Sharjah: Dh2.5 million has been allocated for the purchase of new titles for Sharjah public libraries from Arab and foreign publishers participating in the ongoing Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).
It follows a directive by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. This annual tribute is in line with Dr Shaikh Sultan’s efforts to equip the emirate’s public libraries with high-quality and latest books and other knowledge resources for children and youth in the UAE.
Ahmad Al Ameri, chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, said: “The allocation of the grant under the directives of the Ruler of Sharjah is an annual reminder of the importance of supporting and ensuring the continued growth of the book and knowledge industries in the UAE and beyond. The move also reiterates the key role of libraries in Sharjah’s comprehensive cultural project, and the importance of facilitating access to the latest titles in varied formats for all readers.”
Right to play
At SCRF, Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) is highlighting and promoting children’s right to play. At its interactive pavilion that features a swing, SCFO is showing visitors, especially parents and children, the importance of unstructured play as stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in alignment with the UAE Child Protection Law (Wadeema).
The entity has taken the opportunity to encourage children to play, given its importance in aiding both their physical and psychological development. SCFO also seeks to underline that play is a key to unlocking several talents and capabilities in children and enables them to gain essential life skills.
Throughout the festival, SCFO will raise the awareness of visitors through a competition that requires visitors to take pictures inside the pavilion and upload them on Instagram using the hashtag #Sharjahchildfriendly. A cash prize will be given to two randomly-selected winners before the conclusion of SCRF 2021 on May 29.
Themed ‘For Your Imagination’, SCRF 2021 is hosting 172 publishers from 15 countries who are showcasing their latest books in all genres, including children’s literature, sciences, comics and stories and novels in different languages. The annual 11-day event runs till May 29 at Expo Centre Sharjah, under precautionary measures for COVID-19. SCRF runs daily from 4pm to 10pm (10am to 8pm on Saturdays). Visitors need to register online or at the venue to enter; admission is free for all members of the public.
Along with 16 authors from the Arab region, 16 international authors are also taking part in event, which has 537 activities such as children’s workshops, performances and cooking shows.
The pavilion is also educating participants and visitors at SCRF 2021 on SCFO’s programmes and initiatives, in addition to promoting Sharjah as the region’s first ‘Child Friendly City’ as part of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities initiative.
Meanwhile, the ‘Crazy Lab’ workshop at SCRF is welcoming young ‘scientists’ to experiment with easily available materials to learn about simple concepts in science in a fun manner. Young kids aged six to nine are engaged in a hands-on project that explores concepts of liquid density and chemical reactions as they set about building a ‘Lava Lamp’.