Sharjah Book Authority Launches Online Reading Festival
The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has recently launched the very first Sharjah Virtual Reading Festival (SVRF) which will run for 10 days from 27th May to 5th June, 2020. The reading festival has been announced at a time when millions of people around the world are staying at home to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The 10-day reading extravaganza would see multiple acclaimed authors and writers all across the world virtually connecting at SVRF to provide art and literature fanatics, an impressive range of cultural poetry, literary sessions, and interactive workshops.
This initiative has been organized to target all the members of the community irrespective of their age, gender, and nationality.
By launching this festival, the authority is promoting access to books and culture, at a time when there is enormous uncertainty due to COVID-19, in a bid to bring the community together.
This move of launching an online reading festival is in line with the precautionary measures taken by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as other countries across the globe to ensure social distancing and policy of work from home. One of the main reasons behind this reading initiative is to revive the reading culture by brining books into people’s lives and homes once again. Through this initiative, the members of the community would have a platform which they can use to upgrade their knowledge about different types of cultures and books even when they are bound to stay at home.
The Chairman at SBA, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, has said that in the current situation, our responsibility with regards to the readers, intellectuals, and the entire society has increased significantly. We plan to use all the available platforms to contribute towards their betterment through elevating their creative processes and artistic thoughts. The launch of SVRF underlines the need for making cultural content available as well as continuing to adapt in the context of extraordinary or never seen before circumstances.
Ahmed bin Rakkad further said that the role of books has become a more important part of our lives than it was ever before and that the purpose of the SVRF is to help the creation and development of creative/innovative societies as reading and gaining knowledge are critical for the development of nations.
The chairman also said that innovative technological advancements are the way forward. By using latest technologies to their maximum, we aim to create right environment for innovation and creativity that is necessary to thrive and develop even further.
The SVRF offers authors and intellectuals with an opportunity to virtually connect from all across the globe and celebrate the diversity of cultures, and exchange knowledge and experiences.
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri concluded by saying that the festival has provided the literary community with an opportunity to reinforce that despite various challenges and difficulties, culture ties us together, helping us stay connected and build resilient and sustainable societies.