SCRF: A platform to enrich young minds - GulfToday

SCRF: A platform to enrich young minds


A record number of 33 authors and literati from 18 countries will participate in the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival.

Sharjah has remained in the forefront when it comes to fostering a culture of reading in the community and is now being rightly recognised the world over for its tremendous efforts in this direction.

The Emirate has especially been making determined efforts to promote the benefits of reading among children, in addition to providing the best suitable books for all the family.

It is heartening to note that a record number of 33 authors and literati from 18 countries will participate in the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, SCRF, which will unveil its 11th annual edition on April 17. The 11-day cultural celebration for children and young adults organised by Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, will see these authors bring together education, knowledge, and culture, all under one roof.

Interestingly, the stellar line-up features Elisabetta Dami, international best-selling children’s author from Italy, whose adventure stories featuring Geronimo Stilton – the mouse, have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold over 180 million copies worldwide.

Also present will be the #1 New York Times bestseller and award-winning children’s author, Carole Boston Weatherford, the African-American writer with 50-plus titles under her belt, including three Caldecott Honor winners. Children’s book author and visual learning strategist, Stuart J. Murphy from the United States will also be among the big names to watch out for.

The variety of dignitaries adds spice to the event. While well-known name from India includes Arundhati Venkatesh, who is one of most-loved children’s author who writes about football fans and lunchbox looters, tooth troubles and lie detectors, visiting from Pakistan are well-known radio presenter, TV and theatre artist and author, Yasmin Tahir and Naeem Tahir, who served as the Chief Executive at the Pakistan National Council of Arts.

Books shape an individual’s mind and wield tremendous power to transform lives for the better. Books need to be promoted in order to build sustainable societies, which eventually help fortify the foundations of peace.

Over the years, the SCRF, one of the most important cultural events dedicated to children in the UAE and greater Arab region, has been offering a fabulous platform for young ones to enrich their minds with knowledge and wisdom.

It is fair to say that the festival has well developed into an integrated event that contributes to enriching the knowledge of visitors with science and literature, while ensuring the participation of organisations and centres dedicated to children.

The festival has been gaining increasing attention and the last edition too proved to be a roaring success. It involved 134 exhibitors specialised in children’s literature and attracted more than 306,000 visitors. A prime highlight last year was its first-ever 3D Book Exhibition, featuring 250 pop-up books from the 3D Book Centre in Forli, Italy.

Incidentally, for the first time in its 11 editions, the SCRF has included live theatrical performances in Arabic, English, Urdu and Hindi as part of its forthcoming cultural programme.

For all the talk about technology blurring people’s reading habits, the UAE has shown the world that it is not easy to erase the power of the written word.

The beauty of it all is that by encouraging learning and self-education from a young age, the SCRF helps raise a generation of leaders, scholars and professionals who can contribute productively to the development of their society.

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