Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan was the cynosure of the 41st edition of the Sharjah International Book Festival (SIBF), where he was the first to receive the International Icon of Cinema and Cultural Narrative Award this Friday (11 November, 2022). The book fest concluded yesterday (13 November, 2022).
Khan received the award from Ahmed Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the organizers of SIBF, and Khawla Al Mujaini, general coordinator of SIBF. Says the actor, “I would like to dedicate this award to the bravest women I know, the acid attack survivors, that one of our foundations, the Meer Foundation, works for.”
The award is SIBF’s initiative to recognize and honour individuals whose efforts in their career have helped transcend cultural barriers and whose contributions to the arts have created cultural ties across borders.
Appearing in an all-black attire with his trademark smile and slick backcombed hairdo, “King Khan” as he is popularly referred to, is an avid reader and an articulate speaker, who shared his interest in books. The Bollywood star spoke of how events such as the SIBF provide a platform for stories to be told to each other across barriers of nations and cultures, and how it enables us to remember what we have in common and build on it in the hope of a better world.
“All of us, no matter where we live, what colour we are, what religion we follow, or what songs we dance to, thrive in a culture of love, peace, and compassion,” adds Khan.
“SRK” for short, the 57-year-old Khan has acted in over 80 films spanning three-decades and enjoys a global fan following that cuts across ages and races.
He ended the evening by enthralling his audience with some of his famous dialogues from blockbuster hits like Baazigar, Don, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, and Om Shanti Om. During his time on the stage, the superstar also recreated his famous arms-stretched-out pose from his 1995 musical romantic grosser Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and spoke about his upcoming releases, kids, and his love for the UAE, much to the delight of his fans.
The multifaceted actor, producer, and businessman was accompanied by Academy Award winning sound designer Resul Pookutty who was awarded the SIBF award for his contribution in the advancement of cinematic sound design.