Emirates News Agency – World celebrates Sharjah’s cultural vision and support for children’s literature

SHARJAH, 19th March, 2022 (WAM) — Sharjah is ready to take center stage as the guest of honor at the 59th edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF), which kicks off tomorrow (Monday 21 March) and will continue until March 24 in the Italian city of Bologna.

The emirate’s distinguished status at the book fair reflects Sharjah’s eminent position among the world’s knowledge cities and speaks to its experience, infrastructure and unique vision for making culture central to its identity.

For four days, Sharjah will highlight and celebrate the intellectual and cultural richness of the Emirati and Arab worlds in the heart of the Italian city of Bologna. Under the supervision of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the emirate is organizing a series of events, workshops, art and heritage exhibitions that reflect its monumental strides in accelerating and investing in the children’s book industry.

BCBF’s prestigious Guest of Honor title follows a series of global achievements celebrating Sharjah and its distinctive cultural journey. The emirate was the guest of honor at the Paris International Book Fair, the New Delhi International Book Fair, the São Paulo International Book Fair and the Turin International Book Fair, among others .

The emirate’s multiple achievements, titles and awards in recognition of its pioneering role in cultural development at national, regional and international levels and its vital role in advancing the publishing industry provide an excellent insight into the path borrowed to achieve such an important international status. .

The journey of transforming Sharjah into a city that is welcomed and celebrated by the world’s leading cities of knowledge also stems from its achievements in the field of children’s literature and the vital role played by its well-equipped libraries in every city of the emirate.

Sharjah’s vision in hosting international book fairs and art festivals, its investments in developing a knowledge-based society and broadening the intellectual horizons of every member of the community are also integral of the realization of the cultural project of the emirate.

Sharjah operates under the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, who has prioritized the acceleration of knowledge and culture as a fundamental part of the project development of the emirate. This led to the establishment in 1982 of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which at its 40th edition last year won the title of the world’s largest book fair in terms of sales and buying rights, and has consistently been ranked among the top three book fairs for the past 10 years.

The emirate is also home to the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), which is a unique platform that brings together publishers, illustrators and authors specializing in children’s literature from around the world and showcases the latest works. and the most important publishers in the field. In addition, the annual festival also offers an extensive programming program of interactive entertainment workshops and cultural events.

The invaluable advice of the Ruler of Sharjah and the tireless efforts of the emirate’s institutions have enabled substantial progress which has strengthened the emirate’s presence at the global level. In 1998, Sharjah was named UNESCO Cultural Capital of the Arab World; in 2014, it was honored as the capital of Islamic culture by UNESCO; in 2016, it was declared the capital of the Arab press; and in 2019, Sharjah was recognized as the World Book Capital by UNESCO.

The emirate’s development project is not limited to supporting the book industry alone; its cultural vision extends to all forms of art, literature and knowledge and includes local, Arab and human heritage. The emirate is now home to 16 museums and hosts various exhibitions and festivals on Islamic art, Arabic calligraphy, music and contemporary and modern fine arts. It also sponsors international awards for scientific and literary research, studies and works of art.

Institutions participating under the Sharjah banner at BCBF 2022 will highlight the pillars of the emirate that have raised Sharjah’s profile on the global cultural map.

Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Government Relations (DGR) and Head of Sharjah’s Guest of Honor Delegation, said: “Sharjah has a unique development path, which puts it at the forefront global development experiences. This unique journey is grounded in knowledge, culture, heritage and the arts, and by honing the skills of community members and strengthening societal bonds through shared values ​​and a diverse program of events including activities cultural and community. , reinforces the emirate’s wisdom that anything built on knowledge is enduring and can be passed on from generation to generation.”

The DGR Chairman added: “Being celebrated as guest of honor at major international book fairs, including the BCBF, is a clear indicator of Sharjah’s success and achievements in achieving growth. economic, societal and cultural sustainability. It is also a recognition of Sharjah’s journey in facilitating access to sources of knowledge for children and involving younger generations in Sharjah’s development and cultural programs. It provides a nurturing environment through the initiation of programs and policies that reinforce nationalist and human values ​​among new generations.

Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi stressed that the success of the emirate’s experience in cultural development places the responsibility on Sharjah’s shoulders to share its experience with communities around the world because of the valuable lessons and solutions it brings.

James C. Tibbs