12-day-long Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival to begin on May 11 - GulfToday

12-day-long Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival to begin on May 11


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) will run for a longer 12-day duration this year as it is a comprehensive festival designed not only for children but also for parents, authors, illustrators and publishers, said Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), while announcing the elaborate plans for the region’s biggest child- and youth-focused literary event.

Organised by SBA, the 13th edition of SCRF will get underway at Expo Centre Sharjah on May 11, and carry the theme ‘Create Creativity.’

The international festival held under the directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), will bring together authors and creatives of global renown to lead more than 1,900 activities, including vibrant panel discussions on a variety of topics central to children’s literature and publishing.

SCRF 2022 also will be home to 139 publishers from 15 countries who will showcase their latest book releases and best-selling titles. The details of the festival were revealed at a press conference at the SBA headquarters in Sharjah in the presence of Ahmed Al Ameri; Abdulaziz Taryam, CEO, Advisor and General Manager of Etisalat - Northern Emirates; Rashid Abdullah Al Obed, Director of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority; Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of SCRF; Mansour Al Hassani, Head of Sales, SBA, in addition to cultural figures and media representatives. In his keynote speech, Ahmed Bin Rakkad said: “Today we open a new chapter of a story written more than three decades ago by Sheikh Sultan and Sheikha Jawaher. It is a story that highlights a pillar in the emirate’s cultural project built on the power of books and their role in shaping our future.”

“Each year during SCRF, I can see the vision of the festival being realised as key investments of knowledge and creativity in young minds. Sheikh Sultan and Sheikha Jawaher taught us that nations are built by the hands and minds of children, and therefore, SCRF is investing in building the future of our country by paving the way for our children and youth to attain their goals and be loyal patrons of Sharjah’s cultural vision as well as our rich Arab culture,” he added.

For his part, Abdulaziz Taryam said: “This edition of the festival testifies to the continuation of the vision of Sheikh Sultan and Sheikha Jawaher to strengthen Sharjah’s commitment to nurturing children and youth as builders of the future. Etisalat believes in doing all things possible to enhance the creativity of young creators. As patrons of this creative venture, Etisalat is keen on bolstering the community-focused efforts led by Sheikh Sultan.”

Rashid Abdullah Al Obed described SCRF a seed planted by Sheikh Sultan that is growing well now. He added: “Our sponsorship of the festival is part of Sharjah Broadcasting Authority’s vision to actively promote Sharjah’s cultural project, celebrate the emirate’s achievements and present it as a model to the world.”

“For this edition, we are dedicating an expert team of colleagues comprising journalists, presenters and technicians who will execute live coverage of the festival, broadcast special interviews with authors and guests, cover literary discussions, and air special segments on our dedicated Akhbar Al Dar news platform,” Al Obed further noted.

Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of SCRF, conveyed the excitement of hosting an event well-conceived: “We included clay in the logo of the new edition to denote the pliability of the children’s creativity and imagination – a capacity they can harness and should fully harness to create their own worlds.”

“Through SCRF’s theme ‘Create Creativity’, we want to encourage our young visitors to see themselves as creators. To ignite their creative prowess, we have designed more than 1,900 intellectually stimulating and challenging activities which will be led by guests from around the world.” “This programme agenda is segregated into 1,140 child activities, 120 cultural activities and 130 artistic performances and theatre productions, we want to convey that knowledge and books are the tools to build their future,” she added.

SCRF 2022 will host the inaugural edition of the Booksellers Conference from May 15–16. The first of its kind in the world, the conference will bring together more than 200 distributors from around the world to the SBA headquarters to discuss ways to strengthen and advance the publishing sector and distribution channels in order to facilitate the reach of knowledge sources to the public. For his part, Mansour Al Hassani, Head of Sales, SBA, said the conference will highlight best practices in book sales and distribution. This will include digital strategies and working with publishers, writers, schools, literary and cultural festivals, inventory management, and creating new business models.


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