Embark on an epic voyage with Sinbad the Sailor at House of Wisdom’s booth at Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2023
Storytelling sessions, digital simulations and rare books exhibition will offer young book worms and adventure lovers a deep dive into one of the literary world’s most popular heroes of all time
Sharjah, 05 May 2023
The House of Wisdom (HoW), Sharjah’s futuristic library, is taking young visitors on a fascinating adventure through Sinbad’s Seven Voyages with storytelling sessions, interactive simulations, and a rare book exhibition at the current Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023), held from May 3 – 14 at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Sinbadis one of the most famous and inspiring heroes from the “Arabian Night” stories, and the timeless appeal of his tales of valour and victory have transcended global borders and resonated with lovers of storytelling through the generations. The fictional Sinbad voyages first emerged during the Abbasid Caliphate’s reign in Baghdad, where the original House of Wisdom was set up as a shining beacon of knowledge and culture. Thus, the selection of this theme serves to connect the young generation to our past heritage.
The character of Sinbad symbolised courage, persistence and the love of traveling in search of riches and adventures. His voyages, which were translated into various languages including English, German and Japanese, had inspired writers, illustrators and various artistic works in the Arab world and globally.
Marwa Al Aqroubi, Director of HoW, said: “Through our participation in SCRF, we aim to highlight the importance of diversity and cultural exchange, enrich children’s imaginations, expand their knowledge, and strengthen their connection to our authentic literary heritage through reading. By shining light on a collection of rare books, we provide a unique interactive experience for visitors through Sinbad and his amazing voyages, which continue to inspire many works across the creative and artistic mediums of movies, magazines, video games, and TV shows to this day.”
Rare titles on display and interactive activities on Sinbad voyages
The HoW booth features a mini exhibition space – a unique curation of rare books published in English, German and Arabic in 19th and 20th centuries about Sinbad and his seven voyages. The titles on display include ‘The History of Sinbad the Sailor: Containing an Account of His Several Surprising Voyages and Miraculous Escapes’ by Nathaniel Dearborn (1828); ‘Sinbad der Seefahrer. Die Geschichte der Prinzessin von Deryabar’ by Edmund Dulac (1920); ‘Sinbad the Sailor; and, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ co-authored by Joseph Benwell Clark and William Strang (1896); and several issues of an Egyptian Children’s magazine ‘Sinbad: Nationwide Children’s Magazine’ published between 1952-1960 by Cairo-based Dar Al Ma’aref.
There are two more independent sections featured at the HoW’s SCRF booth. The second section provides a digital simulation space, where children can experience Sinbad’s seven sea voyages like never before by taking the helm of the ship and navigating through the interactive screen while listening to exciting audio commentary in both Arabic and English. Towards the end of each expedition, children will learn valuable lessons about self-reliance, courage in the face of challenges, and helping others.
The third section features a storytelling corner, where children are hosted for interesting reading sessions on a daily basis to explore the exciting adventures of Sinbad in an interactive manner. Special emphasis is placed on instilling the love of reading in children and promoting the shared cultural heritage that is built through storytelling. A retail store is also available, where books and other collectibles can be purchased by visitors.
Through the HoW booth, we offer visitors a unique opportunity to promote cultural diversity and common human values, thus enriching our understanding of the world. We also seek to highlight the importance of storytelling as a fundamental human activity that not only serves to connect us with our past, present, and future, but also with each other.