Eleven esteemed Arab authors and artists will be involved in the 12th iteration of the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, which will run from May 19 to 29 at the Expo Centre Sharjah.
The 11-day event, organised by Sharjah Book Authority, will run under the theme "For Your Imagination". The prominent names will take part in a series of discussions, some of which will be held in person, with strict Covid-19 safety measures in place, while others will be organised online.
In total, 27 authors from 15 countries will be taking part, alongside 172 publishers, and more than 500 activities are planned, including a series of theatrical shows and workshops, as well as cookery sessions and a literary competition, among others.
Egyptian actor and comedian Ahmed Amin, who is also a writer and presenter, is among those taking part. He is best known for his viral video 30 Sayna (30 seconds) and for presenting a comedy show called Al Plateau in 2016.
Children's author Nisreen Jaafar Al Noor, from Bahrain, will also make an appearance, as well as Omani poet Wafa Al Shamsi, who has published fiction and plays, and won a number of awards for her work.
Emirati artist and illustrator Aysha Al Hemrani will also bring her brand of digital art, which takes inspiration from her home country’s pop culture, taking aesthetic cues from her childhood.
Others on the bill include celebrated children’s authors Tayeb Adib from Egypt, Fida Al Zumar from Jordan and Heba Ismail Mandani from Kuwait, as well as Saudi media personality Faraj Al Dhafeeri.
Iraqi critic Hussein Ali Harf, an expert in child and youth affairs, as well as puppetry and school theatre, will also be joined by Kuwaiti author and Sheikh Zayed Book Award winner Huda Al Shawwa Qadoumi.
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, says they promise a "very special treat" for children with the event. "We are sure that the amazing activities we have lined up will encourage young participants to unleash and advance their skills. We say to our children: follow your dreams. With your imagination, we will create a wonderful future together."
Among the international authors taking part are US writers Matt Lamothe, Ambika Anand Prokop, Kevin Sherry, Nanette Heffernan and Abby Cooper; UK talents Curtis Jobling, Aisha Bushby, Katie and Kevin Tsang, Fransie Frandsen and Sebastian de Souza; Swaady Martin from Ivory Coast; Misako Rocks from Japan; Claudia Rueda from Colombia; Dinara Mirtalipova from Uzbekistan; and Zenubia Arsalan from Pakistan.
More information is at www.scrf.ae/en