Sharjah Ruler opens 13th annual Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival
The region’s largest cultural festival for children and youth will run a 12-day course for the first time in its history & host several new attractions like daily storytelling sessions, a Robot Zoo, and more
Sharjah, May 11, 2022
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated on Wednesday, in the presence of Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the 13th annual edition of the Sharjah Children’s Book Fair (SCRF), which runs for 12 days from May 11 – 22 in Expo Centre Sharjah, and carries the theme ‘Create Creativity’.
The Ruler of Sharjah was received at the festival venue by HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; Sheikh Salem bin Abdul Rahman bin Salem Al Qasimi, Head of the Office of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah; Sheikh Sultan bin Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Director of the Department of Statistics and Community Development (DSCD) in Sharjah, heads of local departments, senior officials, writers, and media representatives.
The grand opening of the annual festival that promotes books, culture and creativity in children and youth was marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony, after which His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi watched a musical performance by Sharjah Children, and then began a tour of the SCRF pavilions. During the tour, The Sharjah Ruler was briefed on the various festival attractions, participating publishers as well as educational and cultural entities.
Two young Emiratis, Mohammed Sami Saif Al Haj and Fatima Ahmad Obaid, accompanied His Highness on this briefing tour which explained ways in which the programme has been designed to reinforce Sharjah’s keen focus on nurturing the young generations.
The Ruler of Sharjah also toured the pavilions of the Emirates Foundation, Sharjah Education Council, the Sharjah Private Education Authority, and the Ministry of Education, where representatives highlighted their respective efforts to advance tools available for education. His Highness also reviewed the latest publications in these pavilions that seek to encourage the habit of reading in children.
His Highness also visited the pavilions of government institutions operating in the field of publishing, as well as those that work in the field of caring for and educating children, namely, Rubu’ Qarn Foundation for Creating Leaders and Innovators, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, the Sharjah Police General Directorate, the Department of Culture, Kalimat Group, Sharjah Institute For Heritage, the Department of Statistics and Community Development, the Health Education Department and the Child Safety Department of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, the UAE Board on Books for Young People, Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, and others.
His Highness was briefed on a number of activities and events designed to nurture and develop children’s skills in various creative and scientific fields, before concluding the visit with a tour of the Sharjah Children’s Book Illustration Exhibition, which has curated the works of talented illustrators of children’s books hailing from 48 countries.
Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), SCRF 2022 which runs for 12-days, will be home to 139 publishers from 15 countries, including 76 publishers from the UAE; Lebanon 15; Egypt, Syria, and Jordan seven each; and United States five. Kuwait, Qatar, Sudan, Morocco, India, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq are the other participating countries.
SCRF 2022 brings together authors and creatives of global renown to lead more than 1,900 activities, including vibrant panel discussions on a variety of topics central to children’s literature and publishing. The festival’s agenda is segregated into 1,140 child activities, 120 cultural activities and 130 artistic performances and theatre productions. Meanwhile, the Social Media Station will host 12 influencers and content creators who will lead 25 workshops and activities, in addition to 30 culinary activities presented by eight renowned chefs from seven countries at the Cookery Corner.
The festival’s agenda includes 120 cultural activities led by 43 international guests from 21 countries. The guests include Mohamed Henedi, Egyptian actor and comedian; Kyle Balda, American animator and the director of Minions, Jumanji, and Toy Story 2; composer and singer Tarek Alarabi; in addition to authors and creatives from the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, countries from the African continent and Russia.
SCRF 2022 will host the 10th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Book Illustration Exhibition, where 23 workshops and 296 artists and illustrators from 48 countries will exhibit their works. The artists include 77 from Arab nations and 219 from around the world.
This year’s edition will bring together more than 50 publishers and illustrators from 12 countries at the Children’s Book Makers Platform (Ufuq). The platform aims to promote children’s books in Arabic that feature high-quality visual content capable of attracting Arab speakers worldwide.
The festival is supported by a host of sponsors and partners, including Etisalat (official sponsor), Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (official media partner), and Expo Centre Sharjah (strategic partner).
SCRF 2022 will host the inaugural edition of the Booksellers Conference from May 15 – 16. The first of its kind in the world, the conference will bring together more than 200 distributors from around the world to the SBA headquarters to discuss ways to strengthen and advance the publishing sector and distribution channels in order to facilitate the reach of knowledge sources to the public.