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Sultan opens 6th Sharjah kids’ reading fest
By Imran Mojib April 16, 2014
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Sharjah: Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi on Tuesday opened the 6th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2014), and announced that Dhs2 million would be spent to support the participating publishing houses and for the purchase of children’s books for schools and nurseries.

The 11-day festival, which is taking place at Expo Centre Sharjah, is being participated by 124 publishing houses from 17 countries. More than 175 Arab and foreign men of letters, writers, intellectuals, artists, and academicians will take part in the 1,694 events planned during the festival.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Sultan emphasised the importance of encouraging children to create their own books and to help them in creating ideas that are in line with their wide imagination.

Earlier, he visited the 1001 Inventions Exhibition, the largest global touring exhibition, which highlights a thousand years of scientific and cultural achievements during the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation. The interactive exhibition is being held on the sidelines of the SCRF 2014.

He listened to a presentation by Ahmed Salim, producer and director of 1001 Inventions, who lauded the facilities offered by Sharjah. Salim underlined that the exhibition, which has attracted more than 4million visitors from all over the world, is being organised at this particular time, to coincide with the emirate’s celebrations marking the selection of Sharjah as Capital of Islamic Culture.

Later, he opened the third Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrators. With the participation of 96 professional artists from around the world, this exhibition has become one of the leading art shows dedicated to showcasing professional children’s book illustrations on a global level.

On this occasion, Sheikh Sultan also awarded six outstanding illustrators. Egyptian illustrator Walild Taher who was in first place was awarded a cash prize of $8,000, followed by Mexican illustrator Marianna Felanoyva, who won a cash prize of $6,000, while Italian Francesca Fenyaga came in the third place with a cash prize of $4,000. The winners of the three incentive prizes of $1,000 each included Andria Pikllar from Slovenia, and Leire Salaberria and Yolanda Mosquera from Spain.

He also visited the UAE Board on Books for Young People, the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature and on a board at the stand he wrote, “To the participants of the Etisalat award for Children’s Literature, we invite you to take part, we wish you safety and hope that we receive you with much love and respect in Sharjah.”

During a stopover at the stand of the Knowledge Without Borders (KWB) project, he gifted them a children’s library under the banner of Sharjah, the Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 and he ordered that the library would be placed in the public library in Sharjah so that it may serve the largest number of children.

Etisalat award

Sharjah: Sheikh Sultan attended the launch of the 6th Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, one of the region’s largest and most important children’s literature awards. The launch took place during the Sharjah Ruler’s visit to the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature’s stand at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, on Tuesday.

The new edition of the award  will be organised this year under the theme “Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital.”

Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi said: “We strive through the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature and other initiatives related to children’s culture to make a long-term investment in children and to lay a solid foundation upon which to build the future generations who are, in their turn, responsible for building the future of our nations.

“The Award helps to enrich the Arab children’s culture and provides them with necessary skills and knowledge to play a better role in the future development of their nation. We will continue our investment in the culture and knowledge of our children, based on our belief that every child has the right to access high quality books and the appropriate tools to stimulate their cognitive development. We have the greatest confidence in the abilities of the current generation to continue achieving the highest levels of success to the benefit of their communities and countries and will continue to do everything in our power to support them in all their endeavours.”

The UAEBBY announced the issuance of a postcard featuring the emblem of the Award to mark the launch of the 6th edition. The Board will distribute postcards to children and young adults visiting the Festival, who will be asked to write special invitations to publishers, urging them to participate in the Award. These postcards will be then distributed to publishing houses across the World.

The Dhs1 million Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature aims to support and develop the children’s book industry in the Arab World and to recognise the outstanding books which address topics that enrich children’s literature and encourage publishers, authors and illustrators to produce creative children’s books in the Arabic language.

App launch for SBFC

Sharjah: Sheikh Sultan attended the launch ceremony of an electronic application for the Sharjah Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign (SBFC). The emirate-wide campaign is an initiative launched in March 2012 under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. Its aim is to establish a healthier life for a future generation by providing a mother-friendly environment that will enable them to start breastfeeding at public places in Sharjah. This initiative will help to make the emirate more baby-friendly by 2015.

The launch of the ceremony took place at the SBFC stand at the 6th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival on Tuesday, during Sheikh Sultan’s visit to the stand in the presence of Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and SBFC Chairperson.

Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Director of the Executive Committee of SBFC, demonstrated the features of the new application which will help introduce the campaign to users of smartphones and tablets inside the UAE and abroad, and convey the campaign’s messages and objectives for a larger audience across the globe. She said the campaign boosts Sharjah’s role in civilisation, not only as the capital of Islamic and Arabic culture, but also as a capital of children’s rights and women’s empowerment.

Family court

SHARJAH: Sheikh Sultan has ordered the establishment of a family court in Sharjah Courts and an office for settling family disputes, based on a report submitted to him by the Family Development Centres, according to Sarah Mahmoud.

The order is aimed at maintaining the dignity of families, taking the privacy and secrecy of their life into account and avoiding any psychological harm to women while passing through the corridors of the courts.

In his telephone conversation with the Direct Line programme transmitted live on Sharjah Radio and TV on Tuesday, Sheikh Sultan explained that the Family Development Centresí report reflected the actual sufferings of families, particularly women, while being accompanied by their children and having to visit courts and court departments which would reflect negatively on them.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Sultan instructed the Department of Human Resources to keep the salaries of the Transport Authority employees as they were before they joined the Roads and Transport Authority.

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