Sharjah International Book Fair 29th Edition

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Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
ExpoCenter 7th - 17th November, 2012. Hours | Saturday - Thursday: 10a.m. - 10p.m.; Friday: 4p.m - 10p.m.

Saturday, 24 March 2012 | Japanese treats for Geekfest visitors

Sharjah: Cool stuff will get a crowd going and at least 100 people, who decided to start their weekend at the Maraya Art Centre in Al Qasba, got a dose of cool creations on Thursday evening.

It came by way of simultaneous presentations of the arts, video games, literature and the online platform, among others through the “Geekfest Sharjah.”

A first in the emirate and as a follow through to several similar events held in the region’s principal cities since 2009, the gathering primarily meant for individuals engrossed in digital and social media, proved to be the channel wherein the traditional could be given leeway.

Take the case of ‘manga’ through the eyes and exposure of Emirati Qais Sedki.

The former information communications technology person delves into this late 19th-century Japanese literature, believing that using it to propagate Arab and Emirati cultures in these modern times would be more appealing to other communities.

“The best way to make a change among the youth is to use something they can associate or relate well with, rather than (other forms of literature) forced on them to read,” said the father of two, when interviewed.

Sedki, who had gone to the Philippines years ago, provided his audience with details of what ‘manga’ is all about, starting his lecture by saying it is not ‘mangga’ the Filipino term for mango, and relating it to the kamishibai, the traditional “walking storyteller” in the Land of the Rising Sun. 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2010-Children’s Literature Category winner also shared with them his journey to the publication of his two-volume ‘mangas’, the plot of which is about the adventures of 15-year-old Emirati Sultan, involved in the fictional sport of the gold ring similar to falconry.

Earlier on, he told The Gulf Today, “This (Manga) is considered cool. If we want to encourage everyone to read, then this is it. The content is our own but the (tool) is imported.”

Saying there are a lot of ‘mangakas’ or ‘manga’ illustrators worldwide, Sedki added he decided to use the talent of the Japanese for his works “since it is in Japan where it (manga) all started.”

“Children will have fun really (reading ‘manga’),” he also said, agreeing that if people want to disseminate information or impact and effect change, the best way is through the most effective form of media, of which one is ‘manga’ whose annual sales alone in Japan reaches billions of dollars.

Talking of another “cool” Japanese import on Thursday evening was another Emirati, Ali Murad.

The graduating interior designing student from Ajman University is one of the eight university members of the JUKI (Japan, UAE, Kizuna Initiative) that promotes the 17th-century art of paper folding.

It was the second time for the group, headed by Saeed Al Suwaidi, to share their skills on origami at the art gallery with adults and children.

Saying he and the seven other members are attracted to the art and craft as it is normal for Emiratis to be oriented toward Japan and its culture by way of its ‘animes’ and cartoons with Arabic translations, Murad said it was last February, when all of them, along with the UAE’s “Green Sheikh,” Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi, carried with them 1,000 origami pieces created by Emirati youth who were told to make and write wishes on them.

“There is a legend about the fulfilment of a wish through the creation of 1,000 pieces of origami,” he explained, adding that the 1,000 pieces brought to the March 11, 2011 tsunami sites and to the Hiroshima Memorial were all for the Japanese people “to live in peace.”

Upcoming artists Allan Wazacz and Faisal Hashim said in separate interviews that their introduction to the TripleW.Me website gave them the boost they need in their respective interests.

Musician Wazacz and film director Hashim have both had chances to be seen, through the Arabic-English website introduced in the UAE in July 2010. Hashim said that his first independent film “Perfect Living” had been viewed in Paris, France because of the website.

Wazacz’s joining a competition sponsored by the website had his performance going viral.

The goal is to promote regional talents, said TripleW.Me marketing and content manager Rasha Omer who believes the creation of opportunities in online media will lead to the proper usage of it.

Meanwhile, Romanian photographer Catalin Marin whose travel photography garnered the Best Photo Blog for Asia and Oceania last year held a session on the 10 tips on photoshoot and post-processing.

“Geekfest Sharjah” organiser Alexander McNabb said a second version of the event made possible through the Sharjah International Book Fair is already in the pipeline.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sharjah International Book Fair Booth at the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair

The Sharjah International Book Fair takes place annually in November while the 4th Sharjah Reading Children’s Festival will take place April 23 – May 2, 2012. Some details on the 4th Sharjah Reading Children’s Festival (SCRF):
More than 200 Arab and foreign publishing houses will take part in the event. 30 invited guests including authors, intellectuals, artists and researchers in the field of children’s literature, will participate in the parallel seminars, workshops and exhibitions.
SCRF will also include a series of art and heritage workshops, as well as theatrical plays, reading sessions, popular games, circus performances, clown shows and many other activities performed by guests from the GCC region, Arab world and Europe. For the first time this year SCRF is organizing awards for Children’s books as well as an illustrators exhibition.
Illustrators 2012
The Sharjah Children Books’ Illustrators Exhibition will display professional drawings of children’s books and stories of Emirati, Arab and International artists. The Exhibition will award the top 3 artworks from the exhibited works valuable prizes.
Sharjah Children Books Awards
Being concerned with encouraging writers and different creators to produce high level artworks in the field of children literature, Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival decided to launch “Sharjah Children Books Awards” which is meant to develop the children’s literary and cultural abilities, create their literary awareness and enrich the library with children’s literary works. The award targets 4 categories in the field of publishing, writing and illustrating.
Sharjah Children Book Award  (Visual Impairments) (Braille)
This award is aimed at people with special needs; precisely people with visual impairments.
For more details visit their website or social media pages. Now here are some pics from the Sharjah International Book Fair booth at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

جيك فيست الشارقة – GeekFest Sharjah

جيك فيست الشارقة – GeekFest Sharjah
يقام في إمارة الشارقة ولأول مرة  GeekFest وهو الحدث الذي إنطلق من دبي منذ 3 سنوات وامتد لعدة بلدان منها لبنان والأردن ومصر.  ويضم GeekFest Sharjah العديد من الفعاليات المختلفة والتي تتضمن الفن والثقافة والإبداع.
ويقام GeekFest Sharjah يوم الخميس الموافق 22 مارس 2012 وذلك في الدور الأول من مركز مرايا للفنون في القصباء
فعاليات GeekFest Sharjah

الحلقات النقاشية
  • الموسيقى غذاء الروح
تبدأ الحلقات النقاشية مع رشا عمران مديرة التسويق والمحتوى للموقع الإلكتروني TripleW وهو موقع مخصص لمجتمع المبدعين ويقوم بالتشجيع على تحميل المقاطع الموسيقية والصور والأفلام الموجودة على الموقع بهدف مشاركة المواهب المختلفة وتوفير الفرص لها للإنتشار. وستقوم رشا بالتحدث عن الموقع وفكرته فى اجواء لا تخلو من سماع الموسيقى.
  • اعترافات مهوس بفن المانغا
قيس صدقي، إماراتي متزوج واب لطفلين، تخلى عن مهنته في مجال تكنولوجيا المعلومات ليتابع شغفه بفن الرسوم التصويرية. ويهدف صدقي إلى توفير محتوى عربي مبتكر في مجال القصص المصورة متبعا اسلوب فن المانغا الياباني. وقام صدقي بإنشاء شركة نشر مستقلة مقرها دبي لنشر أولى أعماله؛ سوار الذهب، والتي فازت بجائزة الشيخ زايد عن فئة أدب الطفل في عام 2010 مما جعله أول مؤلف إماراتي يفوز بهذه الجائزة.
وسيقوم قيس بالتحدث عن فن المانجا واصوله وعرض تجربته ومحاولاته لإحداث فرق من خلال القراءة.
  • الفن بمستوي جديد
اليكساندرا توهما هي المسؤولة عن الإستراتيجية الرقمية في شركة Ogilvy One وتقدم أليكس فكرة مشروع جديد يدور حول الإنتقال بالفن إلى مستوى اخر وذلك باستخدام التقنيات المختلفة مثل الحقيقة المدمجة augmented reality. وتتمنى أليكس من خلال عرض فكرتها الهام الحضور للعمل معها على هذا المشروع الجديد.
  • الشارقة عام 1937!
يعد الفيلم الوثائقي Air Outpost واحد من أهم الوثائق الحية التي لا تنسى وتتناول تاريخ إمارة الشارقة في فترة ما قبل النفط. والفيلم من إنتاج أفلام لندن لشركة الخطوط الجوية الملكية عام 1937 ويركز على المطار الصحراوي بالشارقة ولمحات عن الوهابيين المتعصبين. ويعد الفيلم أول فيلم وثائقي حقيقي كما أن هناك مطالبات بإعلانه أول فيلم شركات يتم إنتاجه.
وقام اليكساندر مكناب بالحصول على نسخة من الفيلم عام 1990ودرس طويلا قصة الخطوط الجوية الملكية وسيقوم بعرض الفيلم والتحدث عنه خلال الأمسية.

عروض التكنولوجيا
تقوم شركة نوكيا بحضور أمسية GeekFest Sharjah للتحدث عن الهواتف والخرائط وكل ما يتعلق بتطبيقات الهاتف مع عرض أحدث منتجاتها. وسيقوم فريق نوكيا بالإجابة علي أي أسئلة والتحدث عن خطط الشركة المستقبلية.

احتفالية الألعاب
لمحبى الألعاب الإلكترونية سيقوم كل من  tbreak و  megamers بتحضير مجموعة من الالعاب الشيقة، كل ما عليكم فعله هو إحضار لابتوب معكم للإشتراك في الالعاب والإستمتاع.

ورش العمل
  • 10 نصائح للتصوير الرقمي
يقوم المصور المعروف كاتالين مارين صاحب مدونة Momentary Awe بتقديم ورشة عمل لمدة 45 دقيقة لتوضيح كيف يمكن تحسين التصوير الرقمي واستخدام ادوات التصحيح التي يجب علي كل مصور رقمي الحصول عليها. العدد محدود لهذه الورشة لذا يفضل الإتصال بكاتالين على تويتر لحجز مكان.!/momentaryawe
  • فن الأوريجامي
يقوم فريق من JUKI، مبادرة Kizuna لليابان والإمارات، بتقديم ورشة عمل عن فن الأوريجامي حيث يمكنك تعلم كيفية صنع اشكال فنية من طي الورق والتعرف على أصول فن الأوريجامي وكذلك التحدث مع فريق JUKI عن مبادرتهم لجمع التبرعات من أجل ضحايا زلزال اليابان وتسونامي.
  • ملجأ الكتب – The Book Shelter
يتخذ ملجأ الكتب من مركز مرايا للفنون مكانا له حيث يمكنك إحضار كتبك القديمة لإضافتها لمجموعة ملجأ الكتب وكذلك يمكنك أخذ أي مجموعة من الكتب معك لقراءتها. وسيكون هناك ركن مخصص لمحبي القراءة للإستمتاع بالكتب أثناء الأمسية.
  • شرقيات
تقوم كل من فاطمة مشاربك ونور كارموستاجي وأسماء مكرم من إدارة متاحف الشارقة بحضور امسية GeekFest Sharjah مع عرض اعمال من معرض الفنان أوين جونز ومعرض الفنان إبراهيم الصلاحي وكلاهما سيفتتح الأسبوع المقبل
تستضيف متاحف الشارقة بالتنسيق مع متحف فيكتوريا والبرت في لندن معرضا هاما من أعمال المستشرق جونز أوين، المهندس المعماري الفيكتوري والمصمم الذ أدت دراسته لقصر الحمراء إلى إزدهار فن المستشرقين وظهور تاثيرهم علي التصاميم البريطانية في القرن الـ 19.
ولد إبراهيم الصلاحي الملقب بصانع الصور في عام 1930 في أم درمان، السودان وهو رائد الفن الأفريقي الحديث. ويهدف إبراهيم إلى المزج بين عناصر الفن العربي والنوبي والقبطي والأوربي وكان أول الفنانين المعاصرين الذي ضم الخط العربي إلى أعماله واستخدمه كوسيلة إتصال ومن أجل الشكل الجمالي.
  • عظيم الدين محمد
الشاعر والكاتب والمصور  محمد عظيم الدين الملقب ايضا بـ Musafirs سيقوم بعرض مجموعة من الصور لإمارة الشارقة.

لا تفوتوا هذه الفرصة النادرة للإستمتاع بأمسية رائعة تتضمن الفن والثقافة والمرح

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

افتتاح مهرجان طيران الإمارات للآداب 2012 بكل ألق الكلمات والشعر والغناء والعروض الراقص EAFOL#

افتتاح مهرجان طيران الإمارات للآداب 2012
بكل ألق الكلمات والشعر والغناء والعروض الراقصة

بمشاركة جمهرة غفيرة من المؤدين وطلاب المدارس والكتاب الأفذاذ وبحضور لافت لكبار الشخصيات

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature opening ceremony March 6, 2012.


Cast of 500 local performers, school children and festival authors captivate capacity VIP

DUBAI - 6 March 2012 - Guests at today’s Opening Ceremony for the fourth annual Emirates Airline
Festival of Literature 2012 were treated to a breathtaking display of readings, poetry, song and dance at the
spectacular theatre that is part of Cultural & Scientific Association at Al Mamzar. A cast which numbered
close to 500 performers took to the stage including the Emirates Airline Choir, the Combined Primary School Choirs of Dubai, and some of the Festival’s most popular writers, including Mourid Barghouti, David Nicholls and Kate Adie.

The capacity audience was filled with senior Government officials, diplomats, representatives from major
businesses and educational institutions, and leading lights from the local cultural scene as well as many of
the other 120 authors who are participating in this year’s Festival.

‘’I am so delighted to welcome everyone here today. What a fantastic way to launch the Emirates Airline
Festival of Literature 2012. We have five amazing days ahead of us and I for one can’t wait to start enjoying
it all,’’ said Isobel Abulhoul, Festival Director.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2012 is held in Dubai between 6-10 March 2012 under the
patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime
Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage.

Guests were greeted on their arrival by Youla dancers, in recognition of the themes of heritage and identity
running through this year’s Festival. Amidst the splendor of priceless Persian carpets and beautiful fountains
in the Al Mamzar theatre complex , the performance began with flag-carrying Scouts paying tribute to the 30
home countries of this year’s participating authors. The boys and girls were dressed in costumes of all the
represented countries in this truly Olympic moment.

The themes of identity, heritage and multi-culturalism ran through the entire show. Among many other
entertainments, the audience was treated to dance from UAE, Philippines and India, a film about heritage
and national culture, a reflection from British Kate Adie, poetry reading by Palestinian giant Mourid
Barghouthi and a brief talk by Polish ‘Arish' expert Sandra Piesik.

Charles Dickens was honoured with a reading from Great Expectations in Arabic by Emirati actor Ebrahim
Ustadi .He was joined by top selling British author, David Nicholls, who has recently completed a new
screen version of the English classic on the occasion of the 200th of the birth of the great novelist and social
commentator. The Emirates Airline Festival Choir also sang ‘Who Will Buy this Wonderful Morning’ from the musical Oliver Twist.

The Opening Ceremony was brought to a rousing close with the first public performance of this year’s
Festival anthem; Al Bab Al Maftouh (The Open Door).The anthem was composed by Yousef Khan with
the assistance of Salem Belyouha and was performed by local primary school students who make up the
Combined Primary School Choirs of Dubai. This choir of 400 Emirati and expat children, were provided by
five schools that come under the umbrella of MAG (Madares al Gad) a segment of Ministry of Education and other schools in Dubai. All the children looked extra special with the boys dressed in white kandooras, and the girls in bright printed jalabiyas.

Abulhoul concluded by thanking Emirates Airline and Dubai Culture for their partnership as well as all the
other partners, sponsors and friends who have made the Festival possible.

“In only four years together we have built the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature into one of the world’s
significant literary festivals. We are welcoming a power-house of talent from around the globe here today.
And we are also seeing more and more talent emerging from Dubai itself too,” she said. ‘Our 2012 roster of
Emirati and Arab world writers and speakers is formidable and we must all feel proud of this. We are also
delighted with the ever increasing participation from students - who are of course our talent of tomorrow’.

“Emirates is an ardent supporter of the Arts and we are committed to the development of Dubai as a centre
for cultural events” said Sir Maurice Flanagan, Executive Vice Chairman, Emirates Airline &Group.”As an
airline which already connects people to more than 120 destinations, we look forward to this week where we
can connect people to new ideas, concepts and cultures through the power of the written word.”

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “The spectacular
opening ceremony of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature this year shows a true collaboration between
culture and literature. The Authority is committed to underscoring the multicultural diversity of the city of
Dubai and its various cultural expressions. We are honoured to welcome some of the world’s foremost
authors who will engage audiences in a wide range of educational and literary sessions that will spearhead
the growth and evolution of the Festival, driving Dubai’s literary scene further.”

This was the first of two major events for the Opening of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature today.
The evening will see the special Opening Night spectacular starring television and radio supremo Sir
Terry Wogan live on stage at Al Mamzar. Sir Terry will be joined by a line-up of today’s most celebrated
international poets Imtiaz Dharkar, John Agard, Yang Lian and Daljit Nagra.

From tomorrow, Wednesday 7 March through Saturday 10 March the Emirates Airline Festival
of Literature will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City.
All details on line at

Saturday, 3 March 2012 | On the wings of poesy


Poetic talents unleash imaginative flair in “Magic of Poetry” session; “Twinge SHJ” will reappear in October at the Sharjah International Book Fair and in a kids version, “Twinge KIDZ”, at the Sharjah Reading Festival in April

The UAE’s Cultural Capital of Sharjah throbs and lives up to its name.

This was the impression of the organiser of “Twinge SHJ”, which became the avenue for street life and time-honoured traditions to meld through the eyes of over 50 talents from various ethnic backgrounds and social status.

“Personally, I am overjoyed. I said it before and will say it again, Sharjah has taken me by surprise,” Sherif Abaza told The Gulf Today.

Abaza is the managing partner of Sphere-Events that came up with the idea of putting up the Twinge series of festivals over a year ago in the UAE, so that urban art - the style of art that evokes the city life as seen, observed and heard by artists, as opposed to traditional art - would have the platform in a country which has become the melting pot for over 150 nationalities.

The urban art and cultural festival ran every night from Feb. 25 to March 2 at the Maraya Art Centre of Al Qasba, following its debut in Dubai in December 2011.

For the support Abaza had experienced throughout the event which featured the art forms of literature, music, cuisine, fashion, filmography as well as the other visual arts, he said: “Everything from the hospitality of the venue and hosts at (the gallery), the dedication and collaborative spirit of the team from the Sharjah International Book Fair, the diversity of the participants, the enthusiasm of the attendees and the support of the community has gotten us already thinking about the next Twinge SHJ.”

Observing that there had been more women artists and performers who participated than men, Abaza said it was a “shift” from what “Twinge DXB” had.

“It was a 50-50 participation here for both men and women while it was 80 per cent of male participants in Dubai,” he said, adding that there were also more Emirati talents at “Twinge SHJ.”

To illustrate, he mentioned that for the festival’s “Magic of Poetry” session on Friday evening, there was an equal division between men and women.

They were Yuri Cipriano, Shamma Al Bastaki, Afra Atiq, Farah Chamma, Mujeeb Jaihoon, Asmaa Abdallah, Haneen Assaf, Abdullah Qasem and Mohammad Azimuddin.
Cipriano, a former seminarian in the Philippines, started writing poetry when he was courting his wife, Jhasmin, in 2001.

Saying he was glad that a Filipino had been invited to “Twinge SHJ,” Cipriano claimed that from love poems, he graduated to poems that expressed his compassion for social order and then the lives of overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East.

Under his pen name Amos Tarana, he expressed hope that his collection of over 60 poems would soon be published in his home country.

The poems he shared on Friday evening were all in the Filipino language with English translations, one about the angst of a departing OFW, the second about the creativity of an OFW mother being a “transnational mother through the use of modern technology” and the third, about the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

At 15, Emirati Al Bastaki was the youngest poet of the night. Her 74 poems from age seven were rich in the rhyme and rhythm of words which dwell on fantasy and her emotions, among others.

She said being a bookworm helped her in her literary adventure.

Emirati Atiq is Al Bastaki’s classmate at the Untitled Chapters, a creative writing group of Emirati women led by Fatma Al Bannai.

Also involved in theatre which she finds as the avenue for freedom of expression, Atiq is more into poetry, the literary piece “written to be listened to and seen.”

Palestinian Chamma is a veteran of the Twinge festivals.

It was her second occasion to share her poetry to an audience who heard about her thoughts on her decision to wear the hijab and on her being a daughter of Palestine.

Jaihoon began writing poetry 10 years ago and had published books.

It was the second night of participation for Qasem who was among the opening talents when “Twinge SHJ” debuted a week ago through the literature night and read his own version of a poem dedicated to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Records showed the gallery had a total of 412 guests during the week for the festival with the “Passion for Fashion Night” having the highest number at 108, followed by the evenings of literature and film at 66; music at 55; poetry at 54; comedy at 38; and the publishers’ night at 25.

“Twinge SHJ” will reappear in October at the Sharjah International Book Fair and will have a kids version, “Twinge KIDZ”, at the Sharjah Reading Festival in April.

Emirati cuisine showcased to keep traditions alive

By Mariecar Jara-Puyod
Sharjah: Food completes a culture. The manner it is prepared is also an art, said Sherif Abaza.

Hence, at the just concluded “Twinge SHJ,” traditional Emirati cuisine took centre stage as well.

Abaza, whose brainchild is the successful week-long urban and cultural art festival, said, “We want to present an eclectic mix of art.”

Explaining further, he related cuisine to fashion, describing the former as “widespread” and the latter as “mainstream.”

“For us, both are an art and cooking, like fashion, is someone’s creativity,” added Abaza, who agreed that amid all the rapid progress and urbanisation the modern world is interested in, people must always look back to their origins.

For the festival, Shama Eid and several of her friends from Sharjah did the cooking themselves, with pots of mouthwatering haris (a dish made of wheat and meat or chicken), legamat (a deep-friend sweet made of flour, water and sugar), dungaw, marguga, balalit (a dessert made with vermicelli), and kabisa (a dessert made from flour, cashews, sultanas and saffron)– all so filling, especially for someone on a diet.

She said the food of the UAE is easy to cook with preparation timings ranging from 10 minutes to three hours.

“All of my children are already grown-up and are in university, so I have the time to cook for my business,” Eid said.

She feels good about her enterprise, saying that while there are a lot of fast-food outlets sprouting up, people from her own native place of Sharjah, cosmopolitan Dubai and far-off Umm Al Quwain, call her up for “home-made Emirati food.”

“It is good business,” Eid said, taking pride that as a housewife, she shares the role of bringing home the bacon, while carrying on with a tradition.

Friday, 2 March 2012

gulfnews : Twinge Sharjah festival shows off unknown talent

  • Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
  • Laila Akeel (right), a jewellery designer, displays her jewellery during the Twinge Sharjah Festival in the Maraya Art Centre in Al Qasba on Thursday.
Sharjah The number of women participants at the week-long Twinge Sharjah festival that concludes Friday has exceeded organisers' expectations.
The event offers talented individuals in the UAE a platform to showcase their skills.
"This is like the Fringe Festival, but twitterised," said Sharif Abaza, founder of Twinge. "We try to have an interaction with the artists and the audience. We also have interactive shows every night that cover film, poetry and fashion, so that if they were not able to display their work in public before, now they can." Abaza said that the youngest participant is a 15-year-old pupil while the eldest is an 72-year-old Emirati man, who recited poetry.
Twinge-SHJ (SHJ stands for Sharjah) is being held at Maraya Art Centre, Al Qasba, and features 49 artists, including poets, musicians, fashion designers and filmmakers.
October plans
"Arab participation is almost 90 per cent and we certainly have more women participating than in Twinge Dubai," Abaza said, while adding that Twinge Sharjah will be held again this October and then in Dubai in December. One of the main highlights of Twinge features a runway by two Arab women who are alumnae of the American University of Sharjah.
Eman Khattab, who majored in Environmental Science, has set up her own company along with her business partner Nemat Al Shuloh, an architect. Their one-month-old company Eclat, said Khattab, "offers people what is not available in the market, like trendy conservative fashion".
Along the corridor of the Maraya Art Centre, your gaze cannot help but fall upon an attractive collection of endangered animals from the region. The style of the collection is a simple and effective one that focuses on the idea of endangerment. The artwork is ultimately a calendar of 12 animals that were integrated digitally, as well as coloured and printed, by Deema Hatahet, who graduated from the University of Sharjah in 2011.
"The postcards are a reminder to the people of how these animals do not want to be limited, so I want to spread the illustrative postcards around the world. Through the exhibition, I'm hoping to receive enough encouragement from others in order to continue working with awareness topics." | World music comes to Sharjah


‘Twinge SHJ festival nurses collaborative spirit. Such initiatives will boost contemporary world culture in the country’

SHARJAH: The Music night held on Thursday as part of the ongoing urban and cultural arts festival “Twinge SHJ” at the Maraya Art Centre of Sharjah’s cultural hub Al Qasba was perhaps the most successful so far as it attracted half-a-dozen musical groups and individuals who performed live at the festival to their heart’s content.

Guitarist Abbo, R&B and Blues singer Tiny, Hip-Hop singer Feras, musical duo Desert Heat, and bands like 4 Brownies and Generation enthralled the audience with their live performances.

One of the major attractions on Thursday night was the all-student music band Generation. The four-year-old group comprised guitarist and lead vocalist Mohammed Al Khateeb, guitarist Mohammed Zamzam, drummer Sharif Omar and pianist Omar Goda. They entertained the audience with as diverse as Latin and Spanish to Arabic music.

Calender of events

Mar.2 - Magic of Poetry: Farrah Chamma, Muneer Jaehoon, Haneen Assaf, Abdulla Kassim, Shamma Kabital, Mohammad Azimudder, Asmaa and Afra Atiq will be taking the stage.

All events are being held at the Maraya Art Centre of Al Qasba. Doors open at 7pm and shows start at 8pm.

Another attraction was Abbo, a British musician who is living in the UAE for the past seven months. Abbo said he has travelled across Europe, the US, Australia and Philippines, but loved the culture in the UAE where contemporary music is in a growing stage.

“In countries like the US and UK I found cut-throat competition, but not in the UAE. The UAE may not be at the world stage, but the country has already initiated steps in that direction,” he said.

He praised the concept behind the Twinge SHJ festival saying it nurses collaborative spirit, which is difficult to find in his home country. He also added that such initiatives will boost contemporary world culture in the country.

Tiny, a Bahraini national, said he loves to belt out R&B and Soul numbers. The self-motivated R&B artiste, who considers Donell Jones his idol, is a student of the Canadian University in Dubai and has won several musical contests. He has also been part of the MBC’s Arabs Got Talent for which he has travelled Bahrain and Lebanon.

Feras was thrilled by the response he got at his maiden live performance in Sharjah though he was born and brought up in the UAE.

The young singer, who loves crooning Hip-Hop numbers, considers his style of music as experimental.

He was part of the musical band “Diligent Thought” till 2007, when the members decided to do solo projects, while coming together occasionally for music sake.

The festival will conclude on Friday with a night dedicated to poetry.

Thursday, 1 March 2012 | Reviving reading as a culture

SHARJAH: Maraya Art Centre, an initiative of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), launched on Monday a new cultural project called the “Book Shelter,” under the sponsorship of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du).

The project is dedicated to reviving the culture of used books and fostering a love for reading in the UAE. Its aim is to embrace old and used books donated by their owners to The Book Shelter where they will be showcased at the project’s library.

The launch ceremony was attended by Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority “Shurooq,” Noura Al Noman, director of the Executive Office of Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ahmed Al Qaseer, Shurooq COO, Hazim Sawaf, Shurooq’s director of Marketing and Communications, representatives from du, and a number of intellectuals and book lovers.

Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi praised the idea of the project and the efforts to make it a reality. She highly appreciated the eagerness of young women of the UAE to contribute to the development and support of the cultural growth in the country.

Sheikha Bodour expressed her full support to this leading cultural project and donated a collection of her personal books for the “Book Shelter” project. She urged corporates and individuals to support the project and co-operate with the organisers to achieve the desired results.

On this occasion, Giuseppe Moscatello, Maraya Art Centre curator, said, “The Book Shelter is a pioneering cultural project launched by Maraya Art Centre with the aim of saving unwanted and old books. The project aims to encourage the love of reading and by asking the community to donate books. We are hoping to create awareness and wider community participation.”

Moscatello explained the overall project aims to promote a reading culture among the Emirati community and raise awareness about the importance of books and at the same time create a sustainable culture of reading through recycling of used books.

He explained that the idea was introduced by two Emirati women who share a love for books and sought to recycle used books and encourage reading among community members.

“Maryam Al Khayat and Sheikha Abdul Rahman Al Shamsi founded the project with the aim of redistributing the books among members of society and spreading the love of reading. We have adopted the idea and turned it into reality in collaboration with du,” he said.

Moscatello pointed out that the project will offer a variety of books written in various languages for free to everyone and that each person will be entitled to four books a month only. The project’s management will receive book donations at Maraya Art Centre, but will not receive magazines and books that violate the teachings of true Islam. | Stimulating cultural showcase on cards

By Mariecar Jara-PuyodFebruary 23, 2012
SHARJAH: Finding treasures from one’s locality is a never-ending search and after the successful Sharjah Light Festival, the UAE’s Cultural Capital rolls out another red carpet on Saturday evening, for the quest for a kaleidoscope of the country’s rich history and heritage.

This will be through the “Twinge SHJ” wherein the fertile art scene of the UAE, with particular focus on the richness of the wit and talent of 49 artists from the Emirate, will be brought live before the public from 6pm onwards at the Maraya Art Centre at Al Qasba.

Like this reporter, The Gulf Today readers may relate the event title to the definition of “twinge” as “to tweak or to pinch” that creates a sudden attention or reaction to any stimulus.

However, organiser Sphere Events managing partner Sherif Abaza explained, “’Twinge SHJ’ is a play on words and is a mixture of ‘Fringe,’ the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe (the world’s largest arts festival) and ‘Twitter,’ highlighting the importance of the social media today and the role it plays in spreading the word.”

Just the same, through the array of visual arts and literary pieces among others, UAE residents and foreign tourists will come to know of the wealth of the local art scene and take pleasure in it.

“We want to raise the awareness of the public about the local art scene,” said Abaza.

He added: “We want to let them know that there are local talents capable of producing exquisite works of art and that not all art need to be imported or bought.”

“Twinge SHJ” is the second edition of a series of “Twinge Festivals” across the seven Emirates that debuted through “Twinge DXB” in December 2011.

“This is a platform by the community and for the community which is free for all to participate,” said Abaza.

As much as one’s history and heritage must continually be cherished through generations and introduced and appreciated by other cultures, there must be an avenue or a “sustainable environment for artists to share and showcase their abilities,” he pointed out.

Visitors to the Maraya Art Centre from Feb. 25 to March 2 will be entertained to evenings of Arabic and English literature, fashion, film and comedy.

They will also have the opportunity to buy and own UAE handicrafts as well as paintings and photographs imbued with the innate and learnt talents of the locality’s residents.

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has been instrumental in bringing Twinge-SHJ to Al Qasba. | Love for books still exists

Panel of UAE-based authors and publishers puts the reading habit under the scanner at a roundtable discussion at “Twinge SHJ”.

SHARJAH: Contrary to popular assumption, the reading habit among UAE residents has been increasing which is proved by the large number of books published by the UAE-based publishers.

This was the unanimous opinion of a group of UAE-based authors and publishers, who joined a round-table discussion, held as part of the ongoing urban and cultural art festival “Twinge SHJ” at the Maraya Art Centre of Sharjah’s cultural hub Al Qasba on Wednesday.

The participants who discussed the changing patterns in reading and writing habits told The Gulf Today that the social media has acted as a catalyst in promoting poetry and short story writing.

“The reading habit is on the rise. The trend should not be gauged by the sale of books only because the younger generation is using electronic gadgets to read books,” said Emirati author Abdulaziz Al Musallam.

When asked about the impact of the increasing popularity of social media on the young generation, he said the new media only helped in popularising literary works.

“Even social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have been helpful in popularising poetry and short stories as their reach is unlimited. People keep sharing good literary works with their kith and kin living miles away, which was not possible earlier as printed magazines have limited reach,” he added.

Calender of events

Mar.1 - Rhythm Sessions: Night of music featuring The Abbo, Desert Heat, Tiny Hassan, Feras, Heba Rashid, Generation Band, and 4 Brownies.

Mar.2 - Magic of Poetry: Farrah Chamma, Muneer Jaehoon, Haneen Assaf, Abdulla Kassim, Shamma Kabital, Mohammad Azimudder, Asmaa and Afra Atiq will be taking the stage.

All events are being held at the Maraya Art Centre of Al Qasba. Doors open at 7pm and shows start at 8pm.
Jamal Al Shehhi, director of Kuttab Publishing, said that the UAE-based publishing house has 30 titles to its credit within a span of two years. He said that most of the books have been authored by Emiratis, adding that he always looked for upcoming authors.

Kalimat, another Sharjah-based publishing house, has also contributed significantly by publishing Arabic books and promoting them internationally.

Musallam said that the culture of reading was deeply rooted in Sharjah, adding that the emirate got its first library in 1924. He also pointed out that the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information promoted the trend by publishing more than 60 books every year, besides organising an international book fair and instituting a prestigious award for best books.

Emirati author Mariam Al Shenasi’s maiden book was also released during the event on Wednesday.

Speaking about the book, she said, it was a fictional work but inspired by a true story of a courageous woman, who starts learning horse-riding while in her late thirties. The book charts various phases of her experience.

“I am confident this book will be among the bestsellers as it is not only a work of fiction but also motivational book,” she added.

«مرايا» يستضيف مهرجان «توينج» الشارقة

«مرايا» يستضيف مهرجان «توينج» الشارقة

الشارقة (وام) - تنطلق مساء اليوم فعاليات مهرجان توينج الشارقة للفنون المجتمعية، التي يستضيفها مركز مرايا للفنون في القصباء، وتستمر حتى 3 مارس المقبل. وتستمر فعاليات المهرجان على مدى سبع أمسيات ترفيهية. وتتضمن برامج في الفنون والأدب والموسيقى والأزياء والسينما والكوميديا والشعر والدراما، إضافة إلى معرض للوحات والصور الفوتوغرافية لفنانين إماراتيين، وفن التمثيل الصامت “الإيماء” وفن الكاريكاتير.

ويعتبر مهرجان “توينج”، كلمة مشتقة من تويتر، مبادرة إماراتية لإبراز المواهب المجتمعية التي تسعى إلى الانتشار على المستوى الإقليمي. وقال يوسف موسكاتيلو مسؤول المعارض في مركز مرايا للفنون إن جذور المهرجان الفني والثقافي انطلقت من دولة الإمارات. وأضاف أنه يتم من خلاله تقديم العديد من العروض في المجالات الفنية والثقافية المختلفة وإبراز المواهب والإبداعات في الدولة. وأشار موسكاتيلو إلى أن مركز مرايا للفنون يهدف من استضافة المهرجان إلى دعم المواهب الإماراتية وتشجيع العمل المجتمعي والسعي للمحافظة على الثقافات الأصيلة للمنطقة وترويجها والحفاظ على الهوية المميزة لإمارة الشارقة. وأكد أن مركز مرايا للفنون يواظب على لعب دور في تبني الأفكار والمشاريع الريادية وتقديم كل أشكال الفنون من الكلاسيكية والحديثة، ما أكسبه سمعة طيبة أسهمت في مواصلة استقطاب زوار من الأطياف كافة.
من جهته، أكد شريف أباظة المدير الشريك في “سفير إيفنتس” ومؤسس مهرجانات “توينج” أن دعم المجتمع يمثل عنصراً أساسياً لعمل ونجاح المهرجان. وأشار إلى أن جمع سلسلة فعاليات من هذا القبيل يمثل تحدياً كبيراً لا يمكن القيام به من دون مشاركة المجتمع المحلي لضمان تطور وتنظيم وتنمية الفعاليات. وأشار إلى أن الجهات المنظمة تعمل على إطلاق المهرجان على مستوى المنطقة ومواصلة التوسع لإطلاق مبادرات مثل “توينج كيدز” و”توينج أبوظبي” وغيرها.
وشدد على أن دعم المجتمع ومؤسسات شروق والقصباء يلعب دوراً بالغ الأهمية في النمو المستدام للمهرجان. ويأتي مهرجان “توينج الشارقة” عقب النجاح الكبير الذي شهده “توينج دبي” كأول مهرجان فنون مجتمعية في البلاد بدعم من المجتمع، حيث تتمثل فكرة إقامة “توينج” في تشجيع المشاركة والتناغم الاجتماعي.

«مرايا للفنون» يستضيف مهرجان«توينج الشارقة» اليوم

«مرايا للفنون» يستضيف مهرجان«توينج الشارقة» اليوم

يستضيف مركز مرايا للفنون مهرجان «توينج الشارقة»، للفنون المجتمعية الذي تنطلق فعالياته في السادسة من مساءً اليوم وتستمر إلى الثالث من مارس، وذلك في القصباء، إحدى أبرز الوجهات السياحية والترفيهية والثقافية في إمارة الشارقة والمنطقة.
وتجري فعاليات المهرجان على مدار سبع أمسيات ترفيهية، تتضمن برامج مسائية تضم مختلف أشكال الفنون من الأدب، والموسيقى، والأزياء، والسينما، والكوميديا، والشعر، والدراما، إضافة إلى معرض على مدار أسبوع كامل للّوحات والصور الفوتوغرافية لفنانين إماراتيين، فضلاً عن فن التمثيل الصامت «الإيماء» وفن الكاريكاتير.
ويعتبر مهرجان «توينج» للفنون المجتمعية مبادرة إماراتية لإبراز المواهب المجتمعية، وتسعى إلى الانتشار على المستوى الاقليمي. وتم اشتقاق كلمة «توينج» من تويتر، التي ترمز إلى وسائل الإعلام الاجتماعية، وفرينج، التي تشير إلى مهرجانات الفنون الشعبية حول العالم.
وأعرب مسؤول المعارض في مركز مرايا للفنون يوسف موسكاتيلو، عن سعادته «باستضافة مهرجان فني وثقافي متنوع، يقدم العديد من العروض في مجالات فنية وثقافية مختلفة وإبراز المواهب والابداعات المتنوعة في الدولة». وأضاف «يهدف مركز مرايا للفنون من استضافته هذا المهرجان إلى دعم المواهب الإماراتية، وتشجيع العمل المجتمعي، والسعي في المحافظة على الثقافات الأصيلة للمنطقة وترويجها، والحفاظ على الهوية المميزة لإمارة الشارقة».
موضحاً أن مركز مرايا للفنون «واظب دائماً على لعب دور ريادي في تبني الأفكار والمشروعات الريادية، ويعتبر مركز فنون متطوراً يضم كل أشكال الفنون من الكلاسيكية إلى الحديثة، وقد أسهمت هذه السمعة الطيبة التي اكتسبها المركز في مواصلة استقطاب الزوار من جميع الأطياف».
وأكد شريف أباظة، المدير الشريك في «سفير إيفنتس» ومؤسس مهرجانات «توينج» أن دعم المجتمع يمثل عنصراً أساسياً لعمل المهرجان. وقال «لا يمكن نجاح المهرجان من دون دعم المجمتع. فالعمل على جمع سلسلة من الفعاليات من هذا القبيل يمثل تحدياً كبيراً لا يمكننا القيام به من دون مشاركة المجتمع المحلي لأجل ضمان تطور، وتنظيم، وتنمية الفعاليات».
ويأتي مهرجان «توينج الشارقة» في أعقاب النجاح الكبير الذي شهده «توينج دبي» كأول مهرجان فنون مجتمعية في البلاد بدعم من المجتمع. وتتمثل فكرة إقامة توينج في تشجيع المشاركة والتناغم الاجتماعي.
ويعقد المهرجان في مركز مرايا للفنون الواقع في القصباء، التابعة لهيئة الشارقة للاستثمار والتطوير «شروق»، والدعوة مفتوحة للجميع من كل الأعمار والأطياف للمشاركة.