Sharjah: The Emirates Philatelic Association Wednesday announced that they will launch the first Sharjah Arabian Stamp Exhibition at Mega Mall in September.

The exhibition will take place from 22 to 27 of September and feature stamp collections that represent Arabic cultural history.

“The exhibition forms part of an ambition to encourage locals to embrace their history and Islamic culture, which we believe stamps play a major role in. This event is about education,” said Abdulla Khoory, President of the Emirates Philatelic Association.

Khoory explained that he hoped the exhibition would encourage the local Emirati population to take a more active interest in the study and preservation of stamps, which will also develop their understanding of the cultural relevance that stamps have within the UAE.

“The association has a little over 250 members at the moment, although not all of them are active members. In addition to that, we believe there to be several interested philatelists in the region who have not made contact with us. We are here to benefit them, so we hope many of them will come forward after this event.”

Some of the exhibits on display include a rare collection of stamps made in Iraq during the British occupation from 1917-1923.

The collection, which dates from the early 1990s and represents Middle Eastern history, is owned by Freddy Klatastchy, an Iraqi citizen who moved to London aged 16 in 1973.

Klatastchy, who said that collecting stamps was a popular hobby in the 50s and 60s, felt his two most valuable stamps date as far back as 1918, during the British occupation of Iraq.

The event further enhances Sharjah’s reputation as a centre for Arabic culture in the region since it was named last year as the Capital of Islamic Culture 2014.