By Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Executive Director of the Emirates News Agency (WAM). First published on WAM.
ABU DHABI, Nov 2 -- After being named the World Book Capital by the UNESCO, Sharjah is once again designated as a creative city of crafts and folk art by the same agency.
The UNESCO's choice of Sharjah is unquestionable, simply because the Emirate places culture at the heart of its development strategies.
Sharjah has become synonymous, not only with Arab and Islamic culture but with global culture at large.
This was evident in the statement of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, as he accepted the UNESCO World Book Capital title.
"This title will encourage us to continue supporting initiatives aimed at spreading knowledge and building civilisations, thus making Sharjah a cradle of the Arab and Islamic cultural and intellectual renaissance," he said.
When selecting a city for such a prestigious title, the UNESCO usually takes into account several rigorous criteria which Sharjah deservedly met as seen in every house and every library in the Emirate.
Sharjah is not only about titles, but about a cultural journey started by Dr Sheikh Sultan to enable the Arab and Islamic nation to regain its cultural glory.
The Emirate of Sharjah is determined to have an ambitious cultural scheme that is visible in poetry houses spreading all over the Arab world, the Sharjah Narration Forum and the theatre festivals, just to name a few.
Yet, there is so much more to accomplish as Dr Sheikh Sultan says.
"The production of knowledge never stops, and the development of life continues."
For four decades, Sharjah has carried the message of Arab culture and civilisation under a visionary approach by the Ruler of Sharjah.
Nowadays, we witness the fruits of that approach as we celebrate the Sharjah International Book Fair, one of the top four books fairs globally. Importantly, we witness the creativity that blends traditions with modernism to make Sharjah a truly creative city of crafts, folk art and humanity.