one of the first few libraries in the world to introduce digital innovations. In 2003, it launched a digital project to scan all publications, manuscripts, catalogs, documents and maps in Serbia into digitised materials that can be accessed from around the world in English and Serbian.
Sharjah Book Authority is dedicated to encouraging investment in creative industries and offering a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people from different countries and cultures. It is entrusted with emphasising the significant role of writers and their influence in spreading awareness of technological advancement and the availability of various sources of knowledge. It aims to attract relevant bodies and figures operating in the cultural sector in general, and the publishing, printing and translation of books in particular, with a special focus on literature for children.