The speakers at the opening ceremony of the London Book Fair 2015, 14-16 April, represented different regions of the world and included a strong Arab presence.
Sheikh Sultan, who is a published author, and a tireless champion of Arab literature, stepped back in time to remind the audience that our collective culture began many thousands of years ago with writing on stones. Even then man had a need to communicate, to record his observations on life.
Sheikh Sultan noted that this desire for understanding and communication among peoples remains a real force and reinforced his point by quoting words more than fourteen centuries old taken from the Holy Koran, which call for communication, interaction and cooperation.
Sheikh Sultan also discussed Sharjah’s efforts in highlighting Islamic culture, with the establishment of a number of events and festivals, namely the Sharjah Book Fair and the Sharjah Biennale. Frequently referred to as “the emirate of culture”, Sharjah also boasts one of the most spectacular museums of Islamic culture in the world.
Sheikh Sultan went on to focus on the efforts made to promote books and reading in Sharjah, a cause that has also been embraced by his daughter Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of the Kalimat Group.
The 2015 LBF was formally opened by Britain’s iconic baker, Mary Berry. In addition to being a judge on the BBC’s “The Great British Bake Off” and presenting her own cookery shows, Berry has written over 80 books during a publishing career spanning 45 years.