Sharjah, the UNESCO World Book Capital 2019-20, offers multiple pathways for both children and adults to engage with books, reading and culture, and root themselves in the thriving literary landscape of the emirate.
Sharjah's journey to cement its ties with nations and cities around the globe through dialogue and cultural exchange was initiated more than 40 years ago by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. The emirate is reaping the fruits of these strategic efforts today as it enjoys global cultural prominence and a well, established reading culture.
Several key initiatives are turning the emirate into the destination for children's literature in the UAE and across the Arab region. Sharjah's creative and culturally rich environment offers a great conducive environment for the local publishing industry, encouraging publishers, authors and illustrators to continually innovate and achieve excellence in the field of children's and young adults’ literature with several professional incentives, training opportunities and prestigious recognitions.
As Guest of Honour at Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2022, Sharjah proudly showcased the diversity of Arab children’s literature through panel discussions, workshops, reading and matchmaking sessions led by 30+ writers, illustrators, artists and storytellers from the region. SBA also presented 17 Arabic-Italian translations authored by Emirati writers, and organised four school visits, hands-on workshops, and interactive storytelling sessions.