Al Dhafra Book Fair continues with fun, interactive activities for the whole family

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, the 2nd edition of Al Dhafra Book Fair is taking place though 29 November at Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra. Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the fair features the latest publications from Emirati and regional authors across a range of genres, covering literature, poetry, history, children’s books and more, complemented by a rich programme of seminars, panel discussions, meet-the-author sessions, workshops and creative activities.

The fair’s Cultural Programme features key authors and thinkers discussing major topics such as the environment, poetry and heritage, and visitors have the opportunity to meet their favourite writers and hear about their experiences. Furthermore, interactive and educational activities and workshops for children will be offered at the Creativity Corner and the Illustrators’ and Art Corner.

Since opening the fair has featured sessions with a number of distinguished authors and experts in various fields. ‘The Culture of Citizenship and Elevating Community Members’, presented by Emirati writer and Board Member of the Emirates Writers Union, Mohammed Shuaib Al Hammadi, addressed the controversy in the relationship between culture and citizenship and the role that citizenship culture plays within societies and on behaviors of individuals.

The seminar ‘Nabataean and eloquent poetry… a pillar of our cultural heritage’, presented by the Emirati poet and academic Talal Al Junaibi, saw participation from poet Ayda bin Masood who compared the structures between a classical poem and a Nabataean poem. He also discussed how poetry is informed by cultural heritage, drawing from examples of well-known Nabataean and classical poems.

Activities held in the Illustrators’ and Art Corner have attracted the crowds, as visitors flock to participate in workshops such as ‘Stories from Stone’, in which artist Ruth Barrows aids participants in creating a story using stones, with help from crayons and the art of decoupage. The ‘Stories from the Worlds of Pooh’ workshop, led by Lebanese artist Themar Halawani, teaches children aged four to seven important lessons about friendship, and methods of identifying types of fish and marine life. ‘Painting sunsets from your point of view’, with artist Verne Brown, sees attendees explore the fun of drawing and painting, creating an artworks featuring their favourite character with a sunset-inspired background in the desert.

The Creativity Corner features readings and meet-the-author sessions, while skill-building workshops for children are taking place throughout the fair, including ‘LEGO Robotics’, ‘Make Your Own Slime!’, ‘Design Your Own Maze!’, and ‘Cities of Paper’, in addition to a Sesame Street show which taught its young audience about the concept of tolerance.

Al Dhafra Book Fair 2019 is located in the Occasions Hall – Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra. The fair is open Saturday-Thursday from 9 am to 1 pm, and 6 pm to 10 pm; Fridays, from 5 pm to 10 pm. Entry is free of charge.

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