Iconic figures from history shine at Sharjah reading fest

Iconic figures from history shine at Sharjah reading fest
Iconic figures from history shine at Sharjah reading fest

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - ‘Sherlock Holmes, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi and Isaac Newton’ pictured at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival.

Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

Travel back in time and meet key figures – real and fictional – who have revolutionised human history, at the ‘Big Names in History’ roaming show parading the halls of the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival taking place in Expo Centre Sharjah until May 29.

An excited buzz fills the air as children and parents watch spellbound when statue-like silhouettes dressed as Isaac Newton, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi and Sherlock Holmes walk regally into the Main Hall dressed in grand, green-gold costumes.

“We created the look of these characters keeping in mind what the original statues of famous historical figures usually look like in the streets, after they have been exposed to various natural elements like rain, sun, frost and even rust,” explains art manager Radovan Mikhalov.

Curious kids gravitate cautiously towards each of these characters eager to interact and pose with the ‘live’ statues, as parents start clicking pictures excitedly.

A show-stopper with immense charisma, Sherlock Holmes regales kids with his large magnifying glass as the 16th century English monarch stands proudly in the hallway wearing her crown and holding a powerful sceptre, Newton needs no introduction and has with him the famous apple with which he proved the theory of gravity. First to treat algebra as an independent discipline, mathematician Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi has a scroll tucked tightly under his arm.

On for the next four days, the roaming show gives children the unique opportunity to get familiar with famous historical characters as parents attending the event seem equally excited at the chance to refresh their memory and remember these famous historical personalities.

 Themed ‘For Your Imagination,’ the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is hosting more than 500 activities, including children’s workshops, plays, roaming shows, and literary discussions by leading authors and intellectuals, daily from 4 – 10pm. On Saturday, the festival is welcoming visitors from 10am – 10pm. For the first time in its 9-year history, SCRF has taken its programme to other emirates in the UAE including .

CODING WORKSHOP: Introducing children to the concept of computer programming, the Coding workshop that took place on Monday, May 24 at the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) empowered children to get a grip on how they can use computers to create innovative software programmes in future without being intimidated by technology.

“Coding is important for children because if you look back, people did not need to know how to create an email account 30 years ago. But now, email is crucial to our lives! Similarly, coding will help these young minds learn a skill I believe most of them will need in future,” said technical trainer Omar who was presenting the workshop.

Omar opined that when it comes to data analysis and crunching numbers, we have programmed computers do it better than us humans. What will take us years to complete can easily be accomplished in minutes, thanks to coding.

“I have performed tasks which have taken me 8-10 hours to complete. With a little bit of coding I was able to finish those very tasks in less than five minutes,” added Loay Mohtar, who was accompanying Omar in presenting the workshop.

Just as humans communicate with one another through various languages, coding is the language the computer knows, understands and uses to create software, applications and websites.

Earlier, the Slow-Motion Feelings Workshop at the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival was packed with eager children ready to explore the limits of their curiosity and learn how dropping a toy in all-purpose flour or a lemon in water can be digitally manipulated into a delightful slow-motion video through the art of photography.

Divided into small groups of two and three, kids at the bilingual workshop were encouraged to work together to choose an object from a variety of props and decide what they would like to do with it. After the activity had been photographed and turned into a video by the workshop presenter, children were awe-inspired to watch the way the bright yellow duck fell into the flour bowl creating a slow powdery blow-out, and the lemon gracefully displacing the water in the transparent glass bowl.

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