In the presence of international publishers and intellectuals, the Sharjah World Book Capital Office (SWBC Office) organised a special reception at the 48th edition of the London Book Fair (LBF).
The event shed light on Sharjah’s key cultural achievements and how these efforts drove the Emirate’s election as the 19th World Book Capital City – a global title launched by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2001.
Attendees were introduced to Sharjah’s most significant cultural achievements and were taken through the 365-day cultural programme that SWBC Office has designed to celebrate this prestigious title, under the unique theme ‘Open Books. Open Minds’.
The yearlong celebrations, starting 23 April 2019, will be held across different locations in Sharjah and will engage all segments of the UAE community as well as Emirati, Arab and international literary figures and intellectuals, in a series of book-themed events and activities.
SWBC Office has set an interactive platform to promote one of this year’s planned initiatives: “Mobile Beach Libraries”, which will be established in cooperation with Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC), Knowledge Without Borders (KwB) and Sharjah Municipality.
Amani Al Ali, Director of Sharjah World Book Capital Office, pointed out that educating British and international intellectuals about the SWBC 2019 celebrations and ongoing preparations was an opportunity to invite the whole world to participate in the festivities. She stressed that the LBF offered SWBC a global platform to promote plans and programmes that will be implemented in the future.
Al Ali said: “Through our participation at LBF, we have been able to introduce European and global communities to Sharjah’s cultural accomplishments over the past 40 years and its ongoing efforts to promote the beauty of the authentic Emirati and Arab culture”.
She added, “our participation serves as a bridge that connects us to international cultural entities, publishers, authors, intellectuals and academia. It contributes to enhancing mutual collaboration for future cultural programmes and events.”
Since 2001, the World Book Capital’s International Committee nominates a World Book Capital City for a one-year period. The committee at UNESCO named Sharjah the World Book Capital 2019 in appreciation of its vital role in supporting books, promoting reading and adopting knowledge in cross-cultural communication. Sharjah was also recognised for its great efforts to foster reading as a robust culture at the regional and international levels. Sharjah is the first city in the GCC countries and the third in the Arab world and Middle East to win this nomination after Alexandria and Beirut.