Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival kicks-off 18th April

SHARJAH, 2nd April, 2018 (WAM) — The Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, is gearing up to host the 10th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, SCRF, with a line-up of 2,600 cultural and literary events and activities.

As many as 134 publishers from 18 Arab and foreign nations, and 286 authors, poets and literary guests hailing from 121 countries, will come together to present an 11-day cultural extravaganza at a venue spanning 2,233 square metres.

Scheduled to run from 18th to 28th April at the Expo Centre Sharjah, under the theme, “Your Future Just a Book Away,” the SCRF 2018 will see many new attractions, the details of which were presented at a press conference by Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, on Monday at the SBA headquarters.

Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director-General of the Sharjah Media Corporation, SMC, Mohammed Al Amimi, Vice President of Business and Customer Relations at Etisalat, several SBA officials as well as numerous representatives of local and regional media, intellectuals and children’s literature enthusiasts were in attendance.

Al Ameri observed that it reflects the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to nurture future generations and empower them with intellect and knowledge, fostering their lives in a way that develops their knowledge and appreciation of diverse cultures.

He said that the SCRF’s rich programme of diverse activities has been designed in line with the guidance of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, SCFA, to offer the festival as a platform where world cultures meet to enrich one another with innovation and creativity.

Of the 134 participating publishers, the UAE tops the list with 62 representations, followed by Lebanon (22), Egypt (21), Jordan and the UK with five publishers each, in addition to companies from USA, South Korea and China, among others.

For the first time, workshops will be held in spaces that will be similar to labs where participants will enjoy a heightened level of interaction. It was revealed that some of these activities will be held in the same areas where publishers will set up their exhibition stands to bring children closer to books and other sources of knowledge while enabling parents to enjoy these events with their children.

The 3D book exhibition will also be a first-time SCRF attraction and bring together 250 pop-up books from the 3D Book Centre in the Italian city of Forli. The books on display will represent eight periods of time, starting with The Beginnings (1880), From Three Dimensions to Modelling (1920), The Birth of the Concept Model (1930), The Fan (1940), The Global Achievement (1950), Kopasta Books (1960), Phase of Modelling Books (1970), and finally, the New Amazing Millennium (2000).

Al Ameri noted that the Italian Board on Books for Young People will be celebrated as a Guest of Honour, with representation at the UAE Board on Books for Young People, UAEBBY, stand. This is a new step in furthering UAEBBY’s keen interest to extend bridges of cooperation with its international peers by bringing them to cultural events organised by Sharjah.

He pointed out that as part of a diverse cultural programme celebrating Italian culture, the UAEBBY will host several Italian authors and illustrators, most notably Italian children’s book author Beatrice Masini, illustrator Andrea Antinori, and expert Grazia Gotti.

Al Ameri outlined that SCRF 2018 will host the seventh edition of the Sharjah Children’s Books Illustrations Exhibition, which will feature 355 artworks by 104 illustrators and artists from 32 countries. This will include 29 artists from Arab countries and 67 illustrators from the rest of the world.

In her presentation, Khoula Al Mujaini, Events Coordinator at SBA, outlined the list of the headlining Arab and foreign authors and artists who will be seen partaking in this year’s activities.

The Director-General of SMC, said, “SCRF is the reflection of the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, and through the SMC we want media to raise the level of awareness of Sharjah’s cultural project. In Sharjah and the UAE, media efforts have gone hand in hand with our projects and initiatives like this reading festival that are big contributors to our efforts to creating a knowledge-based society.

“The SMC stands strongly by the side of this great event. It is not just an entertainment activity but something that will build future generations capable of taking on leadership roles. The event’s mission reflects the essence of the SMC that is to create capable generations of leaders who are enriched with the wisdom of global cultures.”

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