His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has attended the announcement of the Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 theme and logo, on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 37th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). The emirate was awarded the prestigious title by UNESCO in recognition of its impactful role in promoting and supporting cultural movements on local, regional and international levels.

The theme ‘Open Books, Open Minds’ reflects the concept of reading and knowledge sharing, its impact on humanity and its role in civilisational development.  The logo carries an abstract geometric artwork of an open book representative of the continued efforts and achievements of Sharjah in the past 40 years to promote reading, exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing.

The slogan evokes values of inclusivity and making reading a community activity that engages all segments of society in activities to raise awareness across the UAE. The programme focuses on six themes: Inclusivity, Children and Youth, Reading, Publishing, Heritage, Community Outreach.

A full year of celebrations will start on 23 April, 2019, on the World Book and Copyright Day.  It includes a series of cultural events, launch of new initiatives and projects that collectively aim to support the local and regional publishing industry, provide rich and accessible content and books to all segments of society, and promote a culture of reading.

Sharjah is the first Gulf city and the third in the Arab region to be awarded this title. Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to promote books and reading and to organize activities over the year. As the nineteenth city to bear the title since 2001, Sharjah follows Athens (2018) and Conakry (2017). Past winners include Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Anvers (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam(2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Erevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014), Incheon (2015), Wroclaw (2016).

This prestigious award follows numerous other cultural achievements Sharjah has been honoured with by prestigious international entities. It was named the Capital of Arab Culture in 1998, the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2014, and the Capital of Arab Tourism in 2015.

 

Source: National Network Communications (NNC)