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Al Khan Beach Library opened to beachgoers earlier this month to promote and instill the habit of reading among members of the community in Sharjah. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Nothing beats a relaxing day by the beach and while you’re at it, topping it off with a great book to read.

This is now possible at Al Khan beach in Sharjah thanks to the Sharjah Beach Library initiative launched by the Sharjah World Book Capital (SWBC) office.

The Al Khan Beach Library opened to beachgoers earlier this month to promote and instill the habit of reading among members of the community as part of the yearlong celebrations of Sharjah World Book Capital 2019.

Offering free reading material in terms of more than 100 titles in various languages for all age groups, Al Khan Beach Library was launched in collaboration with Knowledge without Borders (KwB), Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah Municipality and Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC).

100titles

in various languages for all age groups are available at Al Khan Beach Library

Al Khan beach is part of the first phase of the project that aims to set up more libraries on various Sharjah beaches.

Marwa Al Aqroubi, project manager at SWBC, said the initiative is one of the activities to celebrate Sharjah’s Unesco World Book Capital title, and part of its six main guiding themes that include nurturing a culture of reading and raising community awareness about its importance.

Mariam Al Hammadi, director of KwB, said the initiative aims to make reading a common practice, even giving residents a unique place to enjoy reading.

“The project comes as part of our ongoing mission to not only reach a wider segment of society, but also break the stereotypes about culture and reading being confined to a traditional setting. We believe that books need to be a constant companion at all times, due to its importance in expanding knowledge and broadening horizons,” Al Hammadi said.

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Al Khan Beach Library seeks to break stereotypes about culture and reading being confined to a traditional setting Image Credit: Supplied

Ahmad Obaid Al Qaseer, COO of Shurooq, said the initiative reflected the illustrious cultural history of Sharjah, noting that the initiative would encourage different bodies in the emirate to initiate creative projects for the public.

Sharjah resident Faisal Shah Abdul Nazar, 32, who lives in Al Nahda, welcomed the initiative.

“The idea is good for both kids and adults. People from all walks of life go to the beach to relax. It’s good for them to read books as well. Kids can develop a reading habit at an early age,” the Indian engineer told Gulf News.

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In 2017, Dubai Municipality opened a library on Kite Beach in Umm Suqeim. It runs on solar energy. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Photographer Ashok Verma, a regular at Al Khan beach, said he will check out the new library on his next visit although he said he prefers to sit and read when the weather is cooler.

“My last visit to Al Khan beach was three weeks ago. I saw the banners on the road about this library. My only concern right now is the weather as there are no covered areas, nor trees where you can sit in the shade to read,” Verma, 51, who lives in Al Majaz, told Gulf News.

“This idea is good one. I would love to go, sit and read but maybe I’ll wait until winter. I like going to the beach. If it’s quiet there, and if it’s not busy, I can sit, relax and read some books in good weather.”

Filipino resident Reyshane James Tejada said he would come on a visit and bring along friends.

“I will visit this mini library and I will invite my friends also to see and experience this unique learning concept,” said the architect who lives in Abu Shagara.