Honor Book Capital has boosted Sharjah’s reading spirit: Bodour

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IPA President Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi at the networking event with representatives from 16 world book capitals.

Gulf today, Journalist

Sharjah, the 2019 Unesco Book Capital of the World, hosted representatives from most of the Unesco-designated World Book Capital Cities to reflect on their individual stories and discuss strategies to strengthen their legacy while sharing their experiences. with the future holders of the status.

At the preliminary meeting of the Expert Group of the World Book Capitals Network, the emirate hosted 16 world book capitals, including Guadalajara, the 2022 World Book Capital, at the House of Wisdom – a futuristic cultural center built to commemorate Unesco’s honor in Sharjah.

Discussions focused on the mission and strategic objectives of the network, i.e. strengthening cooperation and developing the sharing of knowledge and good practices between network members, as well as strengthening the commitment of cities to promote books and reading in particular in the wake of the global pandemic, which has hit the book industry hard. This network, alongside the Cities of Literature (which is part of the Creative Cities Network), underlines Unesco’s commitment to the creativity, books and reading of authors.

Welcoming the guests, IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi said the 2019 title not only strengthened the emirate’s status as a regional cultural hub, but also had a positive impact on the region. development of its book industry and its reading culture.

She added that the power and beauty of being a WBC city is that these positive benefits last for years and provide a chance to build social cohesion through books and promote cultural dialogue.

Expressing his pleasure in hosting the first meeting of the World Book Capital Network, Al Qasimi called on all previous WBC cities to collaborate and stay connected to enhance the impact of the prestigious title and reinforce the positive benefits it brings to the industry.

“A strong network that builds on the momentum of WBC Honor will benefit cities and future generations through the exchange of ideas on the title’s legacy,” Al Qasimi added.

Emphasizing the role of member cities in the network and outlining its priorities and future developments, Ian Denison, coordinator of the WBC program, said: a city designated by Unesco. Cooperation within the new network will help provide other cities with access to sources of knowledge and good practice.

Along with the networking event, an open design exhibition held at the House of Wisdom brought more attention to the unique imprints and literary heritage of the 22 WBC cities. An installation featuring a cascading cloud of pages in different languages ​​was the highlight, along with large panels depicting the achievements of former WBC cities, including Sharjah. The installation was a strong symbol of knowledge and ideas and of the impact of the written word in creating cultural links.

The IPA hosted its 125th anniversary celebrations on the sidelines of the networking event.

Earlier in September, the Director-General of Unesco, Audrey Azoulay, named Accra (Ghana) Unesco’s World Book Capital for 2023, for the importance it places on young people and their potential to contribute to culture and wealth of Ghana.

Since 2001, the Consultative Group of the World Book Capital of Unesco, which includes representatives of the International Forum of Authors, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the International Association of Publishers and Unesco , selects each year a World Book Capital, whose title is awarded to the city, which demonstrates excellence in the development of a cultural program of activities throughout the year to promote reading and books focused on grassroots community engagement.

A recent report states: As the 40th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) approaches, various voices representing the global publishing ecosystem have come together for the 11th edition of the three-day Publishers Conference to network and unite the efforts of the entire industry to build a roadmap for post-pandemic recovery.

Organized by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in partnership with the International Publishers Association (IPA) at Expo Center Sharjah, the three-day conference kicked off on Sunday, October 31, highlighting the need for collaboration and closer cooperation between stakeholders.


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