His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the 38th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) on Wednesday reiterating that culture requires patience to develop and have a lasting impact on society.
“Forty years ago, Sharjah was not what you see today. No one foresaw the tremendous cultural achievements, which Sharjah has attained. We began with a clear vision of where we were headed, and had the determination to get there. Culture is cultivated through patience, as I have learnt personally,” His Highness said.
“For us, being on a vibrant and inclusive cultural path was the surest guarantee of creating stable, learned and advanced communities, of building a sustainable economy on the foundation of knowledge, science and innovation. Such lofty aspirations can never be fulfilled without the power of books and learning,” His Highness added.
The Sharjah Ruler explained that winning a prestigious cultural title like World Book Capital, whose extensive selection criteria is defined by UNESCO and top international entities, requires years’ worth of extensive efforts and strategic planning.
“Sharjah met these requirements to hold the title this year. Our planning and efforts are reflected in every home library we set up, in our ambitious, culture-loving children and youth, in the ethics and values of entities that lead Sharjah in all sectors, and in the huge public attendance of events planned for our yearlong World Book Capital celebrations,” His Highness added.
The Sharjah Ruler concluded his remarks affirming that the status of countries that have culture and knowledge “will not be touched”. “Culture leads us into the future; protects us from ignorance. Our cultural project ensures everyone a sense of belongingness and the right to a decent life. This was recently reaffirmed by Sharjah winning the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative Aspire Award. If you want to know about the culture of a city or nation, ask about the status its children and the elderly enjoy.”