SHARJAH, TGO: A group of beloved children’s authors, celebrated actors, and other luminaries of the Emirati and Arab arts and culture landscape will lead a host of exciting cultural activities at the 13th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), running for 12 days from 11th to 22nd May, 2022, at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Carrying the theme “Create Creativity”, the cultural extravaganza will feature more than 1,900 activities, including interactive workshops, live shows and plays, and vibrant panel discussions on various topics surrounding children’s literature and publishing.
This year, the SCRF will host Mohamed Henedi, a leading light of Egyptian cinema also renowned for his literary works for children. Syrian composer and singer, Tarek Alarabi Tourgane, best known for composing the theme songs for Arabic animated series, will be performing alongside his children.
Three female writers from the UAE are participating in the festival: author, Maryam Al Zarooni; Asma Al Zarooni, novelist, poet, and long-time member of the Emirates Writers Union, and award-winning writer Fatima Sultan Al Mazrouei, who hosts workshops on writing for children’s stories and has published more than 20 works.
Children’s authors Jekar Khourchid, Haitham Al-Khawaja and Mohannad Alakous, also from Syria, will appear, along with Omar Taher, Egyptian author of Kohl wa Habhan shortlisted for the Naguib Mahfouz Prize for Literature in 2021. In addition to his literary works, Taher has contributed to various newspapers and magazines and has written screenplays for several films, including Special Operations (2007), Super Henaidy (2008) and You Fly (2009).
Guests from Egypt also include media personality Qaswa Al Khalili; Essam Yousef, author of A ¼ Gram; and children’s authors Fatima Al Zahra Mukhtar; Effat Barakat; Amal Farah, one of the most prominent children’s writers in Egypt and the Arab region; and artist Magdy El Kafrawy.
The SCRF will also welcome Dr. Fadia Daas, Jordanian author of more than 38 stories for children; Dr. Tariq Ahmed Al Bakri, author of 50 Children’s Short Stories, from Lebanon, and Mohammad Jaraq, winner of the Kuwait incentive award in children’s literature.
Poet and author Falah Hashem, Sondos Al-Ajram, and illustrator Intelaq Ali, from Iraq, will also participate. They will be joined by writers Jaafar Al Diri from Bahrain, Hamoud bin Ali Al Tawqi from Oman, and Mizouni Bannani, winner of the 2021 Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the “Children’s Literature” category for his book Rehlat Fannan (An Artist’s Journey).