Sharjah: In a pioneering endeavour that marks a new milestone for Sharjah, FUNN, a Sharjah-based organisation dedicated to promoting media arts learning in children and youth, has launched a first-of-its-kind epic sci-fi animated television drama, Ajwan, on Shahid, Arabic content streaming platform in partnership with Dubai-based animation studio.
Starring Syrian singer and voice-over artist Rasha Rizq and renowned Egyptian actress Yusra, and actor Basel Khayat, the launch of the highly anticipated series was announced during a ceremony on Wednesday at the Sharjah Academy of Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology. The launch ceremony was held in the presence of Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN; Noura Al Noman, Emirati author of Ajwan; officials from various organisations, and media representatives.
The production of Ajwan, winner of the Best Young Adult Book award at the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature in 2013, reinforces the role of animation in instilling positive values and sheds light on the inner strength and capacity of women to overcome challenges.
Ajwan tells the story of a 19-year-old refugee girl who embarks on an interplanetary journey in search of her lost son after the world has been decimated by an asteroid, save for a few survivors now lost in space. The series, also featuring diverse alien characters in outlandish settings, chronicles her perilous journey in deep space where she encounters an evil alien organisation seeking to rule the galaxy.
Commenting on the launch, Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN, said: “We are proud to launch this ambitious new production that reflects the vision and belief of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, in the power of arts and creativity in building communities and paving the way for younger generations to be key partners in achieving the aspirations of their nations.”
The FUNN Director added: “The phenomenal production aligns with FUNN’s mission to invest in the potential of local and Arab creatives who are making qualitative strides in the Arab drama and film industry. The launch of Ajwan ushers in a new era of original creative output in the UAE that will spark creativity and give wings to the imagination of children and youth.”
For her part, the young adult science fiction author Noura al Noman said that Ajwan sends out a general message that literature has one role, which is to make humankind better. A more specific message concerns youth who are the key to our future and must not be used to fuel crises, she said.
The Emirati author added: “I wrote Ajwan as I firmly believe in the importance of targeting readers in the young adult category. The genre nurtures the intellect of children and instills values of curiosity and critical thinking to propel them to explore science, become future scientists, and serve humanity.”
The Ajwan television series is a collaboration between FUNN and Barajoun Entertainment. It was produced by Ayman Jamal and Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasim. The series was directed by Arafa Al Mughairi and Noor Al Sheikh Al Ard and the team of executive producers include Arif Jilani and Huda Ahmed Al Harmoudi.