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Positive learning

Using chess as a learning tool for students has a positive lasting impact on students, Alexandra Grishina, believes, as she conducted a workshop for students at the 37th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair.

Chess has a long history of 1,500 years, starting in the North of India and then spreading throughout the Asian continent and the rest of the world. The game and its rules changed within each region.

Kids learn play Chess during the SIBF 2018.
Kids learn play Chess during the SIBF 2018. Image Credit: Supplied

At the session, children were asked to identify the pieces and their movements. Then they were taught how to strategise simple moves. Following the demonstration, the kids played a game against each other under the watchful eyes of Grishina, who corrected moves and helped the students think creatively.

Building bridges

The Sharjah Book Authority curated a workshop titled “Building Bridges through Translation” to explore how unique features of culture described in a book could be translated. The workshop featured Tomoka Shibasaki, award-winning author; Ginny Takemori, translator; Ahmad Abdul Latif, novelist, translator, journalist, and researcher; and Naoko Kishida, Director of UAE-Japan Cultural Centre.

Kishida translated the book written by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, titled: Reflections on Happiness and Positivity. She also translated another book which involved pictorial representation of Palestinians.

One of the translators, Takemori said it is important to read literary work of other cultures when translating to enter a world that’s not your own and have a bigger perspective. “When I translate books from Japanese to English, I must enter the author’s fictional world. I need to understand the genre, conventions, dialogues and much more,” she said.

Lily Singh delights

With more than 21 million social media followers, it’s no surprise that YouTube superstar, entertainer, social media influencer, vlogger and all-round ‘Superwoman’ Lily Singh was a huge hit among young fans on Thursday at the Sharjah International Book Fair.

One of Canada’s highest paid YouTube stars, Singh began her YouTube channel in 2010 under the pseudonym Superwoman.

Talking about her first book, How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life, Singh helped to clarify the difference between a boss and a ‘bawse’.

“A boss is someone in the workplace that has done well, that people listen to. A bawse is someone that is conquering the world; they don’t just survive life, they conquer it,” she said adding, “There are no escalators to success. Only stairs.”

Writers share thoughts

The hot debate of whether real people or real-life events have any place in fiction took centre stage at the ‘Writers’ Use of Real People and Events’ panel session as part of the 37th Sharjah International Book Festival.

Award-winning novelist Akhil Sharma, writer and researcher Mariam Al Za’abi and novelist and storyteller Huzama Habaib exchanged their thoughts in the session moderated by Faraj Al Dhafiri.

Habaib said imagination is definitely needed when creating a work of fiction, although authors may also try to reinterpret or incorporate some of their own life experiences in their work.

“When I write about a character, it’s a recreation of reality; it includes many feelings and passion, real and imagined. It’s a mixture. This helps to make a layered character,” Habaib said.