The National Library and Archives participated in the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival
The National Library and Archives, in cooperation with the Emirates Foundation for School Education (Taleem), participated in the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2023 with a number of activities for children. The NLA’s participation was based on its role in promoting loyalty and belonging, establishing national identity, and instilling the principles of good citizenship in the hearts of generations. The NLA’s participation was also due to its belief in the importance of promoting a culture of reading and its sustainability for the coming generations and its importance in acquiring knowledge, which elevates children in order to contribute to building the future of the country.
The National Library and Archives participated in a variety of activities that were part of the festival. The NLA hosted students who were distinguished for their participation in the national reading and educational project (writers 71). Students talked about their success in passing the interviews, and mentioned their distinctive experiences. They also referred to the enhancement of their talents in literary writing leading to excellence, winning creative writing awards and reading their stories to the festival audience.
The distinguished students from (writers 71) were able to attract the attention of their peers. They gave them advice that would benefit them in their careers of literary and nonfiction writing. The most important piece of advice included the continuation of reading and writing on a daily basis.
Moreover, it is noteworthy to mention that the national project (writers 71), launched by the Emirates Foundation for School Education in cooperation with The National Library and Archives aims to perpetuate reading as a sustainable habit among young people and society, improve the skills of gifted students in writing and research, and put them on the tracks of innovation. This national project was able to achieve the goal of discovering students with talents who deserve care and attention in order to be among the prominent writers in the future.
In addition, the National Library and Archives organized well-planned artistic and reading workshops on the NLA’s publications such as: (Zayed from Challenge to Union), and the NLA initiative’s publications such as (Zayed 100 Stories). At the festival, the National Library and Archives displayed educational cartoon films that enhanced children’s knowledge of domestic Emirati heritage, local etiquette and authentic traditions that shaped the identity of the community in the aftermath of passing down by the people of the Emirates, generation after generation. The NLA was keen to present these traditions in interesting ways through films of cartoon characters, which attracted the attention of children.
In its participation in the festival, the NLA assigned sufficient space to puppet theatre where children held in their hands small figures of cartoon characters (Hamad, Hessa, and Grandfather), moving them with their fingers while weaving and articulating interesting traditional stories putting them on the tongues of these characters. In order to enrich the information of children who visited the NLA’s platform, the NLA encouraged them to participate in the “march-game” created by the NLA and inspired by the biography of the founding leader, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The game is suitable for all ages and it aims to enhance the children’s knowledge of the history and heritage of the UAE.
Finally, it is noteworthy to mention that the NLA has developed an integrated educational system that aimed to direct the energies of students to targeted historical national programs, which contribute to the development of our society, build the student’s personality and strengthen the consolidation of national and ethical values as well as the lofty principles affirmed by our wise leadership. The National Library and Archives participated in this festival, characterized by positive and joyful atmosphere, and celebrated annually by Sharjah, the World Book Capital, as one of the most important family activities dedicated for children. It includes interactive, educational and entertainment activities that enrich the children’s knowledge and experiences and give them the opportunity to make new friends.