Keep it up, Sharjah - GulfToday

Keep it up, Sharjah


Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

Sharjah in known the world over for its cultural superiority and for the giant strides the emirate is taking in fostering reading at the regional and international levels. Bestowed with the honour of a World Book Capital, it truly lived up to its billings (“Sharjah wraps up achievement-filled year-long stint as World Book Capital, hands over title to Kuala Lumpur,” April 22, Gulf Today).

2019 was a year like none other for book and culture lovers as the emirate hosted hundreds of events from theatre, to cinema and art, to welcoming celebrated local, Arab and international icons of literature. That Sharjah is the first city in the GCC countries and the third in the Arab world and Middle East to win this nomination shows the stature the emirate enjoys among the global community of Arts and Culture.

I have been a resident in the emirate for a couple of years and have observed the significance the leaders give in promoting the reading habit alongside uplifting the rich cultural heritage of this country. Probably that outlook must have played a big role in UNESCO’s decision in naming Sharjah the 2019 World Book Capital.

From funding public libraries, to distribution of home libraries, to the Sharjah Beach Library initiative, which turned Sharjah’s beaches into libraries for tourists and local community members, the government has been vigorously pushing the concept of reading as a lifestyle not only among the locals but also in the expat community

We have been visiting the Sharjah International Book Fair for over five years now. In my opinion, it is a fair not to be missed. The artistes and the wide range of reading material easily makes the fair one of the best cultural extravaganza in the world. Keep it up Sharjah.

Desiree Braganza — By email

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