Feb 28, 2020

On Friday, November 28, 2020, the activities of the Seventh Used Book Festival continue in a moderate spring climate for the third day. SCHS is organizing the festival under the theme (Get a book, Light a path) at Al Nakheel Park on the shores of Khalid Lake, Sharjah as part of the activities marking Sharjah as World Book Capital. The festival would last until 10:00 PM, Saturday, November 29, 2020.


Although Friday is a weekly holiday, the Higher Organizing Committee of the Festival decided that work should continue as usual from ten in the morning until ten in the evening, with a break before enough time from Friday prayers. Mr. Abdel Nasser Darwish, Head of Sorting, Classifying, Pricing and Displaying Books Committee, confirmed this.  He also mentioned that on the first day organizers displayed 400,000 books while 600,000 books are still in boxes, because there was no room on the displaying tables for them. This, in his opinion, will provide an opportunity for the people who previously visited the festival to buy more books that they did not find on their first visit.  Darwish reassures the people who have not yet visited the festival that more surprises and valuable books are waiting for them until the last minute. He asked them not to hesitate and come to the festival, even for several times because every time there is new books.

Mr. Jihad Abdel Qader, the General Coordinator of the Festival, thinks that the festival's turnout in the first two days and with the beginning of the third day was very good.  He explained that the way in which organizers presented books using construction technique such as scaffolding, which Fast Building Contracting Company provided was a good idea.  Indeed, the Architect Mohamed Al Mansoori (An Emirati) has praised this idea. He confirmed that the organization is very good. He previously visited the sixth festival 4 years ago in the same place. There is diversity and richness in the topics of books sorted and presented in a good way.  He asked Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, to make efforts to organize it, if not every year, every two years if possible.  


A visitor, who previously visited the festival, especially since there are some people who have been attending the festival since its beginnings in April 2006, can notice the amount of development and change that this festival has reached year after year. Either in terms of the increasing number of books that are available to the public, which have reached this year one million books, or in terms of the number of volunteers who are racing to serve the festival's audience. Some of them have been working for months in sorting, pricing and classifying books, or in terms of presentation and classification that allows visitors to navigate between festival’s sections easily and freely.  Mr. Jihad Abdul Qadir, The Festival’s General Coordinator, says that the way books are displayed and tables are distributed along long lines and comfortable spaces has been inspired from modern construction methods, in addition to infrastructure and electrical installations that took all safety and security standards into account.  He added that festival organizers, and under the guidance of Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, took into consideration that these four days must be an enjoyable and useful event for families. Organizers considered this notion when they set the associated activities program.  In addition, there is a group of food stands to meet the needs of the public with all age groups, fun game arenas that have added an atmosphere of joy and fun.  In addition, the Emirate of Sharjah is witnessing a moderate and beautiful weather these days.

The General Coordinator of the Festival directed his sincerest thanks to SCHS Partners Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Police, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, and Fast Contracting who contributed to overcoming all difficulties and providing all the supplies and needs in establishing and making this festival successful.  

In addition, he thanked sponsors (Tilal Properties, Dana Gas and Sisli International) and Media Partners (Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, Sharjah Government Media Bureau, Al Khaleej Newspaper, Rimal International Advertising, and Site Global).  Special thanks went to Sharjah Cooperative Society and Sharjah Old Cars Club.


The visitors' opinions ranged from proposals that did not rise to the level of criticism, because they have firm belief that organizing a festival that big and with this huge number of books is a huge step forward. It contributes to spreading awareness and culture among the various population groups in the Emirates and among all resident communities and different social levels. There was unanimous consensus that the festival is very good in terms of organization, timing, size, types and prices of books.

The lawyer and graduate student Sultan Salem Al-Kalbani (from the city of Kallba), who is a person with physical disability, confirmed that the idea of the festival is very good. The prices are also very appropriate, but there are some ideas that can develop and add more splendor to the festival. He hopes that organizers consider applying these ideas.

Mr. Abdul Rahim Ismail Muhammad Al-Zarouni (An Emirati), who is an Administrative and Economic Expert, paid the same tribute. He expressed his admiration for the level of organization and the volume of books offered and their affordable prices.

The volunteer Talib Muhammad Nasser, who worked for months in Sorting and Pricing Committee (An Iraqi) was responsible for a large amount of books. He waited near the payment boxes, saying that he was looking for a few books for Emirati authors, in addition to the first issues of some of the magazines and he found them.  Thus, He is very happy.  He believes that books prices are reasonable and affordable to everyone.

Next to Talib, Rafik Noman (A Lebanese) was standing. He praised Talib’s speech, and said that the organization of the festival is very good and prices are affordable.

Mohamed Abdel Rahman (An Egyptian) was also standing in front of the payment boxes. He confirmed that the idea of the festival is excellent and innovative. The presentation is very good and the prices of books are low.


The turnout of the festival in all its days and from all demographic and age groups was an opportunity for some people to spread health awareness.  A group of female students from Murbah Secondary School in Fujairah, who called themselves (Thalassemia Heroes), was active in educating the public about this genetic defect in the hemoglobin composition. Clinically, its severity varies greatly. Abrar Al-Rifai explained this. She confirmed that she and her colleagues in the group are active in raising awareness of this disease and urged the public to support patients by donating blood, or offer financial support throughout visiting hospitals and reducing patients’ stress. In addition, they raise awareness of the causes of illness and the need of conducting a medical examination for young men and women who are planning to marry.

In the same context, one of the festival tents carrying the name of Al-Sahih Medical Center in Abu Shagara area offers free medical services and tests to visitors. These tests include blood sugar and pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as dental checks. A specialized medical staff from the center run these tests.


The activities of the associated program of the festival continued yesterday evening, as visitors watched a group of artistic workshops and shows for the Indian community, which presented expressive acts with the utmost accuracy and beauty.  There was singing and playing music on the oud by artist Ibrahim Al Hammadi. Sharjah Mime Band, which is an affiliate of Art for All Center (Falaj), presented theatrical performances.   The program included live singing shows for a group of girls from the Cultural Office of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, shows for the storyteller theater and other cinematic shows for children, competitions, sports and entertainment, including the Best Picture and the Best Comment competitions.

Art Center for All - Falaj and Al-Wafa School for Capacity Development - Ramla Branch, the Committee for Attracting Institutions and Communities participated in presenting the activities of the associated program. Sharjah Children, Youngsters in Sharjah, the Cultural Office, and the Physical Education Team in the SCHS also participated. Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah Museums Department, and the Committee to Attract Institutions and Communities took part as well.

Notably, the associated program activities will continue on the afternoon of Friday, February 28, 2020, and on Saturday 29 February 2020, the festival will concluded.  Please join us.  We sincerely thank you.