UAE: 12-day Sharjah Children's Reading Festival to witness 190 guests from 25 countries

Sharjah Book Authority will also organise the 2nd edition of the Sharjah Animation Conference from May 1 to 5

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Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri CEO of Sharjah Book Authority. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri CEO of Sharjah Book Authority. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Thu 4 Apr 2024, 6:37 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Apr 2024, 6:09 PM

More than 1,400 cultural, artistic, and edutainment activities by 190 guests from 25 countries will set the stage for boundless explorations and creative expression along with 470 publishers from 75 countries at the upcoming 15th annual Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) next month.

Organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), and set to take place from May 1 to 12 at Expo Centre Sharjah, the region’s largest event dedicated to nurturing the imaginations of young heroes, carries the theme ‘Once Upon a Hero’ this year.


The cultural agenda for SCRF 2024 as well as the details of the 3rd annual edition of the Booksellers Conference, which will take place in the lead up to SCRF on April 27-28, were announced during an official press conference at the SBA headquarters on Wednesday.

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The 3rd edition of the Booksellers Conference, which will take place in the lead up to SCRF on April 27-28, brings together booksellers, distributors, and publishers from the region and around the world for discussions of business issues and best practices.

SBA will also organise the 2nd edition of the Sharjah Animation Conference (SAC), from May 1 to 5 in Expo Centre Sharjah, bringing together renowned animators, artists, creatives, thinkers and other industry leaders at this first-of-its-kind event.

"We firmly believe that children's minds are not mere receptacles for information but rather beacons waiting to be ignited. Drawing a crucial distinction between the two concepts, the former implies a child burdened with knowledge they may not comprehend how to apply, whereas the latter empowers them to envision clear paths, utilise their existing abilities, and continuously explore new horizons,” Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri CEO of Sharjah Book Authority, said.

Khawla Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of Sharjah Children's Reading Festival. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad
Khawla Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of Sharjah Children's Reading Festival. KT Photo: Muhammad Sajjad

Khawla Al Mujaini, the General Coordinator of SCRF, said: “The 15th edition of SCRF will unfold under the theme ‘Once Upon a Hero,’ to impress upon the influence that the written word has in sculpting the futures of our children. The act of reading can be easily likened to a journey into the depths of our own beings that ultimately ends in cultivating our imagination, forging our character and shaping our lives. Through this festival, we nurture generations who recognise the true potential of reading as the key to change and development. We are shaping young minds who strongly believe that they are the heroes of their own stories, capable of limitless creativity and innovation.”

50 enlightening discussions

The SCRF 2024 cultural programme will highlight the importance of nurturing children's communication skills and creativity, and delve into other significant debates during 50 enlightening discussions led by 71 esteemed guests from 25 countries. American bestselling author and illustrator Jerry Craft, American author Stacey Baer, Malaysian author and trainer Ying Ying Ng, and Georgian author Dr. Leah Shalvashvili are amongst the top global luminaries joining the festival.

The Arab world will be represented by distinguished figures such as Syrian academic Dr. Taleb Omran, Algerian scholar Dr. El Aid Jlouli, and Omani poet Wafaa Al Shamsi. The festival will also feature prominent cultural and literary figures from the UAE, including Aisha Batti Al Shamsi,

Rashid Al Rahmani, and Nadia Al Najjar, fostering a rich exchange of ideas and celebrating the diversity of cultural expressions.

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