Well-deserved honour for Sharjah - GulfToday

Well-deserved honour for Sharjah

Well-deserved honour for Sharjah

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mention the word “book” and the name of Sharjah flashes in everyone’s mind instantly. The reasons are obvious. The Emirate has been taking noteworthy efforts to foster a culture of reading in the community. Sharjah and books have become inseparable.

In this background, the decision of LIBER International Book Fair, which returns to Madrid on Oct. 9 - 11, to name Sharjah as Guest of Honour is a praise-worthy decision and well-deserved recognition for the Emirate.

The prestigious fair, organised by IFEMA and promoted by the Spanish Association of Publishers Guilds (FGEE), will be witnessing the participation of 11,200 professional visitors, 458 companies, over 300 journalists and media outlets, and 51 countries.

As LIBER’s guest of honour, Sharjah will be continuing its efforts to promote cultural and literary exchange with the Spanish and international communities.

This is in less than a month since the Emirate wrapped up a grand cultural showcase at Moscow International Book Fair 2019, where it participated as the fair’s first-ever Arab ‘Guest City’.

Landmark initiatives launched by the UAE, like funding public libraries, distribution of home libraries and honouring distinguished authors and publishers have contributed to the adoption of reading as a lifestyle by members of the Emirati society.

IFEMA officials have stated that they wanted to learn from the experiences of Sharjah as it celebrates its yearlong status as World Book Capital 2019, the Unesco honour that was first awarded to Madrid in 2001.

IFEMA has also underlined that they want to shine light on the pioneering role and the cultural leadership of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, whose efforts in the past 47 years has rooted Sharjah’s presence on not just the regional, but global cultural stage.

Sharjah’s grand pavilion will be seen at LIBER this time and will be buzzing with a diversity of literary, intellectual and creative activities, where the Emirate’s leading entities in publishing and education will showcase the UAE’s long heritage as well as Sharjah’s current efforts to develop a culture of reading at home and its committed efforts to take the region’s culture around the world.

All these are also happening at a time when the Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, has confirmed that the 38th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, SIBF, will be organised from Oct. 30 to November 9, 2019, where authors, publishers, intellectuals and artists worldwide will bring their experiences and expertise to this prominent book event.

Year on year, the SIBF has reinforced its position as a must-attend event for international writers, publishers and artists and plays a leading role in promoting a culture of reading and creativity in the UAE, especially among children and the youth.

As Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Vice President of International Publishers Association and Head of Advisory Committee of Sharjah World Book Capital, stated earlier, the prestigious Unesco title is a global acknowledgement of Sharjah’s longstanding cultural achievements. It is a reward for pursuing an approach of knowledge-based human development in Sharjah through the use of books, reading, and strong intercultural dialogue.

Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, also well mentioned: “Sharjah is here reaping the fruits of tremendous efforts exerted by the Sharjah Ruler, who has always believed in books as the key to progress, and as bridge between cultures. This forward-looking vision has been endorsed by the World Book Capital 2019 title.”

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