Sharjah: Over 22,000 students from 185 schools from across the UAE have attended the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) so far, where they participated in various activities ranging from book forums, reading sessions, to arts and theatre events.

The Children’s programme interactive events are divided into several sessions such as the house of arts, creative corner, vision, spectra, Origami, and a colours corner that takes place throughout the day until 10pm.

School children were also given the opportunity to learn office organisation skills at the creative corner.

“We teach the children how to organise, file and archive different papers,” said Ahmad Osman, head of Electronic Archiving and Development at Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage.

Children are also taught about the types of recycling bins at the office and talked through the classification and indexing process of different documents. “We also show them how to scan papers and teach them about electronic archiving on the computer,” added Osman.

Other corners such as the House of Art, the colouring corner, spectra, and vision offered children different workshops on paper folding Origami skills, handcrafts, sketching, painting and clay modelling of cartoon characters.

Along with the range of activities, clown performances gathered a wide audience of school children in several dances and sing-a-longs.

A children’s literature forum organised by the Arab Children’s Book Publishers Forum yesterday also gathered school children in a story telling session which used music to deliver the morals of the story.

The tale of zoo animals coming together to protect their environment taught the audience about the importance of team work, recycling, the types of pollution, and the spreading of environmental awareness within the community.

Interactive sessions along with additional literature workshops such as inspirational discussions with students and children’s literature workshops will continue to be held during the upcoming days of the fair.

“The management, in collaboration with a number of government and private organisations and school administrations, had prepared a rich cultural programme that includes 200 children-oriented activities in this year’s children’s programme,” said Ahmad bin Rakkad Al Amri, SIBF Director.

The 11-day kids programme is being facilitated by specialists in children’s affairs as well as children representing various countries, including the UAE, Korea, Sweden, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Tunisia, and France.

Meanwhile, a discussion panel titled “The Relation between Author and Publisher” was held at the Literary Forum on the sidelines of the Fair.

The discussion featured two speakers author Mohammad Al Mazrouei, Head of Emirates Writers Union in the Abu Dhabi branch and publisher Jamal Al Shehhi Founder and CEO of Kuttab Publishing, who exchanged ideas and addressed the challenges they each face.

The speakers summarised the importance of creating fruitful collaboration between publishers and writers so that they are able to work to their full potentials.

The speakers also pointed out the need to actively develop the distribution sector, and touched on methods that should be adopted from countries with advanced and successful publishing and authorship traditions. The session was attended Her Excellency Shaikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi.