SHARJAH, 10th May, 2022 (WAM) — The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) kicks off its long-awaited 13th edition tomorrow under the theme “Creating Creativity” at the Expo Center Sharjah.
Organized annually by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the festival is under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and His Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. It’s the biggest children’s reading event in the region.
This year’s dynamic 12-day program includes more than 1,900 activities, including 1,140 children’s activities, 120 cultural activities and 130 artistic performances and theater productions. Regionally and internationally recognized cultural figures including renowned authors and poets, publishers, artists, film actors, inspirational young prodigies, culinary experts, social media influencers and others will present a range exciting activities.
For the first time ever, SCRF 2022 will unveil the Robot Zoo, which is a massive exhibit of eight animal robots built to look like creatures in the wild. Based on the book The Robot Zoo by London publisher Marshall Editions, the zoo is designed to pique the interest of children curious to learn more about animal behavior.
One of the highlights of the 13th edition of SCRF is the inaugural Booksellers’ Conference, a unique event of its kind in the world, which will bring together more than 200 regional and international booksellers, distributors and publishers to network, explore new market opportunities and discuss ways to strengthen the industry.
True to tradition, SCRF will feature a stellar selection of 43 international authors from 21 countries who will host 120 engaging cultural activities. Prominent names include Emirati writers Maryam Al Mazrouei, Asma Al Zarooni and Fatima Sultan Al Mazrouei; Radiya Hafiza, British author of Rumaysa: A Fairytale and Rumaysa: Ever After; and Egyptian Omar Taher, author of Kohl wa Habhan.
139 publishers from 15 countries around the world will showcase their works at SCRF 2022. The Children’s Book Creators Platform (Ufuq), which aims to promote Arabic children’s books with high-quality visual content, will return to bring together more than 50 Emiratis and Arab publishers and illustrators.
Festival halls will be teeming with creativity, hosting luminaries of arts and culture from the Arab world and beyond, including Kyle Balda, American animator and director of the hit films Minions, Jumanji and Toy Story 2; illustrator Intelaq Ali from Iraq; and Mohamed Henedi, a figurehead of Egyptian cinema, also renowned for his literary works for children.
In addition to the brass band, no less than 130 performances of four live shows and two plays will be staged to arouse the interest and curiosity of the younger generation in the field of the performing arts. Programs include a new musical adaptation of the timeless Scholastic edutainment book series The Magic School Bus, a breathtaking ice skating show, the romantic tragedy Zetura, and more.
Celebrity chefs and cookbook authors including Ciara Atwell and Dario Stephen will host the ever-popular Cookery Corner while the Social Media Station, another annual attraction, will host 25 hands-on activities led by 8 influencers and content creators.
The SCRF will also 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.
SCRF 2022 will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday; Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.