Kalimat Foundation, Emirati artist Mohamed Al Mansoori and Majid Al Futtaim entered into a joint collaboration to support ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) continued to be a huge draw among its visitors over the weekend, with new initiatives being announced and activities aplenty.

Support for ‘Pledge a Library’

Kalimat Foundation, Emirati artist Mohamed Al Mansoori and Majid Al Futtaim entered into a joint collaboration to support ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative.

“Fostering a culture of reading and knowledge is imperative for all societies. In a rapidly evolving world, change waits for no one, and therefore, it has become an absolute necessity to encourage reading and promote knowledge” Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Founder and Chairperson of Kalimat Foundation (KF), said during the launch event of a new product line carrying the designs of Emirati artist Mohammed Al Mansoori. The partnership aims to support the ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative, which empowers underprivileged and refugee children by ensuring their access to quality books and sources of knowledge, particularly in Arabic language.

The launch event, which took place during the KF’s participation at the 14th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), also saw an MoU signing ceremony attended by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi and Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, Managing Director of the UAE Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, to showcase the new product line and promote KF initiatives.

TikTok session

On Day 4, SCRF empowered Gen Z with TikTok Creative Centre tools and knowledge through a hands-on session, offering

The TikTok Session in progress. Image Credit: Supplied

key insights on effectively leveraging of the app’s tools to influence a wider audience.

Participants including social media influencers, content creators, and marketing professionals, were offered an in-depth introduction on the various features of TikTok.

Ikebana workshop

Another workshop this weekend introduced young artists to ikebana or the art of flower arrangement hailing from Japan.

Children participating in the Ikebana workshop. Image Credit: Supplied

The workshop was packed with mostly little girls, between the ages of five and 15, eager to learn how to arrange flowers - among them roses, tulips and small, white filler blooms - in the most artistically appealing way possible. The participants were given small ceramic pots filled with artificial foam and clay into which they were instructed to insert their blooms at different angles and heights. Before they arranged the flowers, the youngsters cut the floral stalks into varying lengths, slicing them at an angle to enable the maximum absorption of water, in order to make their arrangements last longer without drying out.

Stop motion workshop

Aspiring animators and media arts enthusiasts as young as five years also attended a stop motion animation at a kids’ workshop. The workshop unleashed children’s imaginations with a brief outline of stop motion animation followed by a demonstration of the techniques and equipment used in the creation process.

Culinary delights

The youngest certified chefs of the UAE, twins Abdulrahman and Maitha Al Hashimi, 14, served culinary gems to visitors on Saturday. Born to parents from engineering backgrounds, the siblings are the youngest chefs to receive diplomas from the International Centre for Culinary Arts in Dubai. They made two dishes - Chicken Teriyaki with fried rice, and Orzo Al Taybeen - as a blend of Emirati cuisine with Italian and Asian flavours. They used dates to blend in with the sauce for the Teriyaki-style chicken.

Sharjah Animation Conference gives publishers a rare opportunity

The inaugural Sharjah Animation Conference (SAC), orchestrated by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) at the Expo Centre Sharjah, has proven to be an unprecedented platform for visionary Arab and foreign publishers to congregate with the world’s most preeminent animation production companies. Publishers were granted a rare opportunity to showcase the imaginative ideas and rich content of their authors and illustrators whilst gleaning from the prodigious expertise of illustrious industry leaders. SAC further facilitated the forging of invaluable partnerships, whereby the animation industry can be propelled to new heights through harmonious cooperation.

A specially curated segment sought to bridge the divide between visionary regional and global animation producers, enterprising publishers of both established and nascent ilk, as well as forward-thinking industry newcomers and startups. This unique platform provided an unparalleled opportunity to discuss the intricacies of buying and selling book rights, with an emphasis on their potential for adaptation into the realm of cinematic or televisual entertainment. The discussions also featured a thoughtful exploration of the obstacles that currently hinder the smooth execution of such endeavours, with the aim of forging a more seamless path forward for all involved.