Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival extends celebration of books - GulfToday

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival extends celebration of books


The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival takes the young generation on a journey to unleash their creativity, hone their skills and expand their knowledge.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has announced that the 13th edition of Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) will be a 12-day event, starting May 11. Themed ‘Create Creativity’, the region’s biggest festival of its kind will run until May 22, in Expo Centre Sharjah. A host of international writers and experts will lead diverse, inclusive activities, taking the young generation on a journey to unleash their creativity, hone their skills and expand their knowledge.

Underscoring the importance of SCRF in the UAE’s cultural calendar, Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, said: “SCRF provides the younger generations with a unique platform to pursue their passions, explore curiosities and acquire new knowledge.

The international event reflects the vision of HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the directives of his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), and is focused on building creative and enlightened generations capable of leading their nation’s developmental journey and achieving its goals.” He added: “Through SCRF, we are keen on providing an unlimited space for children to learn, unearth their talents, sharpen their skills, and discover their capabilities, because cultural and developmental projects cannot be successful without investing in the young generations. Today, nations do not measure their value and status by their wealth but through the ambitions and potential of their youth.

“In addition to broadening the creative horizons of children and youth, SCRF supports Sharjah’s efforts to advance the publishing sector regionally and internationally, particularly children’s literature. The festival brings together publishers and illustrators of children’s and YA literature to exchange knowledge and expertise, and at the same time, highlight the emirate’s advanced infrastructure and wealth of opportunities and services available to expand the global publishing markets,” the SBA Chairman concluded. Commenting on the event’s popularity, Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of SCRF, said: “Since the inaugural edition in 2010, the event has been providing a nurturing space for children and youth to realise their passions and aspirations and at the same time provide invaluable knowledge in literature, science and arts.

Children also forge new friendships, buy new books, and set their goals during the festival.” She added: “This year, the festival has designed the theme ‘Create Creativity’ to provide a space for children to build their unique worlds without any limitations. The younger generations have immense energies that can help them rediscover themselves and build their realities through learning and innovation. SCRF provides the platform to achieve this by ensuring that a diversity of publishers participates in the festival and a bevy of creative and educational workshops and exhibitions are on offer to entertain them.”

SCRF was launched under the directive of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, and the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, to instill and preserve a culture of reading in the emirate. A report published last year says: Being cooped up at home due to the corona is not a welcome prospect that many schoolchildren would cherish, some in fact finding the online education rather drab.

Under these distressing circumstances, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival offers a giant ray of hope. Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the event will host a series of fun and educational workshops and activities, from May 19 to 29 to provide opportunities for children of all ages to develop new creative and critical thinking skills in line with the festival’s vision to expand the knowledge of the young generations.

The interactive workshops will be led by qualified experts from across a spectrum of art and science disciplines and will commence from 16:00 daily. Participant numbers are limited to a maximum of 15 per workshop. Bright young girls and boys can acquire both basic and advanced skills in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies through a series of workshops at the SCRF 2021. Children will build and programme robots using pieces of Lego.

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