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12th Sharjah Children's Reading Festival Highlights the Changing Dynamics of the Writer–Reader Relationship in the Digital World
12th Sharjah Children's Reading Festival Highlights the Changing Dynamics of the Writer–Reader Relationship in the Digital World

Another stimulating discussion at SCRF’s Cultural Forum also focuses  on Arabs representing themselves characters in English language books

Sharjah, May 26, 2021:  Shedding light on the topic of cultural representation in books, authors speaking the ‘Writers and Readers’ session at the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival hope there will be more books written in future where characters of Arab ethnicity, living in various parts of the world, can showcase their dual identity.

“For me it was very important to showcase both sides of my individual culture and reflect it in my books,” said author Aisha Bushby. Born in Bahrain, Bushby has since lived in Kuwait, England, Canada and UK.

“I would love to see Arab children represent themselves in books and not have other people represent them. I couldn’t have imagined seeing an Arab kid in an English language book when I was a child. I don’t think it even crossed my mind”, the author of A Change is Gonna Come and A Pocketful of Stars added.  

Creating compelling protagonists that straddle two or more cultures, writers are able to connect with readers who identify themselves with these fictional characters. But with social media narrowing the traditional gap between them, fans today have unrestrained access to connect with their favourite authors through various platforms. Is this a welcome change or is it too intrusive? Do authors feel the same thrill meeting fans virtually as they do in person? 

“We can meet anyone on a screen, but meeting face to face is a great feeling, especially children, because they are so honest. When I get a lot of sincere compliments it pushes me to write more and more,” noted Emirati author, Aisha Abdullah who is also a member of the Emirates Writers Union. 

“I wrote Pocket Full of Stars before COVID-19 hit the world, so I got to visit schools and meet children and I cried because I find them so inspirational,” said Bushby, adding “I’ve only ever had children get in touch with me who like my books. Never has a child emailed to say they didn’t like my book.”

With the aim of uniting young readers with creators of children’s literature and allied arts, the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival runs until May 29 at Expo Centre Sharjah. 172 publishers from 15 countries across the globe are showcasing their books and literary material at the event which is the region’s largest and most important festival of its kind 

Posted by : Editorial Team
Viewed 3971 times
PR Category : Events & Exhibitions
Posted on : Wednesday, May 26, 2021  3:46:00 PM UAE local time (GMT+4)
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