His Highness Shaikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi unveiled the Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 Monument yesterday.
Developed by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and commissioned by the Internationally acclaimed UK-based artist, Gerry Judah, the 36.5 meters high sculpture is inspired by an ancient scroll design that represented the lasting power of books and how reading shares a strong purpose of uniting people together. Shaped like a torch, the monument highlights Sharjah’s ongoing efforts aimed at fostering reading and stressing the important role of books in further intellectuality and enlightenment.
Shurooq started developing the monument after the World Book Capital’s International Committee, an UNESCO’s affiliate, named Sharjah World Book Capital 2019, which commemorates Sharjah’s landmark cultural achievement as the first city in the Gulf Region and third city in the Arab World, to be given this prestigious title.
His Highness Shaikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi has also unveiled the ‘House of Wisdom’ project, that too developed by Shurooq, in celebration of Sharjah World Book Capital 2019. Scheduled for a public opening in 2020, this iconic library and cultural centre will be the newest addition to Sharjah’s numerous public offerings where books and knowledge can be openly accessed by all the people.
When “1001 Nights: The Last Chapter” was announced last month, His Highness Shaikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, head of the Inauguration Ceremony Committee of the Sharjah World Book Capital, said: “It will change the face of live entertainment in the UAE and reinvent the genre of performing arts.” And this is just what the mega spectacle has done yesterday evening, on its world premiere, as it plunged the audience in a riveting acrobatics-filled fantasy world, complete with breathtaking aerial stunts, synchronized dances, a gripping storyline and live music by a 51-piece orchestra led by the renowned Harout Fazlian.
The immersive show marked the launch of Sharjah as the Unesco World Book Capital 2019, a landmark day for the city which prides itself for its diversity and pluralism. Attending the celebration, His Highness Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi said that “Sharjah can be a cradle of cultural revival and renaissance, and a minaret of knowledge”, as its “vision for a strong economy, a compassionate community and scientific research is through knowledge at an early age.”