This post is also available in: العربية

Roger Tagholm


A language learning drive funded by His Highness Dr Sheikh sultan bin Mohammad al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council, has been shortlisted for the Educational Initiatives Award at the prestigious London Book Fair International Excellence Awards next month.

The Lughati (‘my language’) initiative uses modern technology to teach students Arabic and has seen nearly 10,000 students and teachers across the emirate receive tablets equipped with Arabic language educational programmes and applications, as well as training programmes for teachers that were developed in collaboration with Horouf Educational Publishing, a subsidiary of Sharjah’s Kalimat Publishing Group.

His Highness launched the initiative to develop Sharjah’s education sector, preserve the Arabic language, and to instil a love of Arabic in the hearts of children by using modern educational methods.

The Lughati initiative is up against entries from Canada and Australia, while the evening as a whole sees nearly 20 awards representing 27 countries.  The awards include the Literary Translation Initiative Award, the Bookstore of the Year and the Audiobook Publisher of the Year.

The awards take place on Tuesday, 10 April on the second day of The London Book Fair before an invited audience.  Founded in 2014, their aim is showcase international excellence in the global book industry.  In 2017, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan was given the Simon Master Chairman’s Award a Lifetime Achievement Award at that year’s awards.  This special award is given to an individual or company in special recognition of an amazing venture or achievement.  It is named after the first Executive Chairman of the London Book Fair Advisory Board.  In her citation, The London Book Fair Director Jacks Thomas said: “His Highness has dedicated his life to using books, literacy and education to help a developing nation.  This lifelong commitment makes Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi a worthy recipient of the London Book Fair’s Lifetime Achievement Award.”