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Sharjah Literature: Promoting Peace And Freedom Of Expression

SHARJAH, UAE – The world’s largest book fair aimed at children, Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, has attracted a record number of people.

This month 306,000 people attended the event in Sharjah, in the UAE, a small increase on last year’s figure of 305,000.

Leading publisher and member of Sharjah’s ruling family Sheikha Bodour Bint Al Qasimi said during the event that it is her lifelong mission to get children reading to promote peace and understanding and reduce bigotry, hate and violence.

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival has particular relevance this year as the emirate has been named UNESCO World Book Capital 2019.

Poetry and creative writing workshops, a talk by a young social media star and sessions about child geniuses were included in the 11-day programme at Sharjah’s Expo Centre. Competitions and cookery workshops were also in the itinerary as well as workshops for young illustrators.

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is one of two annual book events in the emirate. Sharjah International Book Fair has been running since 1982 and is in the top three book fairs in the world.

Hira Hareem, an exhibitor from Pakistan, said: “People are more inclined to gadgets now – iPhones,

iPads, YouTube – and books are losing their importance. We feel this festival and festivals like these are a great opportunity because this is how you bring them closer to books.”

Sheikha Bodour said: “It is my lifelong mission to get children to enjoy books. I’m a mum of four children and for me what I really like to see is for children to enjoy books. It’s not about education and learning because they do that at school. What I like to offer them at home is for them to have pleasure from reading a story. For them to laugh, to cry, for them to get connected to the stories and that for me is a joy.”

As Vice President of International Publisher’s Association Sheikha Bodour is also a strong advocate for freedom of expression and aiming to bring the UAE’s leading publishing experience to global markets. “It’s important for us to allow our authors that platform where they can freely say what they want and also express themselves freely.”

The city was selected by UNESCO because of its “innovative, comprehensive and inclusive nature” towards reading and its proposals to engage the large migrant population. During Ramadan Sharjah is also running a special program, distributing books to refugee camps in the Middle East.

 

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Legendary Arabian Nights Tale Becomes 4D Show Spectacular

SHARJAH, UAE, April 24, 2019 – A breath-taking stage show by the masterminds of the Beijing and Sochi Olympic ceremonies has premiered in Sharjah in the UAE.

1001 Nights:The Last Chapter was inspired by the Arab world’s legendary anthology of folk tales and was staged to celebrate the emirate’s UNESCO World Book Capital 2019 title. At the end of the five-day run at the Al Majaz Amphitheatre this week, production bosses will commence discussions about taking the show on a worldwide tour.

The production was conceived 12 months ago and blends circus performers, dance artists, 4D screen projection and a 50-piece orchestra. It includes 537 theatre artists and acrobats, innovators, technologists and storytellers from 25 countries.

The Last Chapter was pieced together by directors, performers and musicians around the globe with theatrical rehearsals in Montreal, technical work completed in London and Canada and music recorded in Prague and rehearsed in Armenia. Director of Creation Philippe Skaff, who worked on the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, said staging a show based on 1001 Nights was a challenge because so many shows had covered the theme before.

Show director Sebastien Soldevilla, who worked on the Sochi Winter Games ceremonies, said: “If you had to take a lesson out of 1001 Nights, it would be about the power that storytelling has on people across the world.”

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IGCF Conf 2019 “Indian School Leads Global Movement To Change Education”

lt’s a question that education experts are trying to answer.

How do we prepare children for a technologically advanced world where 65% of today’s jobs will disappear?

Riverside School in India believes it has the answer and has started exporting its model around the world. With the motto ‘I Can’, children as young as four work with local organisations to solve real problems and graduate believing they can achieve their dreams.

Pupil Preya Patel

Students have successfully rebuilt a new butterfly garden for the community, helped with a local sanitation problem and created a new ice cream flavour which they marketed and sold, donating profits to terminally ill children. Teaching methods involve getting the pupils to experience topics first hand.

Riverside teacher Niall Walsh sot

The strategy has the full support of parents who say their children are responsible, mature and ready for life’s twists and turns.

Parent Shweta Garg sot

Riverside pupils have not only been successful in improving the world around them, they have also outperformed most of their peers in India for over a decade. The school is now expanding to China and is in talks with schools and governments in Jordan, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, Lebanon and the US.

This week it was held up as a blueprint for the future of education at an international Government conference in the Middle East.

Author and education expert Marc Prensky sot

While doubters might see such a project as too local and limited to such a small community, Riverside says its principles are universal and can be easily adapted to communities around the world.

The students themselves and the growing international interest, they say, speak for themselves.

Shows: * Audio Track 1 English Narration / Track 2 Natural Sound and Interviews

IV with pupil Preya Patel

IV with teacher Niall Walsh, Riverside School India

IV with parent Shweta Garg

IV with Marc Prensky, education expert

GVs of school

GVs of IGCF 2019

Panel discussion

Background

A leading school in India is exporting its award-winning model around the world to improve children’s chances of getting jobs in an advanced digital age.

Experts estimate that around 65% of jobs will not exist in the future due to technological advances which will see machines replacing roles in the workplace.

Children as young as four at the Riverside School in Ahmedabad are now collaborating with organisations to find solutions to important environmental problems, food shortages and issues in their local community.

School leaders believe that by putting children to work on issues from a young age, they will be better equipped to find jobs. Teachers focus on making children self-aware, adaptable and resilient so that irrespective of technological change, they will have the growth mindset to learn, unlearn and relearn if required.

Community successes include raising awareness of the need for good sanitation in less privileged areas and redesigning a butterfly garden for the community. Other students teamed up with a local ice cream brand and created a new Christmas flavour. They marketed and sold the ice cream, donating a percentage of their earnings to terminally ill children.

Riverside pupils have not only been successful in improving the world around them, they have also outperformed their peers in most of India’s top schools for over a decade.

The award-winning school was held up as a blueprint for the future of education at a conference in the Middle East this week.

Over the next two years three schools in India and two in China will be set up. Organisations and governments in Jordan, Singapore, Malaysia, Lebanon, Israel, the US and Spain are also interested in the model.

The school was set up in 2001 to empower children to help their communities and make positive changes once they graduate. It is one of a small but growing number of schools working in this format.

The ambition is to train large numbers of teachers from around the world and offer online support.

Leading education expert Marc Prensky, from the US, has endorsed the Riverside model. He said there are millions of untapped creative young brains which could help solve community and global problems if children are allowed to work on them.

Education experts and decision-makers have gathered in Sharjah, UAE this week at the International Governmental Communication Forum to discuss, amongst other topics, the future of education and how to best educate children to work in an advanced digital age.

ABOUT IGCF 2019:

Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah launched the inaugural edition of the forum in 2012.

A first-of-its-kind event, the forum aims to build a platform for better communication between governments and their stakeholders to support the government of Sharjah towards creating a participatory dialogue and to develop government communication mechanisms for the benefit of government institutions in the UAE and the region.

Hosted now by International Government Communication Forum, the event witnesses the convergence of local, regional and global media experts along with government thought leaders from all over the world in the emirate of Sharjah. By internationalising the title to ‘International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), the forum is set as an annual event to benchmark Sharjah’s media and communications mandate against global best practices, aims to bring the latest professional standards of various governments’ communication methods to the emirate, seeks to address and embed macro topics to develop a collaborative and participatory dialogue with opinion leaders, heads of government institutions, and other officials.

In addition to a series of panel discussions and workshops, the forum highlights Sharjah Government Media Bureau and its role in developing and overseeing best practices in the field of media relations and communications for government institutions.

Source: Pool Material International Government Communications Forum and ENEX (Access ALL)

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Call For Better Communication In A Polarised World – IGCF 2019

Against a global backdrop of terror attacks, government representatives and thought leaders from around the Middle East and beyond gathered to consider the role of government in the 21st century.

In 2019, it is communication, particularly between government and its citizens, which can offer stability in an unpredictable and politically unstable world.

Pitch the message in a way that polarises communities or fails to speak to the right people, and the results can be catastrophic. On the flip side, good communication reaps not just political popularity but also benefits for a nation.

Comparisons were made between Whitehouse responses to attacks on minorities and those from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand.

A stream of international panellists offered insights into how democratically elected leaders might guide their societies into a 21st century that will be dominated by climate change, Artificial Intelligence, vastly altered employment opportunities and populist politics.

At the end of the first day of the conference there was some optimism from the delegates and also a warning; that governments should be wary of a digital future – a future where technology and social media might become a tool to bring people together or a weapon to drive them apart.

Shows:

00-1’59 Sharjah GVs

2’00-2’40 IGCF 2019 opening ceremony

2’42-3’31 Roger Fisk, head of President Barack Obama’s political campaign, marketing and media strategy

3’32-4’06 IGCF panel discussion

4’07-4’59 Andrew Keen, author specialising in the impact of new technology on business, education, culture and society

5’00-6’18 IGCF 2019 panel discussion

6’19-6’48 GVs of IGCF His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi

6’49-7’00 IGCF 2019 general GVs

ABOUT IGCF 2019:

Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah launched the inaugural edition of the forum in 2012.

A first-of-its-kind event, the forum aims to build a platform for better communication between governments and their stakeholders to support the government of Sharjah towards creating a participatory dialogue and to develop government communication mechanisms for the benefit of government institutions in the UAE and the region.

Hosted now by International Government Communication Forum, the event witnesses the convergence of local, regional and global media experts along with government thought leaders from all over the world in the emirate of Sharjah. By internationalising the title to ‘International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), the forum is set as an annual event to benchmark Sharjah’s media and communications mandate against global best practices, aims to bring the latest professional standards of various governments’ communication methods to the emirate, seeks to address and embed macro topics to develop a collaborative and participatory dialogue with opinion leaders, heads of government institutions, and other officials.

In addition to a series of panel discussions and workshops, the forum highlights Sharjah Government Media Bureau and its role in developing and overseeing best practices in the field of media relations and communications for government institutions.

Source: Pool Material International Government Communications Forum and ENEX (Access ALL)

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