Heads up, kids: Sharjah's reading festival is coming up next month
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority giving his presentation on the launch of Sharjah Childrens Reading Festival 2019.-Photo by M. Sajjad
Sharjah - The 11-day reading festival will run under the theme 'Explore Knowledge' and will be dedicated to the children and youth of the UAE.
Thousands of fun activities and events - featuring 198 cultural personalities from 56 countries - are all lined up to capture kids' imagination at the 11th Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF), set to kick off next month.
A total of 2,546 events will be hosted throughout this year's SCRF, which will be held at Sharjah Expo Centre starting April 17.
Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the 11-day reading festival will run under the theme 'Explore Knowledge' and will be dedicated to the children and youth of the UAE.
"Since its inception, the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival has been a hive of reading and the expression of creativity," Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of the SBA, said during a Press conference for the event on Tuesday night.
"It has opened the doors of knowledge and culture to young generations and most importantly, highlighted the importance of making reading a life-long habit, in line with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi."
The festival will showcase a multitude of publications from 167 publishers of 18 countries, with the UAE topping the list with 62 participating publishers. Lebanon comes next with 25 participants and Egypt with 12, Al Ameri said.
He pointed out that this edition's theme, 'Explore Knowledge', seeks to encourage the youth to be curious, to explore and question, and to read and learn.
Salem Al Ghaithi, director of Sharjah TV, referred to the SCRF as "one of the top events in the region that blends knowledge, entertainment, fun and education".
"It fosters a culture of willingness to explore knowledge and enables us to further our dedication to realising the vision of the Ruler of Sharjah, who keeps reminding us that children and the youth play a key role in promoting our culture and civilisation," Al Ghaithi said.
Highlighting the series of workshops, competitions and activities for this year's festival, Khoula Al Mujaini, director of fairs and festivals at the SBA, revealed that a host of renowned Arab artists and scholars would be attending the event.
The personalities include Abdelrahman Abo Zahra and Shaimaa Saif from Egypt; Qamar Al Safadi from Jordan; Haifa Hussein from Bahrain; Falah Ahmad from Iraq; Amani Al Baba from Palestine; and Yacoub El Sharouni, Hafedh bin Dhaifallah, along with Nora Al Noman, Dubai Belhoul and Mariam Al Zarouni, from the UAE.
Carter Higgins from the US; Sha'an d'Anthes, Ruby Lovell, Sonya Saidman and Zanib Mian from the UK; Juliette Maclver from New Zealand; Catherine Doyle from Ireland; Sergei Urban from Latvia, among several other literary celebrities, are also part of the programme.