Look: Sharjah Ruler reads books with adorable kids as popular festival kicks off

Running until May 14, this year's SCRF will showcase the latest titles in children's literature from over 100 Arab and international publishers


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Wed 3 May 2023, 8:42 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 May 2023, 10:08 PM

It was all about kids and their love of books as the well-loved Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) kicked off its 14th edition on Wednesday — and no less the Ruler of Sharjah joined the UAE's young bibliophiles as they explored the thousands of titles on the shelves set up across the Expo Centre.

His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the event that will run until May 14.

As he toured the SCRF — the largest of its kind in the region — Sheikh Dr Sultan interacted with the children who just couldn't miss the first day of their favourite event. The Sharjah Ruler shook their hands and even sat down as they read some illustrated books.

This year, SCRF has brought together 141 Arab and international publishers and will be hosting as many as 1,732 events featuring 457 authors, artists, illustrators, and experts from 66 countries.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), said the SCRF enjoys the all-out support of Sheikh Dr Sultan and his wife, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) in Sharjah. For the emirate, children and families are the top priority.

Over the course of 12 days, the SCRF — with the theme 'Train your Brain' — will allow kids and families to pick up the latest titles in children's literature from 93 Arab and 48 foreign publishers.

Among the top participating countries in this edition are the UK, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the US, Australia, India, Pakistan, Algeria, and Iraq. This year, the UAE tops the list with 77 publishers, followed by Lebanon with 12 publishers.

What's in store for visitors

Besides books, the festival will set the stage for 946 events and 136 theatrical shows and performances, including a diverse range of workshops for children, ranging from arts to sports, science, and technology.

Children are in for lots of fun as there would be roaming shows, acrobat and music concerts led by 16 artists. Among the most notable activities to watch for are the comedy play Akbar the Great Nahi Rahe (performed in Hindi and Urdu) and the show Masaka Kids Africana, which has been performed around the world.

For the older visitors, there will be a diverse cultural programme of panel discussions and other events that shed light on some of the most critical issues facing the world today. Parents can also benefit from sessions that are focused on developing communication skills for children and nurturing their creative and intellectual skills and capabilities.

Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad
Photo by M. Sajjad

In terms of food, the Cookery Corner will feature over 33 culinary activities presented by 13 renowned chefs from nine countries.

Through the SCRF, the SBA which representing the government of Sharjah in term of Culture awareness make great efforts in provide important care for the literature and culture of the child and youth. This year’s festival will promote culture, thought and literature among children in all the emirates of the country.

During the Sharjah Ruler's visit, he also checked out the Comics Corner, which will be hosting 323 activities, including workshops, panel discussions, and a series of roaming shows led by 15 creatives from 4 countries.

Then, at the Social Media Station, influencers and content creators targeting all age groups will be coming together to present 72 activities for visitors.


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