Sharjah, Unesco have long history of fruitful cooperation: Bodour
23 Mar 2019
Our aim is to ease access to books and education, says Sheikha Bodour
PARIS: Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Vice President of International Publishers Association (IPA) and Head of Advisory Committee of Sharjah World Book Capital (SWBC), said the prestigious Unesco title is a global acknowledgement of Sharjah’s longstanding cultural achievements.
“It is also a reward for pursuing an approach of knowledge-based human development in Sharjah through the use of books, reading, and strong intercultural dialogue,” she said.
Sheikha Bodour’s statement came during a meeting with Dr Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of Unesco, at the UN agency’s headquarters in Paris. She also met with other UN officials and shed light on the historical ties of friendship and cooperation shared by Sharjah and Unesco.
Sheikha Bodour introduced the programme of events set for SWBC: "Sharjah is rolling out a year-long programme based on six principals that reflect our vision of engaging all segments of the UAE community.
“Our aim is to ease access to books and education; in doing so, we believe that we can promote cross-cultural dialogue and harmony, as well as build a future generation that is capable of furthering our nation’s vision.
“The programme also aims to boost the Emirati and Arab publishing landscape and drive literary creation in our part of the world."
She added: "Sharjah and Unesco have a long history of fruitful co-operation in various cultural endeavours, and bringing home this title is a memorable milestone in realising the vision of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to grow the cultural movement worldwide through strong partnerships with Unesco and other global cultural bodies. The title also honours the emirate’s efforts and cultural achievements that promote the values of love, goodness and peace."
Dr Azoulay highlighted the ambitious programme prepared by Sharjah and its tremendous potential to grow further and to foster a culture of reading in the United Arab Emirates and beyond. She commended the birth of new initiatives to meet the challenge of literary creation in the area and in the rest of the Arab world.
At the end of the meeting, Sheikha Bodour invited Dr Audrey Azoulay to attend the official inauguration of the SWBC 2019 cultural programme on 23 April 2019.
The World Book Capital programme’s committee comprises representatives from the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and Unesco.
Since 2001, the committee receives and evaluates entries submitted by world cities to select the World Book Capital for a one-year period. Sharjah has been selected as World Book Capital City for the year 2019 and the programme (which runs from April 2019 until April 2020) has been created in collaboration with all committee members.