The eighth edition of the international literary event, the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) was inaugurated by the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The annual event is organized by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA).
This year is themed, Shine Out because according to HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, "the true word is like a lamp whose light will spread to illuminate the world," Additionally, the year 2016 has been declared the Year of Reading in the UAE in an effort to create a generation of book lovers and to position the UAE as a global capital for culture and knowledge.
SCRF 2016 includes participation from 130 publishers representing 15 countries. During its 11-day span, SCRF will host 1,518 cultural, educational, and arts and entertainment events giving children and their families an opportunity to purchase the latest books and gain new skills through a variety of training workshops, hands-on activities, and educational events.
Mr. Ameri calls The Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, "well established as the ideal family extravaganza." The festival has developed a reputation since its inception as being a family event for all generations where all family members can share the love of reading and the pursuit of knowledge. SCRF has become renowned as a platform for participants to learn about other cultures; discover new ways of acquiring knowledge, and enjoy engaging educational programming and entertainment activities. SCRF celebrates all children by placing them at the focus of attention.
A notable highlight of this year's SCRF is the Beyond Planet Earth exhibit. The spectacular traveling exhibition comprises a collection of mini-presentations that take visitors on a virtual reality journey to explore the future and the possibilities of space flight. Beyond Planet Earth's interactive features include the adventurous Solar System Theatre; Returning to the Moon, where visitors have the opportunity to experience what the moon smells like; Exploring Asteroids and Voyaging to Mars, with each feature designed to take the intrepid traveller on a tour of our solar system and beyond. Visitors can leave with a special photo souvenir of one of five different space scenes.
Sharjah's Children's Reading Festival began with a belief that reading must be nurtured with love and fun in children from an early age in order to empower them with intellect and knowledge and today SCRF is a best-in-class children's reading event. SCRF promotes a love of reading in children; helps them identify their talents and interests; provides experiences for them acquire knowledge; and enables them to develop their capabilities through showcase programs such as the Kids Creative Cafe, the Little Innovator Café, the Cookery Programme, and the Social Media Café. This year's Sharjah Children's Reading Festival will conclude on April 30th.