The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) drew the curtain on its 10th edition on Saturday, with the event attracting 247,000 visitors over its 11-day run, more than 52,000 of which were school students. Image Credit: PHOTO:SCRF

Sharjah: The 11-day Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) concluded its 10th edition on Saturday, with the event attracting 247,000 visitors, more than 52,000 of which were school students.

Organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), SCRF 2018 was held under the theme ‘Your Future … Just a Book Away’ at Expo Centre Sharjah from April 18 to 28.

The event saw the participation of 134 publishers and 268 authors, illustrators, poets, artists and academics from across the world, who engaged in a line-up of 2,600 cultural, educational and entertainment events.

SCRF 2018 witnessed 694 school visits and organised 1,059 specialised events for children that engaged 45 authors, illustrators and education experts hailing from 17 countries.

The festival also welcomed 13 guests from nine countries who presented 134 culinary events as well as a series of morning workshops and activities for school pupils and teachers.

Ahmad Al Ameri, chairman of SBA, said: “The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival goes from strength to strength in line with the vision of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and with the support of Shaikha Jawahar Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife od Dr Shaikh Sultan and chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, who are committed to providing every opportunity to contribute to the advancement of younger generations. Their visions stem from Sharjah’s firm belief in equipping future generations with determination, persistence, knowledge and culture.”

He added: “SCRF has never been merely a place for books, seminars and workshops, but an integrated event that has continued to help younger generations keep pace with the latest in science, literature and theatre, consolidating its role as a carnival of knowledge, learning and fun.”

For the first time, SCRF 2018 organised the ‘Future Machine’ exhibition, featuring a series of activities to appeal to young people and broaden their horizons in understanding science and technology, especially robotics and artificial intelligence.

Another new feature was the pop-up books exhibition showcasing 250 titles from as far back as the 1880s.

Prominent foreign guests included British children’s book author, Sibéal Pounder, American poet and author Mark Gonzalez, award-winning Indian children’s author Natasha Sharma, Indian actor and producer Varun Pruthi, British children’s author and illustrator Ed Vere, and American award-winning children’s author, Miranda Paul.