Mar 1, 2020

Huge turnout for the 7th Used Book Festival, which Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) organized from February 26 to 29, as part of the activities marking Sharjah as World Book Capital, under the theme (Get a book, Light a path).  One of its main results was meeting the public’s demand - not only by extending the festival days and working hours beyond midnight all days - but by achieving the principle of sustainability in this type of attractive public activities. This is popular event among the masses of citizens and residents of all groups, ages and all social levels.  

Therefore, the festival administration represented by Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, has decided to hold a mini book festival on the first Saturday of every month, starting next April.  The administration would determine its place and working hours later on.

The festival activities continued until late Saturday evening, February 29th.  At the end of the festival, the Financial Committee for Sales announced that the revenues has reached 386 thousand and 230 dirhams.  Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services is going to allocate this money to support the services offered to the community in general and to persons with disabilities in particular.  

Regarding the associated program of the festival, Mona Abdul Karim Al-Yafei, Director of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services honored the winners of the ‘Young Writer’ Competition for the categories 7 to 10 years and 11 to 18 years. The list of winners included 24 young writers.  The jury praised their stories and topics.

Ms. Khadija Ahmed Bamakhramah, Chairperson of the Committee for Attracting Institutions, Communities, and Public Benefit Associations, stated that the honoring included the winners of the most beautiful comment on the pictures that were chosen every day of the festival such as (We read when we are young ... we create when we become adults).

Then the Sudanese community performed folk dances from north and south Sudan. The volunteer Abdul Latif Al-Qadi also presented several artistic acts and competitions.  He introduced the audience to Ammar Dahab, the first deaf architect who recently graduated from the University of Sharjah.  Then, Al-Dalona Group of Popular Arts presented performances of Palestinian folklore and Dabkeh.  It was followed by lyrics by Indian artists from the Golden Stars of Music and Fine Arts band. The audience interacted with these shows with appreciation and admiration.

Mona Abdul Karim Al-Yafei, as Chair of the Festival's Volunteer Committee, praised the festival team. She confirmed that the volunteers made great efforts without tiredness or boredom, with a mission and power that did not diminish, including the volunteer students from the Hashemite University from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  Al-Yafii said, “It was remarkable that the public and students of Arab and foreign schools visited the festival, especially after stopping for four years. It was clear that people were passionate and eager to buy books”, referring to SCHS preparations to achieve the principle of sustainability of the festival, upon the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General of SCHS.  She confirmed that SCHS is training volunteers who contributed to the festival.  They will be on the list of volunteers in SCHS and will train on how to deal with persons with disabilities.

The impressions of volunteers and festival visitors are still coming, either directly or through social media. The well-known journalist Fahd Heikal was very happy to visit the seventh festival of the used book.  Although it is his first visit to the festival, he thinks it is a beautiful event and the crowd is very large. This type of activity has an intellectual benefit and development for people. Hope it continues.

As for the journalist Muhammad Imran Al Ali, he thanked Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services for organizing this distinguished festival, which attracted all segments of society.

Yamen Zahwan, a volunteer in the Sorting and Classification Committee, confirmed that his mother and grandmother had also volunteered from December to sort books.  They are very happy to participate in the festival.  As for Ahmed Al-Khader, who is a visitor to the festival from Syria, he praised the idea of the festival and its low prices.  He thinks the festival is a great opportunity for those who want to create their own library.