Sharjah: Cartoon characters Hamdan and Alia are the new mascots of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD).

The move is geared at attracting the younger generation to the many fun and educational activities carried out by the museums.

The SMD’s Organising Committee, which is responsible for International Museums Day celebrations, said the official announcement of Hamdan and Alia as mascots will be part of a three-day programme of SMD events and workshops starting today and ending on Sunday at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation.

The programme is in line with the 2013 theme for International Museums Day titled ‘Museums: Memory + Creativity = Social Change’, as nominated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

The idea of having Hamdan and Alia as mascots first emerged in 2008 when the museum developed the colourful, attractive storybook, ‘Hamdan and Alia at the Archaeology Museum’. The book was aimed at children in the 7-12 years age group with the intention of introducing them to the museum and developing in them a love for the archaeological history of their country.

The main characters of the book, Hamdan and Alia, are a brother and sister whose voracious curiosity leads them on a fun family adventure to the Sharjah Archaeology Museum where they explore the Emirate’s rich history through the many collections on display.