The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova named the UAE emirate of Sharjah the World Book Capital for 2019 on Monday.
According to a UNESCO statement, the city was selected because of its innovative and inclusive application, with a community-focused activity program containing creative proposals to engage the very large migrant population.
“I applaud the nomination of Sharjah as the World Book Capital as well as the efforts undertaken by the city in order to make reading available to as many people as possible, in particular the marginalized populations, as a motor for social inclusion, creativity and dialogue,” Bokova said.
With the slogan, “Read - you are in Sharjah,” the program focuses on six themes:
Additionally, there will be a contest for young poets, workshops for creating Braille and tactile books, a conference on freedom of speech and other events.
Sharjah’s objective is to strengthen the UAE’s reading culture and generate new opportunities to meet the challenge of literary creation in the region and the rest of the Arab world.
The city will also launch Sharjah Publishing City - the first publishing and printing house in the region developed to meet the needs of companies and institutions operating in the publishing field.
Sharjah Publishing City aims to reinforce the book industry by promoting the widespread production and dissemination of publications in the Arab world.
The program will start on April, 23, 2019, on the World Book and Copyright day.