12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival Opens on May 19
The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has announced that the 12th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) will be held from May 19 – 29, 2021, at Expo Centre Sharjah, in strict adherence to all COVID-19 measures recommended by the UAE health authorities to ensure the safety of participants and visitors alike. Themed ‘For your imagination’, the globally renowned 11-day event will showcase the latest children’s literature by regional and international publishers, and see a host of writers and experts lead the young generation of readers on a journey of knowledge through an inclusive programme of cultural, scientific and recreational activities.
HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, emphasised the importance of SCRF as a developmental pillar which embodies the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA).
Al Ameri pointed out that this vision is aimed at fostering a sustained love of books, knowledge and culture amongst the youth, and turns the spotlight on the role of children as drivers of cultural and social progress. He added that the development of a rich literate environment would bolster knowledge and creativity in young minds, who will lead the UAE into a bright and sustainable future.
The SBA Chairman said, “This year, SCRF marks the beginning of a new chapter in reading and learning for children and young adults. Young visitors will enjoy new edutainment and cultural adventures, and learn in a fun-filled environment, which we believe is a must for nurturing generations with a genuine passion for exploring new subjects and applying the knowledge they gain in all areas of life.”
Khoula Al Mujaini, General Coordinator of Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, said that this year’s edition is being held under the theme ‘For your imagination’ because, “We want to emphasise to the young generations the importance of fuelling, encouraging and building their imagination to discover new worlds; to innovate, experiment and learn. For behind every great idea or innovation lies immersive imagination, which plays a key role in transforming someone’s vision into great new realities.”
“We, therefore, invite children and young adults in the UAE and all over the world to unleash their imagination at the multitude of exciting workshops and activities that will be taking place during SCRF 2021. These activities will give them a platform to have fun, make new discoveries, engage with their peers, share their ideas and portray their talents. Most importantly, the festival will be a feast for their imagination.”
Strict adherence to COVID-19 prevention protocols
The comprehensive COVID-19 preventative plan adopted by SBA for the festival includes a daily sanitisation drive throughout the venue’s halls and common areas, as well as thermal scanning at all access points, and placement of hand sanitiser stations across the venue. In addition, precautionary practices such as face masks and social distancing will be mandatory throughout the 11-day event.
The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is one of the most important cultural events dedicated to children and youth in the UAE and the Arab region. It seeks to promote a culture of reading and a passion to acquire knowledge in successive generations. Over the years, the festival has developed into an integrated cultural platform and social hub that allows visitors to meet their favourite writers and experts, and broaden their intellectual horizons with a variety of literary, cultural, scientific, and historical discussions and resources.