Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) have hosted several sessions at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2019 through Dubai Public Libraries. Under the fair’s theme - Open Books Open Minds – the Authority hosted sessions aimed at adults and children with a focus on increasing moral values and shedding light on social issues. The book fair, now in its 38th edition opened on 30th October and runs until 9th November, 2019.
The first session highlighted the children’s book ‘The Two Ghaf Trees’ by author Nadia Al Najjar. The moral tale is about two ghaf trees, which grew side by side in the sand dunes for 10 years and were home to an owl, some robins and some beetles. Then, the trees become separated and the author uses this metaphor to talk about friendship and tolerance. The session was accompanied by a drawing workshop.
The second session led by the writer Jamal Al Shehhi about his story “Things you Don't Notice” opened up crucial questions on living life as an observant participant. In his book, he asks questions about the people, places and objects in our lives that we don’t always pay attention to as well as discussed the utopian possibility of being able to rewind our lives to live moments again.
In the third session, presented by Gerald Mercer, he discussed the content of his book titled: “The Others Were Missing”. The book is a celebration of diversity and shows how being tolerant does not threaten traditional ways of living it makes our neighbourhoods, towns, cities, and countries happier, healthier, stronger, and more accepting places to live.