Hugo Setzer, commenting on the celebrations said: ‘Together with Bodour Al Qassimi, IPA’s Vice President and our host in her home city of Sharjah and our Secretary General, José Borghino, I had an intense week in the UAE, where I had the chance, among many other highly interesting activities, to witness the spectacular launch of Sharjah World Book Capital, visit the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, IFLA’s 4th Arab Regional Conference and the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. All of this was thanks to the hospitality of the Emirates Publishers Association, who proved to be magnificent organisers and hosts’.

Mr Setzer delivered a speech ahead of the opening ceremony, in which he welcomed the World Book Capital’s slogan “Open Books, Open Minds” as more relevant than ever given the many crises around the world today.

This thought was echoed by UNESCO Director General, Audrey Azoulay, who noted in a statement issued in Paris that “books are also the doorway to mutual respect and understanding between people, across all boundaries and differences.”

Learn more about the programme for Sharjah World Book Capital City here: