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Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Narrators Forum

Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the 19th Sharjah International Narrators Forum (SINF 2019), the most sought after annual event that brings together storytellers, narrators, performers and experts from across the world, on Tuesday.

Held under the theme ‘1001 Nights,’ the three-day event aims to shed light on the vibrant Arab heritage, by revisiting the charm of Arabian Nights – a famous collection of Persian, Arabian and Indian folktales. These tales have been passed down from generations and are known to have impressed the world and served as an inspiration to various cultures that have produced literary masterpieces drawing ideas from the concept.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Dr Abdulaziz Al Musallam – Chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage and Chairman of the SINF Supreme Committee – expressed great pride in celebrating the efforts and achievements of those who protect the heritage through this annual festivities.

“With an exciting lineup of enchanting tales that form a vital part of the vibrant Arabic culture, we guarantee a wholesome entertaining experience for everyone. The workshops and activities are designed to allow participants and visitors to indulge in an exciting world of fantasy, while also attempting various arts and crafts,” he said.

Dr Abdulaziz Al Musallam added, “Arabian Nights has been translated into a dozen languages. Each year we honour over 100 narrators from across the region and the world who have in-depth knowledge about our diverse culture and whose efforts are reflected in their study of the heritage which involves many years of dedication and hard work.”

This year too, about 100 experts, researchers, storytellers and media from 43 countries are participating the forum. The Republic of Italy is this year’s Guest of Honour, with the city of Sardinia representing the country’s vast culture and heritage.

The speech was followed by a storytelling show and a toastmaster’s speech, providing a glimpse of this year’s activities.

Over the course of the three day event, attendees can indulge in a variety of cultural programmes, training workshops and public events including proactive workshops- on the writing of a story (a night) inspired by Arabian Nights, and a workshop on the UAE cultural heritage – the second edition of the inspiring vision on the most important narration sources and influences.

A perfect platform bringing together the best in music, song and dance for people of all age groups, this year SINF will organise several programmes including solo plays, seminars, round table discussions, workshops, testimonies and much more. Attendees can indulge in a variety of cultural programs, training workshops and public events including proactive workshops – on the writing of a story (a night) inspired by Arabian Nights, and a seminar on the UAE cultural heritage- the second edition of the inspiring vision on the most critical narration sources and influences.

Workshops will be held to resonate with the theme of “1001 Nights,” and will feature The Shining Light, The Magic Crystal, Princess Jasmin Jewells, Hoods of Shahrazad and Shahrayar, The Masks, The Feather, The Grand Book, Paper Folding, Artistic Dolls and Theater of Puppets.

Heritage and culture form an essential element of the UAE and Sharjah in particular. SINF focuses on creatives and artwork of these well-established artists. With a constant aim to develop and boost the Forum, one of the main objectives of SINF is to align with Unesco objectives, which aim to safeguard the artistic creations of these living icons.

Every year the forum is held to highlight the fascinating journey of narrators and storytellers who have brought to us some of the most cherished and loved narratives. Through the various workshops and exhibitions participants can get a better insight into the Arabian Heritage and probably learn about new and exciting aspects they knew little about.