Sharjah, a go-to hotspot of culture and humanity - GulfToday

Sharjah, a go-to hotspot of culture and humanity

Sharjah Light Festival in progress.

There is no doubt that Sharjah is a fortress of cultural glory, a citadel of knowledge, spearheading its drive to highlight the values of learning and tradition.

Yes, it has been showing impressive progress in various other fields as well.

In landmark projects to enhance the wellbeing and lifestyle of its citizens and expatriates, such as the Khorfakkan Beach expansion project, the first-of-its-kind inclusive beach destination in Sharjah’s Eastern region. Its overarching emphasis on greening the environment must be appreciated. Its beautiful gardens and parks bear testimony to this, particularly Al Majaz Waterfront, a gold standard of leisure and recreation.

In Unesco’s selection of Sharjah as a “crafts and folk art” city for the Creative Cities Network, a global endorsement of the emirate’s decades-long emphasis on bringing generations closer to their heritage and national identity.

The Emirate has been carefully nurturing its human capital with skills that will enable them to take Sharjah’s and the UAE’s past well into the future. As stated by Sheikha Jawaher, Sharjah has been working tirelessly to preserve the heritage of this nation and breathe new life and meaning into it, so it can be practised sustainably and can inspire the rapid cultural renaissance the UAE witnesses today.

Sharjah is known to place culture at the heart of all its development strategies. It has paid rich dividends. Years of hard work to realise the vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, have not gone unrewarded. In a ground-breaking achievement, Sharjah was crowned with the title of the World Book Capital for 2019 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco). Over the years, Sharjah has steadily established itself as a global cultural destination for intellectuals, writers, thinkers, and publishers.

The Sharjah International Book Fair is a shining paradigm of learning and intellectual stimulation. It has turned from a simple gathering where Arab publishers and readers came, into a literary festival that annually attracts more than two million visitors from various corners of the globe and brings together over 1,500 publishing houses from many sisterly and friendly countries.

Charity and help for the distressed is also ingrained in Sharjah’s psyche. The Sharjah-based global humanitarian bastion, The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), has made a call to corporate entities and individuals to donate to its ‘A Warm Winter’ drive, which runs until February 19, 2022. This is to help displaced families in Afghanistan survive the harsh winter conditions as temperatures plunge to sub-zero levels. Over 3 million people have been displaced by conflict inside Afghanistan, including 700,000 who were displaced in 2021.

Sheikha Jawaher said that Sharjah has reinforced its humanitarian role by embracing all those who have lost the opportunity to learn for reasons beyond their control, by providing educational centres with specialised curricula aimed at honing skill sets and capacities to enable them to become key players in their communities. The Big Heart Educational Centre is a case in point.

She said, “The launch of ‘The Big Heart Educational Centre’ reflects the noble values embedded in the culture of the UAE to support those in need.”

Helping the needy is key to Sharjah’s ethos.

Addressing the students, Sheikha Jawaher continued, “TBHF launched this centre to help you make up for disruptions you have experienced in your education in your home countries. We believe that it is never too late to learn and that education can help lessen the gap and compensate, in part, for what was lost. We will help you fulfil your dreams because Sharjah is a beacon of humanity, knowledge, and culture and because the emirate’s developmental project is founded on the values of respect for human dignity and rights, from wherever they may be.”

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