Prominent figures from literature, education and culture engaged in the insightful discussion at SIBF. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which has been serving as a pivotal platform for intellectual exchange and creative discourse for 42 years, hosted an enlightening session centred around short story collections, Essential Messages by the wife of His Highness The Ruler of Sharjah, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) in Sharjah.

Published by Al Qasimi Publications in collaboration with the Cultural and Media Office of the SCFA, the book continues to serve as a beacon of wisdom and guidance for readers, writers, and literary enthusiasts alike.

Prominent figures from literature, education, and culture, namely Amira Boukdra, Noura Khoury, Reman Abdullah, and Nadia Al-Najjar, engaged in the insightful discussion moderated by Aisha El-Ajil. They highlighted the significance of the book’s core messages, which propelled them to embark on their individual literary works.

Essential Messages is a collection of stories - messages from a mother to her daughters, the mothers of the future. They are heartfelt messages that significantly impacted Emirati society, prompting the passing down of these messages to various readers through various writing styles.

The author Amira Boukdra stated that Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi shared her experience in the book advising mothers and fathers on raising their children. She pointed out that each message is essential, stating that the book is written in a straightforward manner, inspiring a generation of Emirati female storytellers to write children’s stories inspired by it.

Nadia Al-Najjar shared how she benefited from the book by employing the messages aimed at future generations about the importance of handicrafts. She mentioned that her literary work reinforces the message that Eimarati handicrafts are not just hobbies but also an essential part of the history of its citizens. In addition, she said she wanted to embody the message that modernity does not mean abandoning authentic heritage.

On considering storytelling as a medium to elaborate on value-based messages, Noura Al Khoury and Reman Abdullah shared that they focused on the messages emphasising the importance of utilising the available educational resources in today’s world for self-improvement. It is a learning process transforming the book’s great messages into literary narratives while safeguarding their appeal to young readers, Reman concluded.

The panel collectively acknowledged the profound impact of Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi’s work in igniting a collective consciousness and promoting the dissemination of positive ideals throughout the community.