Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival brings joy amid pandemic: Author

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Sharjah - Swaady Martin said the literary extravaganza was the “best event” she had been to in a ‘semi-pandemic’ world.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Wed 26 May 2021, 6:52 PM

At a time when Covid had deprived many of simple joys, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) is a “powerful visual message that happiness is still present in our lives”, a top author has said.

Swaady Martin, a writer and author from Ivory Coast who spoke at the festival at Expo Centre Sharjah, said the literary extravaganza was the “best event” she had been to in a ‘semi-pandemic’ world.

“Seeing the exuberance of joy on the faces of kids, and watching them run, draw, and be excited, is so inspiring and reassuring because that is the world we want to live in, and not one where are constantly in fear or in seclusion and isolation,” said the author, who is one of Africa’s most recognised changemakers.

Martin, who is on her first extensive visit to Sharjah, said that she was overwhelmed by a mix of emotions “on discovering what is being done in this emirate to nurture cultured citizens and people — it is both inspiring and mesmerising to see the impressive efforts of the visionary leadership in Sharjah in fostering the intellectual development of its people”.

The author of Malaika and the Angel, a two-part series featuring an uplifting collection of spiritual tales, also lauded the leadership of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association, in empowering authors and publishers across the pandemic-hit publishing markets of Africa.

“Her recent visit to Ivory Coast sent out a strong message of hope and optimism for future growth and is bolstering the transformation of an industry that is passing through difficult times,” she said.

The writer, who is also a consciousness activist and an entrepreneur of socially responsible businesses in Africa, said the pandemic has reinforced the need to build inner resilience from a young age to prepare children to face the challenges of life. She said: “By building on our inner thoughts, we create not only our individual reality, but it also empowers us to inspire each other and build our collective consciousness to pave the way for a more compassionate and kinder world.”

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