(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC), on Wednesday inaugurated the 21st Sharjah International Narrator Forum (SINF) — kicking off a three-day event that will bring 'animal stories' to life.
The event — organised every year by the Sharjah Institute for Heritage — will run until September 24 at the Expo Centre Sharjah.
During the opening, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed was briefed on the creative scene and how far the SINF has come over the past 21 years, especially its success in promoting and preserving the role of narrators and storytellers in society.
Narrators are 'living human treasures', he told the participants as he toured the forum. They carry within them the spirit of all the stories, tales, dreams and hopes which inspire and serve as 'the intellectual and cultural supplement' that humanity needs.
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Dr Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, chairman of Sharjah Heritage Institute, said:“The unlimited support of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, emboldens us to continue our serious and vital work in an effort to achieve excellence and success.”
The SINF offers a distinctive cultural and knowledge journey during which cultural heritage from around the world can be explored, Dr Al Musallam said.
Animal story exhibition and virtual events
SINF has unearthed a treasure trove of animal stories from the Emirati, Arab and world heritage— and all these have been put together in an exhibition.
There will also be a showcase of more than 30 different titles from the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, highlighting the forum's 'Animal Stories' slogan.
Sixteen workshops, including interactive sessions, will be conducted.
Stars of the forum
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi honoured the forum's personality of this year and a group of narrators, in addition to a young narrator.
The Republic of Sudan is this edition's country in focus. It will be represented by Dr Ahmed Abdel Rahim Nasr, the personality of the year, in recognition of his contributions to Arab cultural heritage.
Tunisian storyteller Abdelaziz Laroui will also be honoured as a legal personality in celebration of his rich storytelling legacy.
Several new events have been added, making this year's SINF a truly enriching experience.
The new session of the forum includes seminars and lectures that review several important approaches to narrating animal stories.
Experts, researchers and writers from more than 38 countries — including the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon — will be coming together for the event.
Among the other participating countries are Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Sudan, Senegal, Kenya, Comoros, India, the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Bolivia, Italy, Germany, Spain, Dominican Republic, Finland, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada and Romania.
A group of Emirati and Arab artists will also be joining the forum, most notably the artist Dr Yahya Al Fakhrani; Hala Fakher from Egypt; Muhammad Yassin from Bahrain; Sana Bakr Younis from Saudi Arabia; as well as Dr. Habib Ghuloom and Jassim Obaid from the UAE.
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