Sharjah International Book Fair 2023 exploresIthra’s global impact and cultural enrichment
SIBF 2023

Sharjah International Book Fair 2023 exploresIthra’s global impact and cultural enrichment

Nov 6, 2023

Transformative tales and literary triumphs of King Abdulaziz Center for
World Culture’s renowned reading competition was highlighted at the book fair

The ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2023) recently hosted Saudi Arabia’s King
Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in an engaging session featuring esteemed members
and past winners of its renowned reading competition.

Emphasizing the center’s dedication to its founding pillars of culture, creativity, community, art,
and knowledge, the session exemplified Ithra’s mission to cultivate a vibrant literary community
and encourage a deeper engagement with the word.

The esteemed panelists, comprising distinguished Ithra members, Tariq Khawaji, a cultural
consultant at Ithra and supervisor of the Ithra Reading Program (iRead) and previous winner of
the reading competition, Ms. Duaa Hassnin from Egypt and Sufyan al-Buraq, 2023 winner of
Ithra competition from Morocco, offered insightful perspectives and personal anecdotes that
underscored the transformative power of literature and the enduring impact of Ithra’s initiatives
on their literary journeys.

Tariq Khawaji shared Ithra‘s journey since its establishment in 2018 to promote literacy and
cultivate a dynamic cultural landscape. He stated that the Ithra reading competition began as a
local literary event in the Al-Sharqiyyah region in eastern Saudi Arabia only to turn national in
response to the high number of entries received in the first edition and, ultimately, into a
regional competition for Arab readers and writers in the Arab world.

Sharing heartfelt accounts of their literary explorations and the impact of Ithra’s programs on
their academic aspirations, the panelists underscored the pivotal role of the reading competition
in nurturing a lifelong love for reading and fostering a deep appreciation for diverse literary
genres and narratives.

The session served as an inspiration for aspiring readers and literary enthusiasts attending the
discussion at SIBF, which runs in Expo Centre Sharjah until November 12, with the theme ‘We
Speak Books’.

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