A student has her pick at the Used Books Fair in Sharjah on Wednesday. Jamil Khan/Gulf Today
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
The seventh edition of the used books festival has begun in Sharjah and it will offer avid readers one million reasons to buy books and quench their thirst for knowledge.
The four-day ‘Used Books Festival’ is being organised by the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) at Khalid Park in the Emirate and will run till Feb.29 from 10am to 10pm.
Commenting on the Fair, Jehad Abed Alkader, General Coordinator of the Festival while talking to Gulf Today on Wednesday, said, “The Fair started with around 100,000 books in 2007 and has grown exceptionally since then. This year we have collected over one million books from our partners including students, parents, organisations, academic institutions and individuals.
“SCHS, on the directions of Sheikha Jameela Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General of SCHS, organises the fair to provide UAE readers with books at as low as Dhs2 and at a maximum price of Dhs20. There are books worth manifold of our assigned prices but we were instructed by Sheikha Jameela to give residents an opportunity to own as many books to read. Through this four-day event we are not making monetary profit but it does help the SCHS to cover some operational costs for the students of determination at its various centres across Sharjah,” Jehad added.
Abdel Nasser Darwish, Head of the Committee responsible for sorting, classification, pricing, display, and sale told Gulf Today that they collected books from residents from all over the country and customers include those coming from Saudi Arabia, Oman and other countries. Not all the books are used but we also have a lot of new and less used on almost every available subjects. However, the category of Islamic books is wider than other categories like educational, computers, fiction in Arabic and English,” he said.
He also mentioned that while collecting books from donors they got books worth thousands of dirhams and there are also rare manuscripts at the lowest prices.
“The fair is being managed by over 200 volunteers. We have been supporting volunteers like students of determination and their parents, students from different local universities, individuals and SCHS staff,” Jehad said.
Besides a number of local volunteers at the Festival, a group of seven visiting students from The Hashemite University, Jordan are also part of the 200-plus volunteer team. “We are in the UAE to review different training and rehabilitation services as part of our academic session. We have been attending different workshops at the SCHS and also decided to spend time at the festival which is a unique experience for all our students,” Malak Ibrahim Alramahi, a Jordanian student, told Gulf Today.
The organisers are also providing assistance to schoolchildren through their many workshops and have also established a corner where they can participate in various activities under the supervision of their teachers.
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