World Book Capital 2019 logo.

The World Book Capital 2019 theme and logo were launched at the opening ceremony of the Sharjah International Book Fair 2018 on October 31, 2018. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Open Books, Open Minds.’

The World Book Capital is the city which UNESCO designates to be the headquarters of activities for World Book and Copyright Day on April 23. It has been celebrated since 2001 when Madrid, hosted the events in Spain. Since then many cities from all over the globe have hosted the events including the African cities of Alexandria, Egypt in 2002, Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2014 and Conakry, Guinee in 2017. The World Book Capital for 2018 was Athens.

In June, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates was named World Book Capital 2019 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee which met at the Headquarters of the International Federation of Library Associations at La Haye. Yay.

The World Book Capital Logo and theme were unveiled at the opening ceremony of the Sharjah International Book Fair on October 31, 2018. The theme is ‘Open Books, Open Minds’ and it reflects the concept of reading and knowledge sharing, its impact on humanity and its role in civilisational development. The logo carries an abstract geometric artwork of an open book representative of the continued efforts and achievements of Sharjah in the past 40 years to promote reading, exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing.

The slogan evokes values of inclusivity and making reading a community activity that engages all segments of society in activities to raise awareness across the UAE. The programme focuses on six themes: Inclusivity, Children and Youth, Reading, Publishing, Heritage, as well as Community Outreach.

Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi
Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi

The event was witnessed by Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the United Arab Emirates Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

This isn’t the first cultural type honour that the Emirate has been awarded in the recent past. It was named the Capital of Arab Culture in 1998, the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2014, and the Capital of Arab Tourism in 2015.